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May 16, 2012Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012, at 2:16 PM
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
The journey has just begun! Graduation is the threshold where youth meets adulthood. Graduation is a joyous occasion for the young graduate and the family. It is also the time to collect wisdom and advice before you start a new life. Use the insight you have and will gain, to help you climb the ladder of life. The journey may be filled with bumps, but it is certainly worth attaining. I am honored to congratulate with upmost sincerity the high school graduates of the 163rd district. Congratulations to the graduates of: BERNIE HS; MALDEN HS; TWIN RIVERS HS; NEELYVILLE HS; CAMPBELL HS; CLARKTON HS; HOLCOMB HS; and last, but certainly not least, KENNETT HS. Job well done!
Now that you've graduated,
Your adventure has begun.
Your schooling has prepared you
For the race life has you run.
We praise you for your efforts,
And send good wishes, too,
For a future filled with happiness,
And your fondest dreams come true.
HIGHLIGHTS OF FLOOR ACTION:
House Bills Third Read and Passed
Changing the laws regarding services for individuals with disabilities, HCS HB 1854, was Third Read and Passed. This substitute will create the Purchasing from Persons with Disabilities Advisory Board within the Division of Purchasing of the Office of Administration which will provide oversight regarding procurement policies with qualifying vendors that includes a person with a disability or a business that employs disabled individuals that perform at least 75 percent of the direct labor to fulfill a procurement contract. The bill provides provisions for tax credits for contributions to certain residential care providers, workforce transition services for youth with disabilities, MO Healthnet Benefit Coverage for comprehensive day rehabilitation services, MO Healthnet benefits for hearing aids, provisions for service dogs, employment security laws, and increases from $2 to $10 the surcharge that is assessed on all criminal cases which will be deposited in the Brain Injury Fund.
HB 1357, specifies that the Constitution and laws of Missouri and the United States must be interpreted, construed, applied and enforced to fully protect the rights of an alternative-to-abortion agency and its officers, agents, employees and volunteers to freely assemble and to freely engage in religious practices and speech without governmental interference.
Senate Bills Third Read and Passed:
Community colleges and two-year schools offer benefits such as proximity to home or less time between starting school and getting a degree. HCS SB 455, requires the Coordinating Board of Education to monitor all public two-year and four-year higher education institutions to replicate best practices in remediation and to maintain alignment of statewide assessments for entry level general education courses. HCS SB 455 would also enact a statewide reverse transfer policy. This means that a student transferring from a community college or a two-year school to a four-year school would be able to earn an associate degree under the original school's requirements. By utilizing this reverse transfer, these students would still be eligible to receive an associate degree once requirements were met, keeping them from simply dropping out and not completing a degree program.
Currently, the maximum age for service in the state militia is 64. SCS SB 715, allows the Adjutant General to waive the age limit on a case-by-case basis.
Modifying several provisions of law relating to state and local revenues, provisions of law that specify the application of a particular interest rate and the authority of fire protection districts, HCS SCS SB 591, was Third Read and Passed.
In a consorted effort to reduce child abuse and neglect, HCS SB 628, establishes the Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect which shall be composed of seven members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker and Minority Floor Leader and seven members of the Senate appointed by the President Pro Tem and the Minority Floor Leader. No party may be represented by more than four members of the Senate and four members of the House of Representatives. This Joint Committee will study and analyze the state child abuse and neglect reporting and investigation system; devise a plan for improving the decision process for removal of a child from a home, and determine the additional personnel and resources necessary to adequately protect children and improve their welfare.
Bills that were Truly Agreed and Finally Passed:
In an effort to bring Missouri counties on the same level, HCS HB 1106 ,was Truly Agreed and Finally Passed. This bill will require a county collector or collector-treasurer to reside in the county from which he or she was elected throughout his or her term of office. It also requires a candidate for the position to be at least 21 years of age, a resident of the county for at least one year prior to the date of filing, a registered voter, and to have paid all state income, personal, and real property taxes. This bill will help make county collector requirements consistent across the state.
Since asthma related illnesses are very common in children, it is detrimental that schools have a plan in place in case a student should experience a life threatening asthma attack. HB 1188, will establish a procedure under which a school nurse may administer asthma-related rescue medication. A school board may authorize a licensed nurse or employee to maintain a supply of medication and to determine how much medication should be maintained. This will be very beneficial to students who struggle with asthma.
After many hours of deliberation and debate in the House and Senate, SCS HCS HB 1731, is now on its way to the Governor's desk for approval. This bill changes the laws regarding the distribution of gaming moneys. The main focus of the bill is to provide more funding for the Veterans' Commission Capitol Improvement Fund. Other areas of change include more funding to the Early Childhood Development and Education and Care Fund.
After many long hours of debate, the 12 Appropriation Bills were finally passed out of committee late Wednesday night. The Appropriations Committee Reports were debated and passed out of the House and Senate. They have now made their way to Governor Nixon's office where they await his approval. Appropriation Bills are numbered 2001 through 2013. For detailed information about these Appropriation bills and any other bills that are of interest to you, please access the House website at www.house.mo.gov
As we move into the final week of mandatory session in Jefferson city, some items were addressed and measures put it place, some were not accomplished and others are still to be accomplished, but with a better understanding of the effects on the citizens of the great state of Missouri. In certain instances the items that did not get accomplished are just as important as the ones that did.
If you ever visit, or have visited, the State Capitol you will notice many busts of famous Missourians. The latest bust that was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians on Wednesday was Dred Scott, a Civil Rights Activist.
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.