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01 April 2010

Tim Jones: Protecting Life, Second Amendment Rights, Repealing Expired Statutes

The Midwest breathed in deeply and shook off the shackles of winter this week as temperatures slowly rose, grass greened, flowers mightily pushed through the thawed ground and signs of Spring appeared throughout Missouri bringing a touch of wanted  and welcome color, washing away the browns and grays of a long, long winter season.  Here in the Capitol we entered the last seven weeks of Session, taking a deep breath and a momentary pause before the final marathon sprint to the finish.  As the Senate took up the mantle of examining and making further necessary budget cuts, the House kept a solid, strong legislative pace this week, working through Perfection, Consent and Third Read Calendars as we continue to pass legislation that promotes good public policy for all Missourians…

"Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can."–Samuel Adams

Protecting Life

Since joining the Missouri House of Representatives, I have been dedicated to protecting life. That is why, this week, a week that I recognize as Holy Week, I was proud to stand on the House Floor and support House Bill 2000, a common-sense bill with two major provisions relating to abortion: informed consent and coercion protection.  Deciding whether or not to have an abortion is difficult and when considering their options, women should have the resources necessary to make an informed decision.  Unfortunately, studies have shown that as few as twenty-five percent of women feel they have received adequate counseling before deciding to have an abortion.  To ensure that women have the resources they need, this bill requires that medical professionals provide women with information about the abortion procedure, alternatives to abortion, and also provide these women with the opportunity to view an ultrasound.

We also believe that women should be able to make this important decision without, among other things, threats, harassment, and violence.  Unfortunately, sixty-four percent of women who had an abortion felt pressured by others to have the procedure.  House Bill 2000 makes the act of coercing a pregnant woman to obtain an abortion a crime. We believe that women should be protected from violent behavior when making this decision and House Bill 2000 will ensure that women are safe.

Unplanned pregnancy is an extremely difficult situation.  With the passage of House Bill 2000, we are one step closer to ensuring that, when considering whether or not to have an abortion, women are protected from the fear of threats, stalking and harassment and will have the information they deserve to make an informed decision.

2nd Amendment Rights

House Bill 1787 was also passed by the House this week.  This legislation expands and defends our Second Amendment rights.   If this bill becomes law, the age to obtain a concealed carry permit will be reduced from 23 years old to 21 (which is law in most states).  The Castle Doctrine is also expanded to include property that you lease, so if you are renting your residence and someone breaks in you are legally able to use deadly force to defend yourself and your loved ones.  During floor debate, an important amendment was added to the bill to protect gun owners.  Currently, if you are drinking in your home and have a gun in a safe upstairs you could be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm if you are intoxicated, in your own home! This amendment fixes this loophole and allows you to keep firearms in your home and not be committing a crime if you have a glass of wine or beer.  I am proud to continue to support our Second Amendment rights.

Consent Bills

This week the Missouri House took up and passed several consent bills.  Consent bills are legislation that is non-controversial in nature, and does not have a penalty provision or a fee increase.  Much of the time these bills are legislation that names highways or allows land transfers.  Consent legislation can also be used to define different words or phrases in statute to make the interpretation of our laws easier.   We passed over fifty of these bills this week during two long sessions that ran late into the night.

Repealing Expired Statutes: a GREAT Good Government Bill!

The Missouri House passed HB 1516 this week, which repeals expired statutes.  This is no April Fool's Day joke!  The point of this legislation is to clean up the statutes of the state of Missouri relating to the expiration of many laws that are no longer relevant.  This bill is an act of good government that seeks to clean up our statutes and reduce the size of our statute books.  Instead of constantly adding more laws and regulations, this bill allowed us to eliminate expired laws so there is no longer any confusion of their validity to the people.


As many of you know, 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.  As we have seen, the disastrous aftermath of the passage of ObamaCare continues to dominate our headlines and continues to show us how truly flawed the federal legislation is.  HJR 57 was "third read and passed" out of the House several weeks ago by a vote of 109-46.  The bill is now pending in the State Senate and the Senate is also debating their version of the Health Care Freedom Act (SJR 25).  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!

Missouri Tax Freedom Day:  April 4!

Tax Freedom Day – the date on which Americans will have worked long enough to have earned enough money to pay this year's tax obligations at the federal, state and local levels – will fall on Sunday, April 4, 2010 for residents of Missouri. The date for all Americans will be Friday, April 9, 2010.  I submit that the reason Missouri Tax Freedom Day comes sooner than the national average is because Missouri's Republican General Assembly has been extremely and wisely frugal with our State's budget for the past eight years while still ensuring that Missourians receive all essential services that Government should provide.  Unlike our Federal Government which continues to print money and mortgage our future to China and India, Missouri continues to have an efficient balanced budget each and every year.

Tax Freedom Day answers the basic question, "What price is the nation paying for government?" An official government figure for total tax collections is divided by the nation's total income. The answer this year is that taxes will amount to 26.89 percent of our income, and the stretch of 99 days from January 1 to April 9 is 26.89 percent of the year. Overall, Americans will pay more taxes in 2010 than they will spend on food, clothing and shelter combined.  I submit the authors of the Constitution would find this unconscionable!


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 THIS WEEKEND on April 2nd.  Six Flags will be hosting job fairs to fill these positions on April 3, 10 and 17.  For more information, please visit:

Tim's Legislative Platform for 2010

So far this year I have sponsored and filed fifteen 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: Rep. Jones at the Sacred Heart Fish Fry with his dad, brother in law Marc and good friend Mark Fischer.

As I mentioned above and as many of you are fully aware, Christians around the world are celebrating Holy Week this week.  Many of my Jewish friends are also celebrating the great feast of Passover during this time as well.  This week encompasses the "high holy days" for the Christian and Jewish faith and I am looking forward to heading home today, Maundy Thursday, and celebrating Holy Thursday mass tonight, Good Friday services tomorrow (along with the last Sacred Heart Fish Fry of Lent!) and the Saturday Easter Vigil with my family, friends and neighbors.  Sunday will bring the glorious feast of Easter where Suzanne and I will dress the girls up in their Easter finest and head to Church followed by Easter Brunch with the entire clan!  For those of you who celebrated Passover, I hope you had a sacred and wonderful celebration and for those of you who will celebrate Easter, I want to wish you and your family a very happy and glorious Easter Sunday!

Visitors at the Capitol

I had many visitors at the Capitol this week including my Mom, JoAnn Jones, and good friends Eileen Tyrell, Katie and Julie Bauer, John Ryan, Tom Merriman and many other fellow parishioners from Sacred Heart (55 made the bus trip!) who made the trip to the House this week for Pro Life Day [pictured at right].  I also had the pleasure of welcoming good friend Sgt. Chad Green and Sgt. Robert Catlett of the City of Glendale Police Department.  If you are ever in or around Jeff City, please stop by!

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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