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15 April 2010

Nance: Tax Freedom Day, At the Capitol, Visitors

“Tax Freedom Day arrived on April 9th this year, the 99th day of 2010, according to the annual calculation using the latest government data on income and taxes. Americans will work well over three months of the year—from January 1 to April 9—before they have earned enough money to pay this year's tax obligations at the federal, state and local levels… Americans will pay more taxes in 2010 than they will spend on food, clothing and shelter combined.” –The Tax Foundation

At the Capitol

HB 1695 passed out of the House this week. It specifies that any nonviolent offender who has been convicted, pled guilty, or been found guilty under Sections 577.010 or 577.012, RSMo, or any similar provision of federal or state law and is incarcerated for the offense may be required to participate in the Missouri Post conviction Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program and upon release required to complete a department-approved community supervised program or, if no program is available, to submit to continuous alcohol monitoring for at least 90 days.

It also specifies that a person convicted of driving while revoked will be guilty of an infraction instead of a class A misdemeanor or class D felony. A circuit court could establish a DWI docket for the disposition of driving while intoxicated.

HCS Senate Bill 795 passed out of the Agriculture on Tuesday. The large bill covers agriculture collaborating with departments of education, health and senior services, and economic development. Other subjects are wine tasting, blaster’s licenses, large carnivore control, increased licensing fees for pesticides.

Agricultural organizations throughout the state have banded together in support of legislation to protect Missourians' rights to raise animals.

Missourians for Animal Care, a diverse coalition representing farm and ranch families, veterinarians, pet breeders and agricultural input suppliers, is working with legislators to advance a constitutional amendment to present to voters defending the rights of animal owners in the state.

Missourians for Animal Care was formed to provide unified support for the state's family farmers and others to protect their rights to raise domesticated animals in a humane manner. This right is fundamental to the livelihood of thousands of Missourians who make their living by raising animals.

HJR 78, if passed by the Senate, would upon voter approval, require a three-fifths majority vote to amend the Missouri Constitution.

HB 1966 was perfected Wednesday. It allows no excuse absentee early voting and specifies that a person seeking to vote in a public election must establish his or her qualifications as a United States citizen lawfully residing in this state by presenting a form of personal identification containing a photograph of the individual to election officials.

All costs incurred by an election authority to implement the photo identification requirements will be reimbursed by the state. If there is no appropriation, the election authority must not enforce the photo identification requirement.

An individual can vote by casting a provisional ballot after signing an affidavit if he or she does not possess a required form of personal identification because of the inability to pay for a birth certificate or other documentation necessary to obtain the identification.

The law requires the state to provide at no cost at least one form of personal identification required to vote to a qualified citizen who does not already possess the required identification and desires the identification.

On Monday, House Speaker Ron Richard inducted aviation pioneer James Smith McDonnell, Jr. into the Hall of Famous Missourians.

In the District

There were numerous events to attend last weekend. On Friday, many attended the opening of our new Veteran’s Clinic in Excelsior Springs. Over 1,400 veterans have signed up and General Larry Kay, the guest speaker, suggested he might drive from Booneville for care.

Matt Hartwig from Excelsior Springs was in the Capitol Wednesday to help promote “no tax” on over the counter drugs prescribed by a physician.

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