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14 May 2011

MO Expat: Lousy Cold Bug

Apparently I'm not the only one that's been weighed down with some sort of illness at the worst possible time: the last week of the session.

After battling whatever this bug is and finding myself on the upswing, I log on this morning to find out that of the few missives I uploaded this week inbetween my hacking not-so-productive coughs, all but three were somehow deleted, and the remaining three had issues with the labels.

Expect an avalanche of backlogged missives this weekend, as it will take awhile to disinfect this keyboard and get the remaining 30 or so uploaded.

13 May 2011

Stouffer: Getting a Fix on New Drug Threats

Sometimes, the job of a Missouri senator includes discussing matters that may not exactly be hot topics back home. Take, for instance, a couple of bills making their way through the Missouri General Assembly.

House Bill 641 was recently approved by the Legislature. The measure comes on the heels of last year’s ban on synthetic marijuana, also referred to as “K2” or “spice.” Apparently, these products are usually made of herbs, diced into small pieces and sprayed with hallucinogens. House Bill 641 builds upon the original prohibition on K2 and other incense, banning future versions of these drugs.

Believe it or not, the bill also bans certain products marked as “bath salts.” There has been a recent rash of incidents of people getting high on bath salts, and some have even died from snorting, shooting up, or ingesting the product. These seemingly harmless products contain substances found in other common controlled substances known as “fake cocaine” or “complete crank.”

Unfortunately, these threats are real and if you agree the government ought to be involved in protecting people dumb enough to use them – this law will be a step forward in meeting this goal. An example brought to my attention earlier this year includes a woman who became addicted, never left her home and lost custody of her children. The costs to society are real and can be felt by all of us as taxpayers.

A different proposal, House Bill 658, proposed this year, took a different approach to policing illegal activities. It is no secret that Missouri is among the top states for methamphetamine use and arrests. Meth labs are taken down almost daily in this state. While the purpose of House Bill 658 was to crack down on meth even more, I did not see how its intent was helpful.

A lot has been done to make the purchase of some ingredients of meth much more difficult. Unfortunately, one of these “unintended consequences” is taking some cold medicines off the shelf. House Bill 658 would have required folks to get a doctor’s prescription for cold or allergy medicine. This would have been a terrible inconvenience. No one has time to take off work so they can see their doctor and get a prescription for something that is completely legal to sell over the counter. Doctors do not want the extra case load, either. However, some say the proposal was a positive step forward because it would have only limited some forms of pseudoephedrine, and not others.

I have always believed government intrusion into our lives should be limited. While the idea to make some substances illegal while opposing taking some ingredients for others off the shelves seems to be a paradox, a balance must always be found

We can crack down on illegal activities without inconveniencing regular, everyday folks. We’ll never know if common sense prevailed, since time ran out on House Bill 658 this session. However, I continue to pray that, no matter what legislation comes down the pipeline in the future, law enforcement will be given the tools they need, while our friends and neighbors will not be put out by poorly designed public policy.

Lampe: Rabbi David Memorial Highway, Charter Schools Bill Fails To Advance

This week marks the end of the session for 2011. The General Assembly will adjourn today at 6 p.m., and will not convene until January 2012. I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve you, and I look forward to returning to Springfield after session adjourns. During the interim, I will host a town hall meeting, and I hope to see all of you there. I will be sending more information about this event later.

For information regarding any legislation passed this session, please click here. Due to the number of bills passed in the last week of session, I did not include an article detailing the bills passed in this newsletter.

Memorial Highway Press Release

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The General Assembly today granted final approval to legislation containing a provision sponsored by state Rep. Sara Lampe, D-Springfield, that would rename a portion of Highway 160 in Greene County as the Rabbi Ernest I. Jacob Memorial Highway.

"It's been a long road, but hate will not have the last word in Southwest Missouri," Lampe said.

Rabbi Ernest I. Jacob was born in 1889 in Breslau, Germany. He later served congregations in Saarbuchen and Ausburg, Germany. In 1938 he was arrested and imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp. Upon release, he and his family fled to England and eventually settled in Springfield in late 1939.

In Springfield, he served as a rabbi for both the traditional and liberal congregations in the area. Jacob also taught European history at Drury University. He has served as a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Judaica and as editor of the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia. Jacob died in 1974.

Lampe added the memorial highway provision as an amendment to larger bill on transportation, and was passed on Senate Bill 77 and Senate Bill 173.

End of Session Press Release: Job creation gives way to anti-worker agenda in 2011 session

Majority Republicans fail to deliver on year's No. 1 issue

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The 2011 legislative session ended today with majority Republicans in the House of Representatives failing to create jobs while instead pursing an anti-worker agenda designed to take money and power away from middle class Missouri families.

When the session began in January, lawmakers from both political parties pledged to make job creation the year's top priority. However, House Republicans neglected the issue until the session's final weeks and last-minute efforts to spur economic growth in Missouri failed.

"For House Republicans, job creation means reducing unemployment benefits, making it easier for bad employers to illegally discriminate and cutting taxes for large corporations to reduce state funding for public schools and other vital needs," said House Minority Leader Mike Talboy, D-Kansas City. "To House Democrats, job creation means providing opportunities for Missourians to support their families at a fair wage. Attacking Missouri workers will not bring economic prosperity."

Other Republican-backed legislation of note that will prove detrimental to Missourians include enactment of a partisan congressional redistricting plan [HB193] that fails to protect the interests of all Missourians and passage of legislation [SJR2] to require voters to show government-issued photo identification as a condition of exercising their right to vote, which could disenfranchise an estimated 230,000 Missouri voters.

"Democracy is threatened when the party in power works to restrict voting rights," said Assistant Minority Leader Tishaura Jones, D-St. Louis. "With disenfranchising huge numbers of voters more important to House Republicans than creating jobs, Missourians should be extremely concerned."

Senate Fails to Pass Charter Legislation

The Senate failed to pass legislation that would expand the presence of Charter schools in Missouri. HB 473 passed in the House in April, but was placed on the Senate's informal calendar when discussed on Thursday. Since session is ending this evening, legislation placed on the informal calendar will not move forward for a final vote.

I look forward to working on legislation in the future that focuses more on Charter accountability and less on expansion.

"What Do You Do During the Interim?"

Upon adjournment on Friday, I drive back to Springfield to get right to work at my district office, which is in my home. I continue to meet with residents and organizations to discuss legislation that has passed and hear new ideas for next year. Holding town hall meetings helps me better understand the input and suggestions you have regarding policy or any other issues affecting your lives. I also return to my roots, teaching in the classroom and working with teachers and school districts.

My legislative office remains open in Jefferson City during the interim to assist with any concerns or questions regarding state government. If you need any assistance with child support, renewing your driver's license, or any other matter, please give my office a call at 573-751-1460.

Neth: Personal Reflections From First Session

The First Regular Session of the 96th General Assembly is now complete. We adjourned at 6:00 PM on Friday, May 13. This last week proved very busy, as is usually the case. The week was filled with passage of numerous bills to go to the Governor as well as putting Conference Committees together to resolve differences between the House and the Senate on conflicting issues.

When the House and the Senate cannot agree on versions of bills to pass, each body asks for a committee to be formed to work out the differences. Each committee is comprised of five House members and five Senators. Of the five, there are three from the Majority party and two from the Minority party. They have to determine what parts of each bill are acceptable to each chamber in a common agreement and then sign a report stating they agree. It does not have to be unanimous for a Conference Committee Report (CCR) to be presented to the Assembly.

The week has been a flurry of activity with bills passing left and right. I have decided not to include any legislation in detail in this week's report. Next week we will have a report dedicated to specific legislation that was passed and signed into law by the Governor as well as legislation still waiting for the Governor to sign.

The week has been very long with an additional day of work on Friday. I am ready to head home and work with the citizens of our district on a more regular basis for the rest of the year. It will take a few weeks to decompress, evaluate what was accomplished (or not accomplished) and determine some priorities for next year.

Have a great weekend!


Town Hall Meeting - Legislative Wrap Up
June 2, 7:30-8:45 pm
Liberty Community Center - Red Room

I will be hosting a Town Hall Meeting where I will discuss the 2011 legislative session. You will have the opportunity to give me feedback, ask questions, and voice your concerns. I hope you will be able to make it and look forward to seeing you there.

End of Session Thoughts

The First Regular Session of the 96th General Assembly has come to a close. It has been a interesting, educational, and taxing five months of working to pass good public policy for the people of Missouri. Through the course of this legislative year, I have relied on your input, my personal principles and beliefs, and the knowledge and experience of the many individuals who have helped guide me through my first year as a State Representative.

