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April 25, 2012

Posted Thursday, May 10, 2012, at 3:27 PM

As the calendar year continues in the work place, school districts and agriculture across the state, there still remains a good portion to be accomplished here at the Capitol in the last four weeks of session. The budget and the appropriations of monies will always remain top priority.

House Bills Third Read and Passed

In an effort to declare the federal health care reform law as unconstitutional and protect Missouri citizens from such a law, HB 1534, was Third Read and Passed to the Senate. The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act signed by President Obama in 2010 has already been declared unconstitutional by several lower federal courts as exceeding the powers granted to Congress under the United States Constitution and a final decision is now pending before the US Supreme Court. This bill will enact into Missouri law that no public officer or employee of this state has any authority to enforce or attempt to enforce any aspect of the act and is simply another constitutional way to protect our sovereign State from such a massive federal overreach.

In order to assist Missouri small businesses by reducing their paperwork HCS HB 1717, was Third Read and Passed. This bill changes the quarterly aggregate amount required to cause an employer to file a withholding return from $20 to $100 in each of the four preceding quarters. This bill is not a tax credit and does not provide a tax break, it just eases a regulatory paperwork burden on small businesses by allowing annual filing instead of quarterly filing.

Agriculture remains the largest single industry in Missouri, and we must take measures to protect those who are in that industry. HB 1860, changes the laws regarding grain dealers and agricultural crime. It will protect agricultural production facilities from those who knowingly gain access to a facility for wrong doing by applying for employment.

In order to provide a more ethical standard for state contracts, HB 1359, prohibits any state employee in a decision-making position for a state contract from taking employment with the business, company, or other entity with which the employee was in a decision making position for that contract for at least two years from the date when the contract was initiated.

HB 1476, was brought before the body in developing air cargo business at Lambert St. Louis International Airport. The opportunity to export goods and products from Missouri along with other centralized states, would lend itself to a centralized location and allow for expansion in the area.

To protect taxpayers from extra fees, HB 1521, allows an exception from the penalties and interest for the late payment of property taxes because of a computer problem or other delay in getting property tax bills sent out. This is a taxpayer protection issue. St. Charles County had a problem that delayed the timely issuing of property tax bills. Many taxpayers paid their statement after the due date and were charged penalties which were later abated. Many people have requested the emailing of tax statements.

As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Missouri House. If you would like to discuss any issue, please call 573-751-3629. You can also email me at Kent.Hampton@house.mo.gov. I look forward to hearing from you.



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State Representative Kent Hampton
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