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04 March 2010

Tim Jones: Appearances on KETC & KMOX This Weekend, Health Care Freedom Act Update, Unfunded Mandates

As the week wore on and bright sunshine bathed the Capitol Dome, warming the still frozen ground with hints and promises of Spring, we returned to Jefferson City and filled our days with lengthy committee hearings and longer debates on the House Floor as we rocketed towards the mid-point of the Legislative Session.  Next week, the General Assembly takes its traditional Spring Break as we return to our families and careers back home.  I welcome this time as I look forward to spending the week at home catching up with my family, with folks around the District and with the work that awaits me at my law firm…

"The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits." –Thomas Jefferson


Tim will be featured this weekend on two major media outlets:
  1. Tune in TOMORROW, FRIDAY, MARCH 5TH to KMOX from 2:00 to 3:00pm.  Tim will be participating in the Mark Reardon Roundtable discussing the first half of the legislative session in Jefferson City and politics and government in general.
  2. Tune in THIS SUNDAY, MARCH 7th at 9:30am to the "Jeff City Journal" on KETC Channel 9 (the PBS station in the St. Louis area…for time and channel in your area, please check your local listings).  Tim will be appearing with Rep. Don Calloway in a "Crossfire" type debate where Tim and Don will discuss issues such as Missouri's Health Care Freedom Act and will also discuss areas where they share bipartisan agreement.
And now for the Report…

Opposing Federalizing Missouri Healthcare

There are MANY reasons to oppose the health care bills currently under consideration in Congress, including the fact that they contain massive European style levels of taxation, greatly increased regulation, the gutting of Medicare and more out-of-control Washington spending.  But one of the most controversial provisions of these proposals is a federal mandate that would require every American to purchase health insurance, or face fines and penalties.  Many studies show that if the federal legislation is passed, average health care premiums in Missouri could rise as much as 98%!  Because of the fact that Congress is refusing to listen to the vast majority of the American people regarding the fact that we do NOT want this legislation, we introduced the Health Care Freedom Act (HJR 57) in the Missouri House.  The companion bill, SJR 25, was filed in the Senate by my good friend and colleague, Senator Jane Cunningham.

This week, I am very pleased to report that the Missouri House "perfected" the "Health Care Freedom Act" which would, upon voter approval, constitutionally protect the rights of Missourians to make their own health care decisions and ensure that your health care decisions can be made without fear of government fines and penalties.  We believe that Missourians are better able to manage their own health care than government bureaucrats or Washington politicians.  Whether a federal bill becomes law and what it will contain remains uncertain.  But with the initial approval of House Joint Resolution 48, 50 & 57, we took an important step this week to ensure that even if Congress has its way, you will continue to be in control of your own health care decisions, some of the most important and private decisions you make for yourself and your family.

Unfunded Mandates

This week the Missouri House passed HB 1408 & 1514.  This legislation requires Missouri income tax returns to be processed and paid timely to the taxpayer.  Current state law allows the government not to return Missourians excess income taxes until August 15th.  This does not make sense; we should promptly return Missouri taxpayers' money after government has taken its share.  This legislation requires the state to pay back income tax returns within 45 days of April 15th, which is exactly how the Federal government functions.  State government should be AT LEAST as efficient as Federal government.  The bottom line is this is your money.  Missourians worked hard to earn it and should have a prompt return of any excess taxes.  There is no reason for state government to take longer than the Federal government when it comes to your income tax return.  This is the type of common-sense reform that will help working Missourians in everyday life.

Water Quality Testing

Last summer some of you may have heard of the E. coli disaster at the Lake of the Ozarks.  The story drug out for months so in case you missed it I will give you the abbreviated version.  In short, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) received test results in May of 2009 from the Lake of the Ozarks that showed very dangerously high levels of the E. coli virus in the water.  Those results were not released to the public for over a month and beaches were not closed.  It became clear during later investigations that the information was known at DNR as well as several of the Governor's office senior staff and still withheld from the public.  This year, House Republicans are trying to make sure that this does not happen again.  House Bill 2165 sponsored by Representative Anne Zerr, is currently working its way through the committee process.  This bill would require DNR to post the results of any water quality testing in plain language both at the site of the test and on their website within three (3) days of the sample being taken.  We believe that the Lake is a vital part of this state's tourism and economy, but when the water quality has been mismanaged, the results should not be covered up and Missourians put at risk for political purposes.  The Lake's water has been brought back under control and is of course safe for swimming and boating now, but this is a cover-up that the State cannot afford to have again.


As mentioned above, I am the chief sponsor of HJR 57, the "Health Care Freedom Act". As I have discussed, if it is passed and approved by the voters, it will secure the current rights and freedoms that Missouri citizens have to choose to participate in whatever health care system or health care that they want.  The bill was "perfected" on the House Floor this week by a vote of 113-40.  After one more procedural vote, the bill will pass out of the House and be on its way to the State Senate.  You may view the legislation at this link: Thank you all very much for your continued support of this very important proposed constitutional amendment, and I will continue to keep you posted on its progress!


I am very excited to report that Six Flags St. Louis, which is located in the heart of the 89th District, is hiring more than 3,000 employees to fill positions for the 2010 season which begins on April 2nd.  Six Flags will be hosting job fairs to fill these positions on March 6, 13, 20 and April 3, 10 and 17.  For more information, please visit:


  • February was Earthquake Awareness Month in Missouri
  • The New Madrid seismic zone is the most active fault line east of the Rockies and runs along Missouri's southeast border
  • A series of very strong earthquakes occurred along the fault line in 1811-1812 and reportedly caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards!

MODOT Traveler Information Map

For work zone location, flooding information and weather-related road conditions visit MoDOT's Traveler Information Map. It's your first source of information when planning your trip across the Show-Me state.

Tim's Legislative Platform for 2010

So far this year I have sponsored and filed fourteen individual pieces of legislation.  I have co-sponsored numerous other bills.  To review all of the bills that I have sponsored or co-sponsored, please follow this link:

Personal News & Notes

At left: Captain Mic Smith, the son of constituents Mike & Susan Smith, in the cockpit of his Navy trainer fighting jet…how cool is this!

I am very much looking forward to the mid-Session break which will afford me the opportunity of spending an entire week at home with the family and at my law firm where by now, I have plenty to keep me busy at both places!  If you see me around the District, please do say hello and let me know if there is anything on your mind regarding State government or if we can be of any assistance.  I remain committed to serving you, my constituents, and I look forward to catching up with as many of you as possible over the next week.

Feel Free to Contact Us!

If my extremely dedicated (and very busy!) Legislator Assistant, Jody Williams, or I can be of any assistance throughout the year, please do not hesitate to contact us at 573.751.0562 or by email at jody{dot}williams{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov or at tim{dot}jones{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov.  We have had many visitors to the Capitol so far this year; if your travels find you anywhere in or around Jefferson City, please do not hesitate to stop by and visit us in Room 114!  Until our next report, I remain, in your service.

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