The ride began with the election of 2010. The political tide of the nation swayed like a pendulum from left in 2008, to right in 2010. In the Missouri House of Represetatives, republicans gained an historic 106 seat majority, 57 were freshman legislators with little or no experience. I was one of those fresh faces who first entered the majestic chamber and swore my oath of office in early January. With the mandate of the people in the hands of a large and slightly inexperienced majority, we figured it was going to be an interesting ride and we hoped it would be productive.

Your State Government passed a total of 60 new laws this year. We were forced to make many tough decisions this year. At this point, I feel confident in my votes and would no doubt vote the same way again if I had to. Looking back, this experience and knowledge of the system was developed on the steepest of learning curves.

When I realized that there was no way I could possibly know all the information necessary to votes right on EVERY issue, the first thing I wanted to do was reach out to the citizens of the 34th district to get their opinion through our district wide survey. I made phone calls to school boards and community leaders to build my knowledge base so I could make the effective decisions we would be facing in the upcoming year.

I looked to my personal beliefs and principles to build my knowledge base and, at many times, had to reconcile my personal beliefs with the beliefs of the district. Nearly every time we faced an issue where you, the citizens, spoke up and made it clear how you wanted me to vote on an issue, I came through, working with my personal beliefs to forge a compromise. At times I was even forced to forgo my personal beliefs for the wishes of the passionate citizens in our community.

When either of those two information streams did not yield adequate results, I listened to those who had been here longer than me and used the collective insight from both sides of the aisle to make the best vote possible on the issue.

When we took our oath of office in January, I was like most of you; I had little detailed knowledge of the legislative process, bill filing, voting, and legislative procedure - drafting, filing and promoting legislation is a sport that is foreign to most. It is easy to be passionate on issues like education, job creation, and supporting our local communities, but this job required the melding of passions with the knowledge of the issues to create the best public policy for our community and our state. This year was filled with great speeches, tough votes, and the creation lifelong relationships. I promise that I will continue to work on issues that make our community and our state a better place to live for years to come.

Community Calendar

June 2 - Town Hall Meeting With Myron Neth at the Liberty Community Center - Red Room at 7:30 pm.

June 4 - Liberty Arts Squared Art Festival

June 9 - Mid-Continent Library Stable T. Farms Petting Zoo (virtual)

June 10 - Mid-Continent Library Pet Training: Paws, Claws, Feathers and Fins

June 4 - Downtown Liberty Arts Festival

Visit the Jesse James Bank Museum Monday - Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Survey Results

As those of you in District 34 know, I sent out a survey in January. I wrote an article that appeared in the Liberty Tribune a few weeks ago regarding those results. Click here to see the article.

It is an honor and privilege to serve the people of the 34th District and the State of Missouri. Let me know how I can better represent you.

Mayer et al: Session Scorecard: Missourians to Benefit from Bills to Spur Job Creation and Restore Education Funding

Op. note: SB161 is incorrectly identified in this missive as HB161. House Bill 161 would change the law concerning taxes charged on hotel rooms

Senators - Republican and Democrat - Work Together to Do the Right Thing for the People of Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Senate advanced a number of key priorities including passing four job creation initiatives, protecting taxpayers with a balanced budget, restoring funding for K-12 transportation and higher education, and meeting its constitutional deadline to craft a new map outlining Missourians’ representation in Congress.

Senate Leader Robert N. Mayer, R-Dexter, commended senators for their cooperation in finding common sense solutions to the problems that face the people of Missouri.

“We began this session with two goals – passing a balanced budget Missouri taxpayers could sustain without a tax increase and putting people back to work,” Mayer said. “The Senate worked together to pass a balanced budget on-time that protects taxpayers, passed four job creation initiatives, restored funding for K-12 busing and higher education, and crafted a new congressional district map that is fair and equitable.”

Lawmakers sent four bills to the governor aimed at spurring job creation. Senate Majority Floor Leader Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, said job creation is part of the solution to Missouri’s on-going budget crisis.

“Our state’s economy is reliant on people working, so the solution is putting people back to work in good-paying jobs with benefits,” said Dempsey. “This session the Senate advanced four measures aimed at assisting businesses in their ability to hire more employees.”

The governor signed Senate Bill 19, sponsored by Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, that would freeze and then phase out Missouri’s corporate franchise tax over a five-year period. The bill takes effect Aug. 28.

“By phasing out this double taxation on employers, we eliminate a disincentive that penalized companies for investing more in our state,” said Schmitt. “We are glad to see the governor join us in our efforts to allow companies to invest in hiring new employees instead of growing government with higher taxes.”

Last month, the Legislature passed and the governor signed a bill that extended unemployment benefits for more than 10,000 Missouri families who had reached, and those nearing, the 79-week cut-off. House Bill 163 also included a reduction to Missouri’s share of initial unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to 20 weeks.

“The federal government has spent Missouri businesses into an almost $1 billion debt,” said the amendment’s sponsor, Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City. “With this change, we reduced the burden on businesses to offset the additional federal taxes that will be placed on Missouri businesses to pay off that debt. But more importantly, this will encourage businesses to hire and expand, creating new jobs."

Today the Senate passed the Conference Committee Report for Senate Bill 8, sponsored by Senate Assistant Majority Floor Leader Jack Goodman, R-Mt. Vernon. The bill, which failed to pass in the House, would have restored protections to co-employees, meaning they would no longer be at risk of personal lawsuits for their role in honest accidents at work. The bill would have abrogated an appeals court decision in Robinson v Hooker, made in the Western District of Missouri on Aug. 3, 2010, that opened up co-employees to this higher risk.

“Currently, all Missouri workers are at risk of being sued and held liable for honest accidents at work and that is simply unfair,” Goodman said. “With this bill, we would have returned protections to Missouri employees, so that only co-workers who purposefully and dangerously cause other employees harm could be held personally liable.”

Last month the governor vetoed Senate Bill 188, sponsored by Sen. Brad Lager, R-Savannah, that would change state laws to mirror federal employment laws when it comes to discrimination.

“We want Missouri employees to be protected from employers who break the law,” Lager said. “We can best do this by raising our standards to meet the provisions set out in the historic Civil Rights Act. Senate Bill 188 simply mirrors Missouri employment law with federal employment law so employers and employees have certainty across the board when it comes to their day in court.”

Mayer and Dempsey said they anticipate the Senate to move to override the governor’s veto in the annual veto session held in September.

The Missouri General Assembly last week advanced 13 budget bills totaling $23.2 billion for the fiscal year beginning July 1. The bills include a $13.5 million net reduction in general revenue spending from the budget proposed by Gov. Jay Nixon in January. Lawmakers’ budget actions lessen a 7 percent cut to higher education by adopting a $12 million increase for Missouri’s two- and four-year colleges and universities and another increase of $10 million for Missouri’s K-12 transportation line item. The $10 million increase for K-12 busing restores part of the governor’s reduction, bringing the total funding for public school transportation to nearly $110 million.

“By lessening that 7 percent cut to only 5.45 percent, we allow our colleges and universities to find and pass on real savings to out-of-pocket expenses students would have incurred,” said Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer, R- Columbia. “By also working to help shore up funding for K-12 transportation, we help prevent local schools from having to raid funding for our classrooms or other dollars directed to education.”

The Legislature also voted to maintain the school funding formula at its current level, voting last month to accept an additional $189 million in federal funding to go toward K-12 funding in FY 2012.

Lawmakers also crafted a map that is fair and equitable to Missouri citizens when it comes to their representation in U.S. Congress. The Missouri General Assembly last week overrode the governor’s veto of Conference Committee Report for House Bill 193.

The General Assembly was constitutionally charged to redraw Missouri’s congressional districts based on the most recent data from the 23rd Decennial Census. In December, the U.S. Census Bureau concluded, based on 2010 Census data, that Missouri’s population grew 7 percent to 5,988,927 people. Despite this growth, Missouri is losing a congressional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, resulting in a drop from nine to eight seats.

“We were committed to a redistricting process that was open and transparent,” said Sen. Scott T. Rupp, R-St. Charles County, who served as chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting. “By staying true to this process, we crafted a map that both Republicans and Democrats voted ‘yes’ for because it appropriately and fairly represents Missouri’s citizens.”

