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02 February 2012

Kelley: Updates On Workplace Discrimination, Voter ID Bills

At left: Rusty, Bobbi and Jeff from Barton County Electric.

Happy Ground Hog’s Day 2012!!! We got an extended weather forecast from a jittery, inconsistent, reddish brown rodent this morning and it seems that Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. Despite the beautiful spring-like weather, it looks like we’re going to have 6 more weeks of winter. As we began our fourth full week of session in the House I have been busy at the Capitol with daily committee hearings. With legislation moving quickly through the process we are already engaging in floor debate of house bills. While much of my time is spent in Jefferson City at the Capitol, I travel back to the district every weekend to spend time with my family and I really enjoy the opportunities to visit with constituents.

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln

Legislative Update

HB 1219 and HB 1104 were presented for “perfection” and debated on the House Floor this week. Both bills have been laid over as we anticipate resuming discussion on them next week.

HB 1219, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Elmer (R-141), will protect Missouri jobs and Missouri employers by returning Missouri law to a position that is consistent with the federal Civil Rights Law. The bill removes provisions which currently make a manager liable for the actions of an employee and establishes a graduated scale for damages based on the number of employees which provides a level of uniformity in awarding damages. Court cases need to be handled more quickly and efficiently, businesses need to be free to appropriately handle problematic, harmful employees to keep the workplace safe, and this bill reinstates the original summary judgment standards that have existed in our nation and state for many decades to help courts accomplish this objective. Businesses need certainty if we want employers to expand, grow and re-invest. With the current system set up to punish employers, businesses are having difficulty dealing with our current litigious environment. HB 1219 restores certainty and fairness and treats employers and employees equally.

HB 1104, sponsored by Rep. Shane Schoeller (R-139), specifies that a person seeking to vote in a public election must show a valid photo identification, driving or non-driving, to election officials before they can receive a ballot and have it counted. This is a simple, common sense requirement that all should embrace to protect one of our most sacred and fundamental rights and to seek to end the rampant voter registration fraud that continues to be discovered across our Nation. All costs incurred by an election authority to implement the photo identification requirement will be reimbursed by the state. If the voter does not have a valid identification, they are allowed to cast a provisional ballot. If the reason for not having a valid identification is because they cannot afford to receive a new birth certificate or other documentation, they can sign an affidavit to receive a ballot. If an individual does not have their identification with them, they are allowed to vote using a provisional ballot. It will only be counted if they return to the election authority and present the appropriate identification within three days after the election.

At right: Dade County Commissioners visiting the Capitol

Important Tax Information

Taxpayers making $57,000 or less can visit to prepare and E-File federal tax returns for FREE, a landmark partnership between the IRS and tax software providers.

Just for Fun: Did you know?

  • In 1904, at the St. Louis World’s Fair, Richard Blechyden served his tea over ice, and thus “invented” ice tea. (
  • Also invented at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair was the ice cream cone. When an ice cream vendor ran out of cups, he asked a waffle vendor for help and—voilà!—the iconic treat was born. (
  • Kansas City has more miles of boulevards than Paris and more fountains than every other city in the world except Rome. (
  • Among the early immigrants to St. Louis were two men named Adolphus Busch and Eberhard Anheuser. Through hard work and innovative thinking, they turned their local brewery into a national (and currently, multi-national) corporation. (

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1948 Cartoon This seemed far-fetched in 1948

Please contact me with any suggestions that you may have for Missouri legislation. Also, if you should experience problems in contacting or resolving an issue with a Missouri state agency, please feel free to call my Capitol office at (573) 751-2165 or email at mike{dot}kelley{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov. Thank you for the honor to serve as your Representative in the Missouri House of Representatives. Until my next update, I am, and remain, in your service.

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