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18 March 2010

Tim Jones: HJR57 Update, Balancing the State Budget, K2 Possession Laws

At right: The Jones Caucus: Rep. Tim Jones with uncle Kenny & cousin Caleb on Filing Day at the Secretary of State’s Office.

Returning from Spring Break this week saw a return of slowly warming temperatures in advance of a forecasted spring cold snap this coming weekend.  As the sun warmed mid-Missouri and the mighty river valley at the foot of the Capitol, dense fog shrouded the grounds in a thick cloak before the welcome sunshine bathed the dome as the week came to an end.  Inside the Capitol, the Budget Committee worked extremely long hours, painstakingly working through the budget bills and taking on the very difficult task of creating a balanced budget in the midst of one of the most challenging economic times since the Great Depression.  Debate on the House Floor intensified as we called upon the Federal Government to cease its floundering work related to health care and address the true vital and serious issues facing our State and Nation: jobs and the economy…

"Does the government fear us? Or do we fear the government? When the people fear the government, tyranny has found victory. The federal government is our servant, not our master!" -Thomas Jefferson

Opposing Federalizing Missouri Healthcare

There are innumerable reasons to oppose the health care bills currently under consideration in Congress, including draconian tax increases, massive new regulations and bureaucracy, 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.  This week, the Missouri House passed one of my top priorities, 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 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.

Balancing the State Budget

There is little doubt that Missourians are feeling the effects of the current economic downturn. Millions are struggling to make ends meet as they work to pay bills, mortgage payments, and cover the cost of necessities like groceries and gas.  Not unlike Missouri families, the State of Missouri is feeling these same effects.  Each year, the state legislature must pass a balanced budget while trying to protect funding for priorities like education and public safety.  But with the economic challenges we face, this will be no small task.  Dozens of other states have decided to solve their budget challenges through massive tax increases while the federal government continues to pass unbalanced budgets and rack up trillions of dollars in debt for future generations to pay.  But in the Missouri House, we remain committed to crafting a fiscally responsible state budget, without raising taxes or living beyond our means.

That means we will do what working Missouri families have done and prioritize our spending and make the necessary cuts to keep the budget balanced.  The only other option we have is to raise taxes and I promise you that I will not let that happen.  Economists of all political stripes will tell you that raising taxes during an economic climate such as this is a recipe for disaster.  I will not vote to pass a tax increase on Missourians while we are in such an economic downturn.  While the politicians in DC work to either push our country further in debt due to their unbalanced federal budgets or seek to raise taxes on the American middle-class and increase your healthcare costs, the Missouri House of Representatives will do nothing of the sort.

We will not pass on debt to our children and we will not increase taxes on Missourians.  Period.

Keeping Harmful Drugs off our Streets

This week the House passed House Bill 1472 which would make possession of K2 a felony.  K2 is a new drug, very similar to marijuana that is being passed around in schools across the State.  Even more disturbing is that K2 is completely undetectable in current drug tests.  The side effects of K2 are lower body temperature, partial paralysis and the temporary inability to feel pain.  K2 is produced in parts of Asia and is sold basically as a potpourri that has a chemical sprayed on it that has very similar properties to THC, the main ingredient in marijuana.  There is very little scientific research on the long term effects of the drug, but it is already illegal in Europe and in many other parts of the world.  Until we know more about this substance, teenagers in the state do not need to have ready access to it.

MORE Out of Control Government Spending:

From Chris Edwards of The Heartland Institute

January 22, 2010 is a day that should live in infamy, at least among believers in limited government. On that day the federal government added its 2,000th subsidy program for individuals, businesses, or state and local governments.  The number of federal subsidy programs soared 21 percent during the 1990s and 40 percent during the 2000s.  The entire nation is jumping aboard Washington's gravy train. The recent addition of two new Department of Justice programs pushed us over the threshold to reach 2,001.  There is a federal subsidy program for every year that has passed since Emperor Augustus held sway in Rome. We've gone from bread and circuses to food stamps, the National Endowment for the Arts, and 1,999 other handout programs from the imperial city on the Potomac.


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 "third read and passed" out of the House this week by a vote of 109-46.  The bill is now 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 20 and April 3, 10 and 17.  For more information, please visit:

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

The mid-Session break came at a very welcome time.  I spent a busy week back home "in the District" catching up at my law practice, spending good quality time with my family and attending various important events around the community.  We are now firmly in the second half of the Regular Legislative Session and our days on the House Floor will grow longer and longer as we work through the challenging State Budget and begin to tackle compromise legislation with the State Senate.  As we enter this critical time of Session, if we can be of any assistance, please to do not hesitate to contact our office.

Visitors to the Capitol

At right: Rep. Jones presents a Special Resolution to Jordan Klein in honor of her receiving the Joann Breckenridge Award.

This week, Suzanne, Katie and Abby made their annual trip to visit me in Jefferson City.  It was wonderful to have them all here and it made the week much more pleasant!  I have had many other special guests visit me over the past few weeks including:  Deepa Bhuvanagiri, Mia & Abby Schroeder, Tim, Jennifer, Logan and Jackson Phelps, Eileen Tyrell and her daughter, Jordan Klein and her family and hundreds of Missouri patriots who came to the Capitol to support the Health Care Freedom Act!  Thank you to all of you for visiting!

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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