Other bills to advance this session include:
  • A ballot question and enabling legislation to let voters decide if Missourians should be required to show photo identification at the polls (SJR2 and SB3);
  • “The Missouri Solution” representing a compromise to last year’s Prop B requirements for Missouri dog breeders. The governor signed both SB113 & 95 and HB161 last month.
  • Lawmakers passed and the governor signed SB187 ending nuisance lawsuit abuses against Missouri farm families.
  • Two identical bills, HB213 and SB65, would prevent late-term abortions.
  • HB641 outlaws “bath salts,” a synthetic drug that mimics the effects of cocaine, and other controlled substances know as K3 that mimic marijuana.
  • HB73 requires drug testing for TANF recipients, with those testing positive to complete a drug treatment program and not test positive again in order to regain their benefits.
  • And HB412 extends the sunset on the Missouri Prescription Drug Program that assists more than 225,000 Missouri low-income seniors and the disabled in purchasing drugs under the Medicare Part D program. Full funding, or $19.6 million, was included in the budget.
To read more about these bills and others, visit and perform a key word search for the bill number.

Senate leaders did note disappointment when it came to not reaching a final vote to save Missouri taxpayers $1.5 billion over the next 15 years. Differences between the House and Senate went unresolved in the conference committee for Senate Substitute for House Bill 116. The measure included a tax amnesty program for Missouri taxpayers; the combination of several existing performance-based tax credits to create a more flexible program called “Compete Missouri”; the sunset, capping or making subject to appropriations of a number of tax credit programs; and the creation of tax incentives to support an international trade hub at Lambert - St. Louis International Airport, attract amateur sports events, and target growth in hi-tech areas of science and innovation industries.

Mayer said the bill was the culmination of at least three years of work in the Senate to balance the growth of performance-based programs with unchecked spending when it comes to other tax credits.

“Offering incentives to businesses in a financially responsible way to expand or relocate to Missouri is a step in making new jobs real and available,” said Mayer. “We will continue to work to advance these incentives coupled with reforms.”

The 2011 regular session ended today at 6 p.m. The Senate is scheduled to next convene during the annual veto session held in September.

Rupp: Passing Historic Measures and Finishing Our Last Week in Jefferson City

It’s hard to believe that the last week of the First Regular Session of the 96th General Assembly has arrived. We had a long list of priorities to accomplish this week, and many significant and historic pieces of legislation have been approved by lawmakers.

One of the measures sent to the governor for his signature is one of my own bills, SB 132. This measure addresses fraudulent motor vehicle contracts and warranties, as well as vehicle licensing, the “free look” period, deceptive practices, the suspension and revocation of licenses, and the registry of motor vehicles. If signed by the governor, my bill would go into effect on Aug. 28, 2011.

Several other bills I handled in the Senate have been sent to the governor as well. One of those bills was HB 193, which altered Missouri’s congressional districts to represent the 2010 census. The governor vetoed the map, but fortunately, the Legislature voted to override the veto. A two-thirds majority vote from the Senate and House is required to override a veto, and luckily, the House voted 109-44, and the Senate voted 28-6. A vote to overturn a veto is a rare occurrence — the last time the Legislature successfully overrode a governor’s veto during regular session was in 1980 — so I am very grateful that my colleagues and I were able to pull together to put the congressional map into action.

Other bills I handled in the Senate that have been sent to the governor include:
  • HB 354, which will exempt qualified plug-in electric vehicles from Missouri’s motor vehicle emissions inspection program. This measure has been approved by the governor.
  • HB 470, which would change the laws regarding nonresident entertainer and professional athletic team income tax.
  • HB 604, which would establish a task force on foster care recruitment, licensing, and retention and the Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board, and changes the laws regarding parental rights and foster care placements.
  • HB 648, which would change the laws regarding individuals with disabilities. The bill would change all references of “mentally retarded,” “mental retardation,” or “handicapped” in current state law to “developmentally disabled,” “developmental disability,” or “disabled,” respectively. The bill would also protect the rights of parents with disabilities.
For a full list of measures passed by the Legislature, please click on this link.

I’m honored that I have the chance to represent your voice at the Capitol. This is not a privilege I take for granted. I’d like to thank my constituents for their opinions and advice regarding legislative matters throughout this legislative session, and I’d like to thank my family for their unconditional love and support. Although session is over at the Capitol, work in our government still continues, so I encourage you to visit my website at to keep up with district and Senate news. As always, please feel free to call my office toll-free at (866) 271-2844 if I can be of any assistance.

Tim Jones: A Historic Session Concludes

Following weeks of dramatic weather that reflected the looming storm clouds of legislative pressure that built beneath the Capitol Dome, the Heartland was finally visited with a reprieve of gentle days of sunshine and warming temperatures bringing welcome relief to the many residents of our State who are now confronting the aftermath of the power of Mother Nature by ravaging floodwaters. The Session sprinted to a brisk yet incredibly tense end as major, weighty legislative priorities wound their way through the process and left us with mighty successes for all of the people of the great State of Missouri…

“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.” – Ronald Reagan

The 2011 Legislative Session: A Historic Session for the Ages

The 96th General Assembly has a lot upon which to hang its weary, tattered hat. And although many of us are truly physically and emotionally exhausted with the travails of Session, the successes have truly been monumental and will benefit our entire State. With tremendous bipartisan effort and countless hours of debate and conference meetings, we were able to garner huge support for the FY 2012 Balanced Budget, with no tax increases, and pass Redistricting in historic fashion. I am so proud off all the efforts put forth to make this year’s session a success. Both sides of the aisle worked diligently to make this happen and all deserve credit. Missourians should be proud of the leadership displayed to the entire country by our elected legislators.

During the past 72 days of legislative session, many events have weighed on the minds of the Legislature; indeed the entire country and the world.
  • Gabrielle Giffords shooting on January 8, 2011
    We are so thankful for the continued recovery of the Congresswoman from Arizona.
  • Earthquake/Tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011
    Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan as they continue to recover from one of the worst natural disasters in recorded history. The manner in which the people of Japan have dealt with this catastrophe should stand as a model of behavior for the rest of the world.
  • Tornadoes and Flooding Ravaging the Midwest
    Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been impacted by these tragic weather events. We thank those dedicated volunteers and public servants credited with providing some level of comfort through their ongoing relief efforts.

Fulfilling our Responsibility

I am so proud of the work completed by the 96th General Assembly. It was a true humbling honor to lead the Republican Caucus and the entire House Floor as the Majority Leader. We were able to pass legislation placing Missouri not only on a strong economic path, but a strong moral path as well. The following is a list of the legislation instrumental in forging this path, most of which was passed in an overwhelming bipartisan fashion.

Right to Life

SS SCS HB 213, which I wholeheartedly sponsored as the Chief Sponsor, was truly agreed to and finally passed by the heartfelt, overwhelming bipartisan majority of 117 to 30. Hopefully this legislation will begin the process of altering how our value of life in the womb is reflected in our laws, rather than continuing to allow this barbaric practice to continue. The struggle for life begins at conception and deserves to be protected. Continuing to disregard the miracle of life as if it were an inconvenience is incomprehensible. Unnaturally, and deliberately, ending the life of a child struggling to live is wrong. It is time to give that child the same right to life that you and I enjoy. This is a step in that direction and given the Governor’s track record on supporting life issues, I am confidently optimistic that he will gladly sign HB213 as soon as possible.


We can all be extremely proud of the work accomplished by the 96th General Assembly on passing a balanced budget. The fiscal year 2012 budget heavily funds our state’s most important priorities without increasing the tax burden on our already economically strapped citizens. This required an enormous bipartisan effort and was a huge accomplishment. The most impressive aspect about the development of the 2012 budget was our ability to hold the funding for K-12 at 2011 levels while increasing transportation funding for school districts. While the effort to do this has been impressive, an even more impressive effort will be required to prepare our state for future budget shortfalls as the struggle to recover from our nation’s recession continues. In Missouri, smart, conservative budgeting has proven to provide the type of stability necessary, not only to survive this economic recession, but to actually see some growth in revenue. Continuing this economic policy in the future will place Missouri in an enviable economic environment of growth.

