“Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have.” --Ronald Reagan
FLOOR ACTION: Tuesday, February 8, 2011
HB 162 Rep. Barney Fisher (R-125) passed the House this week. As you will remember, HB 162 addresses the precedent set by the Franklin v. CertainTeed Corp. court ruling which, in essence, moved occupational disease claims from the worker’s compensation system (where they have properly been for over 80 years) into the courts. In response to the business community’s “Fix the Six” agenda, HB 162 reverses that court ruling, which, if left to stand, would be devastating on our economy and jobs. This legislation will permit appropriate compensatory damages to once again be determined by the worker’s compensation system. The result will be a reduction in the cost of liability insurance for small business and less of a burden on our court system. This saves taxpayer money that can be used to educate our children and strengthen the job market in Missouri. The bill passed with over 100 votes in the House.
The Speaker’s Committee on Budget passed out HCR 3 this week that relates to the submission of a proposed federal balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution. It is time for the federal government to begin acting responsibly with your tax dollars. There is little that could be construed as responsible about the way the federal government has continued to rack up record deficits. We are at the tipping point with no apparent recognition of the severity of the problem from the President. Continuing to deficit spend, says you either do not understand the problem, do not care about the problem, or your goal is economic.
FLOOR ACTION: Wednesday, February 9, 2011
HCS HB 46 Rep. John Diehl (R-87) also passed the House this week by an overwhelming majority of 149 to 9. This bill eliminates the ability of governments and municipalities to unnecessarily mandate fire sprinkler installation on one or two-family dwellings or townhouses. The builders of said dwellings must still offer to any purchaser the option, at the purchaser's cost, to install or equip fire sprinklers in the buildings. This provides the homeowner the freedom to choose what is best for their family and their family’s finances without an unwarranted government mandate.
Missouri Supreme Court during the Blizzard of 2011
State of the Judiciary. A joint session of the House and Senate convened this week to receive the State of the Judiciary Address. Chief Justice William Ray Price, Jr. addressed the legislature with concerns ranging from funding cuts to the undesirable effects of incarcerating non-violent offenders. He cautioned against the release of inmates simply because of budget cuts and made it clear his issue with the over-incarceration of non-violent offenders is not a reaction to budget concerns, but rather, an honest assessment of the non-rehabilitative nature of imprisonment. However, even in non-violent crimes there are victims; and a debt to be paid to those victims and society as a whole. These are difficult issues with even more problematic answers. Reducing the rate of recidivism would be a benefit to society as these individuals would regain a level of contribution to their families and communities. The fact that the system does rehabilitate some and not others, begs to question which environment to blame, in or out? Trying to treat the issue reactively is incorrect. Reducing crime rates proactively, through education and policy designed to empower small business and strengthen our economy, creates opportunity for Missourians and reduces the burden on our prison system. Continuing on the path of entitlements, propagating hopelessness without government assistance, only promotes the growth of the unmotivated masses continuing to live off the productive, responsible members of society. Difficult decisions lie ahead.
FLOOR ACTION: Thursday February 10, 2011
HB 162 and HCS HB 46 were third read and passed, as described above.
Temperatures Rising (and Falling Again!!)
We are currently in a cycle of melting and freezing. The struggle between the opposing temperatures creates unpredictable and, at times, dangerously icy conditions. Continue to drive with care and enjoy the forecasted warming weather.
Until my next update, I am, and remain, in your service.