Congressional Redistricting

Missouri’s Congressional redistricting bill (HB 193) was passed by the House and the Senate finally agreed to a final compromise map to complete the constitutional duty of the State Legislature in drafting eight new Congressional Districts for our State (CCS SS HCS HB 193). As many of you are aware, it is the duty of the General Assembly to complete the task of Congressional Redistricting every ten years, following the national census. After weeks of stalemate and tense negotiations, a valuable compromise was finally reached as both Chambers passed a final proposed map with overwhelming majorities of support. This bill, CCS SS HCS HB 193, was vetoed by the Governor. Since the Governor decided not to heed the work of the Legislature, in order to prevent this issue from going to the Courts and being decided by unelected judges, the House and Senate, in historic fashion, voted to override the Governor’s veto. This is a serious matter that affects every single person in the State. Hundreds of hours went into the process and the final product is a fair, compact, contiguous map that is good for all of the citizens of our State. The representative will of the people drew and passed the new Congressional District map and then overrode the Governor’s veto. The courts will not draw the district lines; the elected representatives of the people have done so, as is our constitutional duty.

Jobs Jobs Jobs

The 96th General Assembly passed numerous pieces of legislation designed to improve Missouri’s ability to compete for jobs. The Elimination of the Corporate Franchise Tax, with the passage of SB 19, is just one of those measures. This is a huge step for business development in Missouri and will ensure future job growth. Especially in a tough economy, businesses are interested in locating and expanding in states where it is cheaper and easier to do business.

Big Government Get Off My Back

The passage of SS SCS HCS HB 45 changes the laws regarding the Big Government Get Off My Back Act and provides additional incentives for responsible businesses that provide health benefits to those new, full-time employees. In particular, there is a $10,000 tax incentive for each new full-time job created or a $20,000 incentive for each new full-time job created when the business offers health insurance and pays at least 50% of the premiums of all full-time employees. The bill also seeks to limit and reduce the amount of regulations that Government forces onto small businesses that simply cause them to spend time doing paperwork instead of growing their enterprise. This bill is a positive step in the direction of strengthening Missouri small businesses, encouraging growth and providing needed jobs for Missourians

2nd Amendment Rights

The 96th General Assembly has also taken steps to protect and advance our 2nd Amendment rights. Missouri is currently the only state that requires someone to be 23 before they are able to obtain a conceal and carry permit. This bill [HB294] reduces that age requirement to 21 in order to be in step with states around us. This bill also restricts the ability to raise the price of ammunition through a higher sales tax in order to make the purchase of ammunition difficult and reduce sales. As well, this bill reduces the red tape involved in the purchase of firearms out of state, alleviating unnecessary costs.

Prop B Fix

After much debate and testimony from both sides on the issue, what was sent to the Governor will provide better protections for dogs and allow good dog breeders to stay in business. The consensus from both sides agreed that leaving Prop B as it was would result in the loss of thousands of jobs in Missouri. The final fix, provided by the “Canine Cruelty Prevention Act” (SB 161), was an agreement that satisfied every stakeholder involved including dogs. Rather than a tuck, dogs across Missouri are now sporting a wag and I am pleased to report that EVERY Missouri animal rights group and EVERY Missouri agricultural and dog breeding group ALL supported the final legislative solution.


After a long journey, SS SCS HCS HB’s 73 and 47 were truly agreed to and finally passed. Giving your tax dollars to drug using parents who are benefiting from our welfare system is not the answer to their economic and unemployment problems. By forcing them to enter drug treatment, or stop using, we end up with a win-win situation. Maintaining employment becomes an issue for drug users. By ending this cycle of abuse and unemployment, they become more productive, gainfully employed, and better able to provide for their families. Supporting their habits with your tax dollars defeats the whole purpose of providing support and likely exacerbates the reason they are unemployed to begin with; drug use.

Voter Identification

Many people throughout our nation’s history have spent their lives fighting for the right to vote. To continue to allow liberal voting regulations can only result in a loss of integrity of the entire system and denies the right to have your vote counted. If we have an opposing view, if I vote once and you vote twice, my vote did not count. We want everyone to have the right to vote, AND, ensure that everyone only casts ONE ballot. SB 3 and SJR 2 accomplish this goal.

Visiting the Capitol

I always enjoy it when constituents visit the Capitol and want to thank all who make the journey. If you ever find yourself in or around Jefferson City at any time during the year, please feel free to visit us! Stop by the Majority Leader’s Office in Room 302 and we will be happy to meet and greet you!

Personal News & Notes

At left: With the three most important women in my life, Suzanne, Katie and Abby.

If you know anyone who would be interested in receiving this Capitol Report, they can click the “Capitol Report Signup” button on my member home page at and enter the appropriate information to receive the Capitol Report.

As this Legislative Session ends, I am ever thankful to my entire Capitol staff, Jody, Tom and Tad! I also am ever grateful to the folks who have kept everything running smoothly in my absence, Suzanne, Katie and Abby at the homestead, and of course, my great partners and colleagues at my law firm of DosterUllom, LLC. When the Session ends today at 6:00pm, I am looking forward to travelling home to West St. Louis County as soon as possible. Although I am running on fumes and near complete exhaustion, I am extremely happy of the prospect of holding the three most important women in my life, Suzanne, Katie and Abby, in my arms and knowing that precious family time is just around the next bend. Finally, if we can ever be of any assistance to you at your State Capitol, during the coming Summer months even while we are in the Interim Session, please do not hesitate to contact us at: 573.751.0562 or you can reach my primary assistant, Jody, at: jody{dot}williams{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov.

Until our next update, I am, and remain, in your service,

Carter: Food Stamps Withheld From Drug Felons, New Abortion Restrictions Unlikely To Make Difference, Voters Face Disenfranchisement


In 1996 Congress passed a law that set a life-time ban on receiving food stamps for men and women who commit drug related felonies even after they have served their time. A provision of that law allows states to opt out of it, if so declared by their state legislatures. Since passage, forty states have opted out of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, and it is my sincere belief that Missouri should be 41, that is why I have proposed HB 509 for consideration of the Missouri House of Representatives.

I believe that providing food stamps for all people living in poverty is critical to preventing hunger and I believe it is unconscionable that we would deny this basic service to people who have already repaid their debt to society. Ephesians 4:32 declares "be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you." Yet Christian goodwill is not the only reason for opting out of this lifetime ban.

First, rehabilitated felons already have enough barriers to overcome. They often have a harder time finding gainful employment both because of the inequities in opportunities and education that made them vulnerable to crime in the first place and because of the fact that they have served time. Denying them the ability to feed themselves and their families on top of the burden they already bear has one inevitable consequence; unable to succeed within this system they return to a life of crime. Not only are these people's and their families' lives plunged deeper in dispair, the community bears the costs of more crime, more cases on already overloaded dockets, and more money spent locking up people the state has already paid to rehabilitate.

Secondly, according to the USDA every $1 spent in food stamps provides a $1.73 in economic activity for the community in which it is spent. By denying food stamps to drug-related felons, Missouri is effectively denying over $7 million in economic stimulus direct to our most impoverished communities.

Finally, this law does not only hurt felons, it hurts children. It hurts children who already live in poverty, who, by and large, attend substandard schools and live in crime ridden neighborhoods and have undergone the trauma having a parent in prison. The basic principle of equality demands that we should strive to provide every American with an equal chance of success, a level playing field and a fair starting point, so that their own skills and abilities and not the circumstances of their entry into this world determines their success or failure in life. This law is entirely contrary to this principle, feigning reverence for responsibility when in fact acting to perpetuate the inequalities in society by adding yet another burden to drug-related felons.

This law does nothing to bar rapists, murderers, and child molesters from receiving food-stamps, only drug-related felons. My proposal only allows these drug-related felons to receive food stamps after they have successfully completed or are participating in an approved drug treatment program and are complying with requirements of their parole.

This federal law does not work. It is so bad that 80% of states have opted out, and it is time for Missouri to do the same. This is legislation, that provides help to some of Missouri's most at-risk populations while stimulating the economy, and reducing crime. I call on the House Republican leadership to defend their refusal to consider this critical piece of common sense legislation.

House Actions of of 5/06/11
# House Bills Filed1,060
# HBs Reported Do Pass212
# HBs Reported Do Pass Consent100
# HBs Perfected205
# HBs Third Read103
# HBs Reported Do Pass in the Senate138
# HBs Third Read in the Senate29
# HBs TAFP47

Speaker of the House Steve Tilley, Chris Carter, Jr., and Representative Chris Carter, III

State Releases April 2011 General Revenue Report

State Budget Director Linda Luebbering announced that 2011 fiscal year-to-date net general revenue collections increased 3.4 percent compared to 2010, from $5.67 billion last year to $5.86 billion this year.

Net general revenue collections for April 2011 decreased by 11.0 percent compared to those for April 2010, from $986.8 million to $878.4 million.

Director Luebbering also noted the General Revenue Fund has repaid the $150 million borrowed during fiscal year 2011 from the Budget Reserve Fund, well ahead of the Constitutional deadline of May 15th.


Individual income tax collections
  • Increased 2.8 percent for the year, from $4.61 billion last year to $4.74 billion this year.
  • Increased 0.7 percent for the month.
Sales and use tax collections
  • Increased 0.2 percent for the year from $1.46 billion last year to $1.47 billion this year.
  • Decreased 5.1 percent for the month.
Corporate income and corporate franchise tax collections
  • Increased 4.2 percent for the year, from $404.4 million last year to $421.5 million this year.
  • Decreased 8.1 percent for the month.
All other collections
  • Increased 16.9 percent for the year, from $362.3 million last year to $423.4 million this year.
  • Increased 20.9 percent for the month.
  • Increased 1.5 percent for the year, from $1.17 billion last year to $1.19 billion this year.
  • Increased 84.6 percent for the month.


Performing a late-term abortion of a viable fetus for the general purpose of protecting a woman's health would be illegal under legislation that cleared the General Assembly on May 12. The House of Representatives sent the bill, SB 65, to the governor on a 121-33 vote; it previously passed the Senate 27-5.

Under the bill, abortions of a viable fetus performed after 20 weeks of gestation would only be allowed to protect a woman's life or to prevent permanent physical impairment. However, it is unlikely the bill's requirements would ever be violated. According to The Associated Press, of 6,881 abortions performed in Missouri in 2009, only 63 were performed after 20 weeks and none of those fetuses were viable.


The General Assembly on May 4 overrode Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of bill to establish new congressional district boundaries that will last for the next 10 years. In rejecting the bill on April 30, Nixon rejected said the redistricting plan "does not adequately protect the interests of all Missourians." The override passed 109-44 in the House of Representatives and 28-6 in the Senate.

Because Republicans hold a solid veto-proof majority in the Senate, there was little doubt an override in that chamber would be successful. However, House Republicans control four fewer seats than the 109 needed to override. While three Democrats had consistently voted with Republicans on the redistricting bill, HB 193, that still left them one short for an override. However, a fourth Democrat, state Rep. Jonas Hughes of Kansas City, who previously opposed the bill switched sides to cast the deciding vote.

Based on the 2010 U.S. Census, Missouri will lose a congressional district in 2013, dropping from nine to eight. HB 193 essentially eliminates the district currently held by U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis. The new congressional map, which remains subject to a potential court challenge, provides for six reliably Republican seats and two safely Democratic seats.

Successful veto overrides are rare in Missouri. This was just the 23rd in state history and the first since the General Assembly overrode Gov. Bob Holden on a trio of bills in 2003.


Gov. Jay Nixon on April 29 vetoed legislation that would have weakened the Missouri Human Rights Acts by making it more difficult for victims to bring and prove workplace discrimination lawsuits against their employers and limiting damage awards in cases that are proved. In his veto message, Nixon said the bill, SB 188, "represents a significant retreat from the basic principles of fairness embodied in the Missouri Human Rights Act and erects unacceptable impediments to those victimized by discrimination."

Weakening state laws against workplace discrimination was a top legislative priority for the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and the state's other leading business groups this year. Supporters of SB 188 said it would make Missouri more "business friendly," but opponents said it would merely provide legal protections to bad behavior by bad employers at the expense of victims. As of May 5, the General Assembly had made no effort to override Nixon's veto.


The House of Representatives has approved legislation that could disenfranchise tens of thousands of Missouri voters. The measure passed 102-55 on a near-party vote.

Then, On May 9 the Senate voted 25-9 in favor of a proposed constitutional amendment that would authorize the General Assembly to require voters to show government-issued photo identification in order to vote. The measure will now automatically go on the November 2012 ballot.

Missouri Republicans have been trying to enact a photo voter ID requirement for five years. The Missouri Supreme Court struck down a 2006 photo voter ID law because it violated the voting rights provisions of the state constitution. A constitutional amendment, if ratified by voters, specifically granting lawmakers the authority to impose a photo voter ID requirement would essentially nullify the court's ruling.

The proposed amendment, SJR 2, also contains provisions establishing early voting procedures, even though a constitutional change for that purpose is unnecessary since lawmakers already have the authority to enact early voting legislation. Photo voter ID supporters coupled the issue with early voting in an effort to woo support from voters who might oppose photo ID as a stand-alone measure.

The General Assembly also granted final passage to a companion bill, SB 3, that would actually impose the photo voter ID requirement and allow for early voting, although it wouldn't take effect unless voters approve SJR 2. Unlike SJR 2, however, SB 3 is subject to a veto by Gov. Jay Nixon, and House Democrats have requested he do so.


A massive tax-incentive bill [HB840] that includes $360 million in credits aimed at spurring foreign trade through Lambert-St. Louis International Airport got the initial endorsement of the Missouri Senate on Thursday.

The portion of the legislation focused on turning the airport into a center for Chinese cargo flights, known as the "Aerotropolis Trade Incentive and Tax Credit Act," would provide tax breaks to companies engaging in foreign trade and subsidize the construction of millions of square feet of warehouse and factory space in several areas across the St. Louis region.

After hours of debate that began Wednesday night, senators agreed to send the bill, which promises to save $1.5 billion over the next 15 years by reducing or eliminating numerous current tax credits, to the chamber's fiscal review committee.

To reach the $1.5 billion in savings over 15 years, the bill would implement several changes to the state's overall tax credit program suggested by the Tax Credit Review Commission that was empaneled last year. The legislation would reduce the size of annual awards through the historic preservation tax credit program to $75 million from $140 million. It would also limit the tax credits to $50,000 per project for renovation of residential property and prohibit stacking historic preservation credits with low-income housing credits.

Representative Chris Carter and Representative Jamilah Nasheed address students

Denison: Drug Testing, Bath Salt Ban, Foster Parent Legislation

“To find what you seek in the road of life, the best proverb of all is that which says: “Leave no stone unturned.” – Edward Bulwer Lytton

Drug Testing for TANF Recipients (HB 73)

During the flurry of activity that marked the final week of the legislative session several priority bills received final approval from the General Assembly. Among them is a bill that would allow welfare applicants and recipients to be tested for drug use.

The legislation would allow applicants and recipients to be tested if case workers with the Department of Social Services have a reasonable suspicion of drug use. The penalty for a failed drug test would be a loss of benefits for three years. However, individuals who fail a test could avoid a loss of benefits by completing a substance abuse treatment program. It’s also important to point out that individuals who lose their benefits will not cause their children to lose benefits as well. Under the bill, the state would select a third party to receive benefits for the children of an individual who fails a drug test.

With this we hope to keep taxpayer money from subsidizing someone’s illegal drug use and also provide the assistance that will help these individuals deal with their drug problem.

Ban on K2 Alternatives and Bath Salts (HB 641)

Another bill that received final approval from the legislature this week would outlaw synthetic drugs that mimic the effects of cocaine and marijuana. These products have been marketed to young people as “bath salts” and incense and have resulted in a number of medical emergencies around the state. The bath salts in particular have proven to be very dangerous with side effects similar to those of cocaine, which causes users to hallucinate and become violent. It’s an issue the members of our law enforcement community have been forced to deal with far too often.

The bill we passed is designed to keep these products out of the hands of our young people. It would add to the list of schedule I controlled substances several forms of stimulants, including "bath salts," and hallucinogenic synthetic cannabinoids (K2 alternatives). Possession of more than 35 grams of the substances would be a class C felony. We hope by criminalizing these substances that we can keep them out of stores, off the streets and out of the hands of our young people.

Protecting Farmers from Excessive Lawsuits (SB 187)

A piece of legislation that has already been signed into law by the governor will limit nuisance lawsuits against Missouri farmers. The legislature had approved a previous version of the bill that was vetoed by the governor because he felt it applied to more than just crop and animal production operations. The revised version of the bill makes it clear that Missourians who own farming operations won’t be subjected to repeated lawsuits.

Before this change, Missouri law allowed for nuisance lawsuits to be brought again and again for a problem that is not fixed. The bill we passed changes the standard so a reoccurring nuisance is classified as permanent. In these cases, damages will be based on the reduction in the fair market value of the property. The bill also allows plaintiffs to recover damages for medical conditions that can be proven to be caused by the nuisance.

The primary reason for this change is the need to protect farmers and farming operations from being forced out of business by an inordinate number of lawsuits. It is important to make it clear that the legislation does not take away anyone’s right to sue. Instead, it limits the ability of an individual to file the same lawsuit time and time again. We hope this change will give the folks in our agriculture industry a better opportunity to stay in business.

Foster Parent Legislation (HB 604)

Another piece of legislation on its way to the governor’s desk would make some important changes to our foster care system. The bill started out in the House as a simple measure designed to protect the rights of parents with disabilities. The bill simply said that unless a child is put at risk because of the disease or disability of a prospective parent then these conditions should not be factors in determining the fitness of potential adoptive parents. This minor change will make a big difference for the many Missourians living with disabilities who can also serve as loving, nurturing adoptive parents.

The bill also grew in scope as it passed through the process. The final version allows Missourians to donate part of their tax refunds to the newly-created Foster Care and Adoptive Parents Recruitment and Retention Fund. The fund will be used to support foster care and adoptions in Missouri. The bill also creates a task force to study the extent to which changes in the system of recruiting, licensing, and retaining foster and adoptive parents would enhance the effectiveness of the system statewide. The task force will report its findings with recommendations by December 1, 2011, to the General Assembly and the governor.

Religious Freedom in Public Places (HJR 2)

Another piece of legislation approved by the General Assembly will appear on the November 2012 ballot for voter approval. The proposed constitutional amendment would protect and expand the rights of Missourians to pray in public places. Specifically, it would allow people to pray in public places as long as their actions do not disturb the peace. It also would allow students to express their religious beliefs in assignments free from discrimination and would protect them from being compelled to participate in assignments that violate their beliefs. In addition, it would reaffirm the right of employees and elected officials of the State of Missouri to pray on government premises and public property. We believe this change is needed to reaffirm our rights to pray in public without worry about potential legal consequences. Next year, voters will have the option to make this change a permanent part of the Missouri Constitution.

Strengthening Human Trafficking Laws (HB 214)

Another bill awaiting the governor’s approval would help law enforcement more effectively deal with horrific crimes that many Missourians believe happen only in other parts of the world. The sad truth is that the crime of human trafficking occurs right here within the borders of our state. Horrifying stories of enslavement and sexual exploitation have happened in recent years in Kansas City and even in smaller cities like Lebanon. Women and children have had their lives destroyed by individuals who exploited them for profit. These are actions we simply cannot tolerate within our state. Sadly, our laws have lagged behind in effectively addressing these awful crimes.

The legislation we passed this year would strengthen the penalties for human trafficking. The measure also would create longer maximum prison terms for offenses such as trafficking for forced labor and sexual exploitation. In addition, the bill would provide additional protections for victims of trafficking and require offenders to pay restitution to their victims. We believe this legislation will give our law enforcement officials the tools necessary to crack down on the immoral individuals who perpetrate these crimes.

Preventing Late-Term Abortions (HB 213)

A piece of pro-life legislation that received overwhelming bipartisan support in the General Assembly is on its way to the governor’s desk. The bill will ensure late-term abortions are not performed in Missouri unless the mother’s life is endangered or the pregnancy poses a serious risk of a permanent physical impairment.

The legislation will make it illegal to abort a fetus deemed capable of living outside the womb. Specifically, it would ban abortions after 20 weeks unless two doctors verify that a fetus is either not viable or constitutes a medical threat to the mother. Doctors would use tests of the fetus' gestational age, weight and lung function. For a fetus found to be unviable, a doctor would be required to report to the state why the child was unviable after performing the abortion. Doctors who violate the law could spend up to seven years in prison and be fined up to $50,000.

With these provisions we can ensure an abortion is an option pursued only when it is absolutely medically necessary. We know there are few abortions performed after 20 weeks but it is in the best interest of all Missourians who value life to make it clear that these abortions cannot be performed unless they represent the only way to save the life of the mother.

Although the 96th 1st Regular Session is finished, if you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office. Best wishes.

Sater: Contractor Set to Begin Work to Repair Flood-Damaged Route 413 South of Galena

MoDOT, District 8, Springfield -- A contractor has been hired and contractor crews plan to begin work immediately to repair flood-damaged Route 413 south of Galena, the Missouri Department of Transportation said.

The work will begin today (Friday, May 13) and is expected to be completed by Thursday, May 26.

The damaged 250-foot long section of road lies between Shoals Lane and Wilson Creek Road about two miles south of Galena.

Heavy rains during the week of April 25 saturated the ground underneath a portion of Route 413 and caused the east side of the road to crack and drop 3 inches to 5 inches.

Contractor crews will remove the rain-saturated soil that gave way and replace it with rock. Crews will then lay new asphalt and restripe the pavement.

That stretch of Route 413, which also carries Route 248 and Route 265 traffic, will remain closed until the repairs can be made.

Drivers can use other nearby state highways to get around the closing, including Route 176 and Route 13.

The school district, emergency responders and the post office have been notified of the road closing and are using other routes to serve the area.

Emery Sapp and Sons of Columbia will do the work for a low bid amount of $108,937.

Kelley: Revised Nuisance Lawsuit Bill Signed By Governor

At left: with eighth-graders from Marion C. Early school

Thank you all so much for allowing me to represent the 126th district, it’s been my honor to serve you here in Jefferson City.

The pace has markedly picked up the last week of Session. We were told to expect it to be hectic as everyone scrambles to beat the deadline of 6:00 pm Friday. Those predictions came true as legislators hurried from committee meetings to floor debate to private meetings hoping to get their list of priorities passed. Adding to the activity are conference committee meetings taking place as compromises between the House and Senate are reached.

This time of year, when a bill is passed by the legislature, it is usually not sent to the Governor right away. This gives him ample time to review the bills before making a decision whether to sign or veto them. The Speaker of the House and President Pro Tem of the Senate will each come back to Jefferson City after session ends for the purpose of signing bills that passed. They will each sign the bills that originated in their respective chambers. Then they will trade and sign the bills from the other chamber. They finally go to the Governor.

Breaking from this tradition, the legislature sent SB187 to the Governor’s desk this week. This is the bill which helps protect farmers from being sued simply for going about the business of farming. This issue has recently become more urgent as an out of state attorney has come into Missouri for the purpose of bringing lawsuits against livestock producers. In one case he convinced a person who has lived next to a family hog farm since 1963 to sue the hog farm. The family farm has been there since the 1800’s but this family still must defend themselves from a needless lawsuit. I am amazed at how we have a shortage of jobs and economic development, yet when someone invests money and create jobs, they get sued.

Governor Nixon had originally vetoed HB209 which was the companion bill to SB187 over a couple minor issues. Since SB187 had already passed the Senate, we made the changes Governor Nixon wanted and sent it back to the Senate. They passed it with the new language and sent it straight to his desk where he promptly signed it.

Any bill not passed by 6:00 pm Friday dies at that point and can no longer be considered. Lawmakers will head home until Veto Session convenes in September when Regular Session begins again in January, bills will be introduced and the process started anew.

This week I had the privilege to meet the eighth grade class from Marion C. Early from Morrisville. They came up to the capitol for their annual field trip, I took them to the top of the dome and showed them around the capitol building. I was able to introduce them on the House floor and they got to watch their legislators decide the laws of their state.

Lichtenegger: One Day To Go In Session

Today is the last day of session, and the House calendar is full of bills yet to be debated and voted upon. Since this Capitol Report will be distributed before our work is complete, the first Capitol Report that I will send out in June will contain the End-of-Session report published by the Missouri House of Represetatives. In that report you will find short summaries of significant bills that were passed out of both the House and Senate along with those that were defeated.

The following list represents a few of the most recent legislative activities:
  • It was very gratifying to get my first bill, HB 591 -the dental teaching license, passed with no other amendments attached. I’ve been told that it’s rare for a Freshman legislator to get a bill passed in a “clean-bill” condition.
  • HB 73 is known as the "TANF Child Protection and Drug Free Home Act". It requires Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) applicants and recipients to be drug tested when a case worker has a reasonable suspicion of illegal drug use. Individuals who fail or refuse the test would receive benefits only by completing a substance abuse treatment program and not failing another test.

    Representative Ellen Brandom of Sikeston has sponsored this bill for the past three years. It has always passed in the House but failed in the Senate. This year she got it through! I believe this is a very important piece of legislation. We will be protecting the children in a drug-problem household plus making the parents with the drug problem get their lives straight for the sake of their families. I was very excited that this bill passed by both houses.
  • HB 340 should be of particular interest to Cape Girardeau County leaders. This bill was passed with a Senate amendment specific to Cape Girardeau. It allows counties of any classification to erect and maintain a jail or holding cell facility at a site other than the county seat. (Currently, only fourth classification and certain third classification counties are allowed this option.)
  • The House Committee Substitute for SB 243 -which modifies provisions relating to educational resources and services- passed the House and is on its way to the Governor to sign. This bill is important to the schools in our state that are struggling in the current educational system. We are blessed in that the Cape Girardeau and Perry Counties’ schools are excellent schools, graduating well-prepared students.


The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is making life easier for Southeast Missouri flood victims by providing two waivers: One waiver gives residents and communities affected by flooding additional flexibility in cleaning up. It will allow vegetative waste, such as brush and yard waste, which normally is excluded from permitted sanitary landfills, to be taken to such landfills if the landfill agrees to accept the waste.

The other will waive all camping fees for displaced families. Camping fees will be waived at the Trail of Tears State Park near Jackson and Lake Wappapello State Park. This first-come-first-served, 30-day waiver applies to those with access to a camper and their own camping equipment. Persons requesting the fee-waiver need to provide documentation form a governmental or charitable organization certifying that they have been displaced by flooding in a declared Missouri county. Such persons are encouraged to contact the park superintendent at either Trail of Tears State Park (573-290-5340) or Lake Wappapello State Park (573-297-3232) to make arrangements for camping.

The department also is encouraging residents to recycle appliances damaged in the storm, but in cases where it is impractical to separate the appliances from other storm debris, the department is also allowing these items to be taken to a landfill. However, the landfill must be willing to accept the appliances.

DNR is calling on cities and counties to coordinate collection of damaged appliances so refrigerants can be legally recovered from air conditioners, freezers and refrigerators before recycling.

The waiver also allows for the burning of vegetative waste resulting from the storms as long as it is burned on the property where it originated. For additional information regarding the wavier -which will be in effect until May 23- link here to view the Executive Order and for a fact sheet on proper disposal of storm debris and other related information use this link: Natural Disaster Resources.

Residents or businesses involved in storm debris cleanup should call the Department of Natural Resource’s Southeast Regional Office at 573-840-9750 for additional information or clarification of the waiver.

Constituent Corner

There will be a MODOT public forum 4-6 p.m., May 18 at the Perryville Park Center to discuss the transportation department’s 5-year plan which includes closing several maintenance facilities in Southeast Missouri.

Nance: Last-Minute Work On Four Bills

At right: Representative Chris Carter, St. Louis City, and I sharing a happy moment with the passage of a bill we worked on together.

In the District

MoDOT has a meeting scheduled for May 18th at the Richmond High School. Discussion will pertain to the closing of the Excelsior Springs and Millville Facilities and the moving of a Resident Engineer from the Ray County Facility. Meeting begins at 5:00. The complete list of community briefings can be found at

We are working at a very fast pace this week passing numerous bills before the session ends on Friday. Below are some bills that passed this week as of Thursday.

Bills that I have proposed that passed on other bills as amendments were

Prohibits a residential contractor from advertising or promising to pay or rebate all or any portion of an insurance deductible as an inducement to the sale of goods or services. This will protect consumers from “fly by night” contractors.

Increases the amount in controversy from less than $3,000 to less than $5,000 for a case where the judge of a small claims court will have original jurisdiction. This bill will give people an opportunity to have their case heard in court without having to hire a lawyer.

Requires the Department of Social Services to establish an administrative renewal process for a child eligible for MO HealthNet or State Children's Health Insurance Program benefits. This allows more efficiency in keeping our children healthy.

Authorizes the City of Excelsior Springs to impose, upon voter approval, a retail sales tax of up to 1% for the purpose of funding a community center and retiring any bonds issued for funding the center. This will give the Council and citizens an opportunity to decide on the need of a community center.

Other Truly Agreed and Finally Passed Bills

The Missouri House has given final approval to several pieces of legislation. Some of the bills sent to the governor’s desk would require drug testing for TANF recipients and applicants, ban K2 alternatives and synthetic cocaine being sold as bath salts, and increase penalties for human trafficking.

House members approved HB 73 by a vote of 113-34. Known as the "TANF Child Protection and Drug Free Home Act", the bill would require Temporary Assistance for Needy Families applicants and recipients to be drug tested when a case worker has a reasonable suspicion of illegal drug use. Individuals who fail or refuse the test would receive benefits only by completing a substance abuse treatment program and not failing another test.

House members also approved HB 641 that would add to the list of schedule I controlled substances several forms of stimulants, including "bath salts," and hallucinogenic synthetic cannabinoids (K2 alternatives). Possession of more than 35 grams of the substances would be a class C felony. The House approved HB 641 by a vote of 143-13.

In addition, the House gave final approval to legislation that would increase the penalties for individuals guilty of human trafficking. The bill would increase the penalties and add a monetary fine not to exceed $250,000 for all of the human trafficking crimes. It also would enhance the penalty for the crimes of trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation and sexual trafficking of a child if the crimes were affected by force, abduction, or coercion. HB 214 was approved by a vote of 154-0.

12 May 2011

Mayer: Legislature Sends Two Bills Preventing Late-Term Abortions to the Governor

Senate Bill 65 & HB213 Protects Viable Fetuses of 20 Weeks or More

JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri General Assembly today advanced two identical measures to the governor’s desk for his consideration. Senate Leader Robert N. Mayer, R-Dexter, sponsored the Senate bill and handled the House bill that would change provisions relating to abortions in Missouri with respect to viability. Senate Bill 65 and House Bill 213 would prevent the abortion of unborn babies of the gestational age of 20 weeks or more that are determined by a physician to be viable outside of the womb.

“This measure is particularly important to me in that it serves to ensure that babies capable of sustaining life outside of the womb are not subject to such an unnecessary and horrific end to their life,” said Mayer.

The legislation would, with the exception of a medical emergency, require the physician to determine the gestational age of the unborn child before performing an abortion. If the doctor determines the baby is 20 weeks or more, the physician would test for viability. If viable, no abortion could be performed unless it is necessary to preserve the life of the woman.

If the unborn child is 20 weeks or more, not determined viable, and an abortion is performed, the bill requires the doctor to submit a report to the Department of Health and Senior Services.

“At 20 weeks, a baby is approximately the length of a banana, she can hear sounds and even covers her ears with her hands if things are too noisy, and her twisting, turning, punching and kicking movements can start to be felt by the mother,” said Mayer. “State law already requires mothers to be informed about other alternatives to abortion. These bills go further by preventing an abortion from being performed later in the gestation period if the unborn baby is able to live outside the womb.”

Penalties for violating the provisions of this bill would include a Class C felony, and physicians who plead guilty to or are convicted of performing or inducing an abortion in violation of this act could be subject to having their license to practice medicine in Missouri suspended for three years. Also, any hospital or ambulatory surgical center that knowingly violates this act could be subject to suspension or revocation of its license.

Both bills now move to the governor’s desk for his consideration.

Mayer: Lawmakers Send Concussion Awareness and Brain Injury Prevention Act to the Governor

HB300 Endorsed by the NFL, Including Former St. Louis Ram Mike Jones

Jefferson City – Students athletes must sit out of play after suffering a concussion until a doctor signs off on their return thanks to an awareness and prevention initiative the General Assembly today approved and sent to the governor. Several state lawmakers and the National Football League (NFL) championed House Bill 300 that would create the “Interscholastic Youth Sports Brain Injury Prevention Act” to educate and protect student athletes from the risks of concussions and other brain injuries.

Senate Leader Robert N. Mayer, R-Dexter, handled the bill in the Senate where it passed by a vote of 33 to 1.

“Today, we know that some brain injuries are the result of young athletes continuing to play a sport after they have suffered a concussion,” said Mayer. “By educating them, their parents and coaches, we can better protect these students from life-altering brain injuries.”

“With up to 18 percent of all high school sports being contact sports and with up to 19 percent of all the athletes in those contact sports receiving a concussion (over 62,000 of them),” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger, R-Lake St. Louis. “I feel it is high time our coaches, athletes and parents know the symptoms of a concussion - when in doubt set them out.”

Under the bill, student athletes suspected of sustaining a concussion or brain injury must stop play for at least 24 hours and could not return without written permission from a medical professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussions. Plus, student athlete’s parents would be required to sign a concussion and brain injury information sheet prior to participation in any practice or competition.

The act also requires the Department of Health and Senior Services to work with school boards, the Missouri State High School Activities Association, and an organization that provides support services for brain injuries to implement educational information for youth athletes on the risks of concussions and other brain injuries. The department and organizations must develop guidelines, and forms to educate coaches, student athletes, and their parents or guardians on the nature and risks of concussions and other brain injuries by the end of the year. The materials they produce must include information on continuing to play after a concussion.

Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, sponsored a similar bill in the Senate and said the sooner these common sense guidelines are put in place, the sooner we will reduce the number of brain injuries stemming from contact sports.

“Education is half the battle,” said Schaaf. “The more our student athletes, their parents and coaches know, the better decisions they will make when faced with the symptoms.”

The NFL is supportive of the awareness and prevention effort, helping champion similar legislation in at least ten other states this year.

“The league has strict return-to-play guidelines that apply to some of the best athletes in the world,” Kenneth Edmonds, Director of Government Relations and Public Policy for the NFL, told a Senate committee earlier this month. “We believe a similar approach is necessary when dealing with some of the youngest athletes. This legislation does that.”

Former linebacker for the World Champion St. Louis Rams and current Lincoln University Head Football Coach Mike Jones also testified in support of the bill earlier this month.

“We are learning today that returning to play with a sprained ankle or a swollen knee is one thing; returning to play before being fully recovered from a concussion or other head injury is a great deal more serious,” Jones said to senators at a hearing. “Young athletes and their parents need to be educated on the symptoms and dangers of concussions and should not be allowed to return without medical clearance. That is what this bill is about.”

If signed by the governor, the bill would take effect August 28.

Engler: Legislative Session Draws to a Close

At this writing, we are getting into the end of the legislative session. However, that does not mean that work is drawing to a close. As in past years, there is a mad dash by many in the Capitol to get legislation passed in the final hours and even minutes of the session. At this hour, it is hard to say if negotiations will be successful on several key pieces of legislation.

In these final days of session, we have been busy working on legislation. This includes one of the measures I drafted. The national Republican and Democratic parties have requested that several states move the date of their 2012 presidential primary. Senate Bill 282 would move the Missouri primary from Feb. 7 to March 6. The bill now needs the governor’s signature to become law.

Another piece of legislation I worked on this year is Senate Bill 226, which relates to ambulance districts. Specifically, the bill would allow members of ambulance districts to be recalled. The bill would also allow an ambulance district to choose whether to go to the voters with a sales tax or property tax to fund a new district. Currently, the district can only go to the voters with a property tax and has to go back to the voters a second time to change to a sales tax.

Several other important measures have been approved by the Legislature and sent to the governor’s desk. These include:
  • House Bill 641, which would outlaw certain controlled substances. There has been some confusion about this bill because it outlaws “bath salts.” These substances are not the Epson salts that are actually used in a bath, instead they are synthetic forms of cocaine and methamphetamine that are marketed as “bath salts” to avoid the need for Federal Drug Administration approval. Under the legislation, these substances will be treated as the dangerous drugs that they are.
  • House Bill 73, which would allow the state to screen and test suspected drug-users receiving cash from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Under the measure, if a recipient is suspected of using drugs, the Department of Social Services could test the individual. If they are found to be using drugs and do not go into treatment, they would lose their TANF benefits.
  • House Bill 648, which continues work I started several years ago. Up until recently, many state agencies were still using the terms “retarded” or “retardation.” These terms are now considered offensive to the developmentally disabled, and after I proposed legislation to change this, the governor signed an executive order to strike the use of these terms from state agencies. The provisions of HB 648 takes this further by changing any references to these terms in current state law.
Session officially ends Friday, May 13th at 6:00 pm. We will send out an update next week on the Truly Agreed and Finally Passed bills.

Senator Engler’s Capitol office staff for the 2011 legislative session includes (from left) Brian Bunten, Shelly St. Clair, Karen Jacquin, Sen. Engler, Winston, and intern Keaton Ashlock.

Kraus: The Last Week

Completing the 2011 Session

Last week, the state budget consumed most of our time and energy. During a week of frantic activity, we passed the budget a day ahead of its constitutionally mandated deadline of May 6.

The last day of the 2011 session is Friday, May 13. The last week of session always generates another flurry of activity as legislators make a final push to get their legislation passed.

If not already passed in at least one chamber, the majority of legislation has little chance of making it through both chambers at this point. In addition, many bills have not yet made it out of committee. Therefore, legislators are watching closely to see if they can add their legislation as an amendment to a bill currently under consideration in the Senate or the House.

Senate Joint Resolution 2, passed on Tuesday, addressed one major issue left for lawmakers to approve during the last week of session. It allows enabling legislation for advance voting and photo ID for voting. This constitutional amendment, if approved by voters, would require a person to show a valid, government-issued photo ID to vote. The joint resolution would also allow early voting eleven days in advance of the election date. Final passage means that this issue goes directly to the voters. Earlier this week, we also passed enabling legislation that lists photo ID requirements, if SJR 2 is approved by voters. I am glad that we passed these measures that will allow Missouri voters to protect the voting process.

With less than two days left, several major legislative issues have yet to be settled. These are measures that would:
  • Extend the sunset to fund the MoRx Program, which provides funds to low-income seniors to help purchase prescription medicine not covered by Medicare. While funds have been designated for this program, the sunset needs to be extended to use the funds.
  • Establish a fix to the Second Injury Fund, which is going broke. If neither this fund nor MoRx are fixed in the regular session, there is a possibility that Gov. Nixon would call a special session in order to deal with these two issues.
  • Spur economic development and address various tax credits. The combined House Bills 116 and 316, passed out of the Senate last week, remain in the House, where they have run into some opposition from House leadership. There has been some movement toward a compromise in the last day and I hope to see these measures passed this session.
  • Change the date on which Missouri holds its presidential primary. Senate Bill 282 would change the primary election from the first Tuesday after the first Monday in February to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March. This measure would allow Missouri’s delegates to be seated by both major parties at their conventions.
There’s still a full day of session left, and a lot can be accomplished before 6:00 p.m. on Friday. I look forward to that final day of activity.

Changes to Highway 50

Recently, several crossover vehicle collisions have occurred on US-50. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has a number of changes planned for US-50 Highway within Lee's Summit to improve safety, some of which have already been implemented.

Improvements include:
  • Reduction of speed limits from 65 mph to 60 mph on Route 50 from Todd George Road to the Interstate 470 interchange.
  • Designation of a stretch of the route from Route 291 north to the north side of the I-470 interchange as a Travel Safe Zone. The designation allows for increased enforcement to curb aggressive, distracted and careless driving, including speeding, failure to signal lane changes, following too close and failure to yield. Fines in the area are also doubled.
  • Installation of guard cables along this same section to minimize the danger of crossover crashes.
All projects are expected to be complete by the end of May. These improvements are paid for with MoDOT dollars.

Welcome Visitors

Three schools from District 8 came to the Capitol this week to learn about state government - Lee’s Summit, Summit Pointe, and Woodland Elementary schools, all from Lee’s Summit. I was happy to be able to talk with some of their students.

Sater: Open house planned May 19 at Roaring River State Park

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., MAY 11, 2011 – The public is invited to bring their ideas to an open house on Thursday, May 19, at Roaring River State Park near Cassville. The open house will be held at 6 p.m. in the Emory Melton Inn and Conference Center (River View Room) and the public is invited to attend. The meeting with discuss ideas for both Roaring River State Park and Big Sugar Creek State Park near Pineville.

Recent accomplishments and future plans at the both parks will be highlighted at the open house. Accomplishments include remodeling the fourplex; the partial roof replacement at Camp Smokey; construction of the new Civilian Conservation Corps monument, and significant stewardship accomplishments. In addition, information will be presented on how the parks have and will continue to benefit from the efforts of the State Parks Youth Corps. Representatives from the Missouri Department of Conservation, which operates the hatchery, and MO PARKS Inc., which runs the park concessions, will also be on hand to share comments with the attendees. Visitors are welcome to ask questions or comment on the park’s facilities and services.

This open house is part of an ongoing effort to ensure the public has input on services provided in state parks and historic sites.

Roaring River State Park is located eight miles south of Cassville on Highway 112 in Barry County. People requiring special services or accommodations to attend the open house can make arrangements by calling the park directly at 417-847-2539 or by calling the Department of Natural Resources toll free at 800-334-6946 (voice) or 800-379-2419 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf). For information about state parks and historic sites, visit