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03 February 2012

Lichtenegger: Mercury Round-Up

Two important House Bills were debated this week; both were laid over.

House Bill 1219 If you have concerns regarding workplace discrimination and how the Missouri Statues would change if this bill passes, I recommend that you read it (link to full text is at the beginning of this paragraph) and consider the below basic provisions:
  • It adds whistleblower protection to the Missouri Human Rights Act. This provision protects workers who refuse to participate in illegal activities for their employer.
  • It will clarify our discrimination laws making it easier for Missouri businesses to comply, and
  • it caps damage awards according to the size of the business being sued. This keeps small businesses from being bankrupted by a single lawsuit, saving Missouri jobs in the process.
  • It has the potential to eliminate frivolous cases and reduce litigation costs by allowing decisions to be rendered by summary judgment.
The other, House Bill 1104, changes state laws regarding voter ID. Below is the House Summary:
  1. Specifies that a person seeking to vote in a public election must establish his or her qualifications as a United States citizen lawfully residing in this state by presenting a form of personal identification containing his or her photograph to election officials. All costs incurred by an election authority to implement the photo identification requirement must be reimbursed by the state. If there is no appropriation and distribution of funds, the election authority must not enforce the photo identification requirement;
  2. Allows an individual to vote by casting a provisional ballot after signing an affidavit if he or she does not possess a required form of personal identification because of the inability to pay for a birth certificate or other documentation necessary to obtain the identification;
  3. Requires the state and all fee offices to provide at no cost at least one form of personal identification required to vote to a qualified individual who does not already possess the required identification and desires the identification in order to vote;
  4. Allows an individual to vote using a provisional ballot if he or she lacks photographic identification and then return to the election authority within three days after the election with a valid form of identification so that the provisional ballot may be counted; and
  5. Repeals the provision requiring a disabled or elderly person to be able to obtain a non-driver’s license photo identification through a mobile processing system operated by the Department of Revenue.

As always, don’t hesitate to contact me and let me know what you think of these or any other legislative issues.

And if you would like an overview of the Governor’s 2013 Fiscal Year state budget email me (link right here, right now) with “Governor FY-13 Fiscal Year Budget” in the subject line, and I will forward it to you. This budget summary includes reductions, increases and spending proposals for the state’s fiscal year that runs July 2012 through June 2013.

Constituent Corner

Ever wonder what to do with old, damaged items that contain mercury? If you’re like me, you don’t want to just put in it the household trash. So the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced a “mercury round-up”. Such mercury-containing items as thermometers, blood pressure cuffs or thermostats can be dropped off Monday through Friday at the below centers in Southeast Missouri.

  1. Be sure to place your items in two zip-top or taped bags and then place in a crush-proof sealed container such as a coffee can, tub or beverage bottle.
  2. Please call the site before taking mercury instruments for disposal, and never leave items if the facility is closed.
    • Cape Girardeau Health Department, 1121 Linden St., 573-335-7846, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Perry County Health Department, 406 N. Spring St., Perryville, 573-547-6564, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
If you are uncomfortable with transporting mercury instruments, or have large quantities of mercury, you can contact DNR’s spill line at 573-634-2436 to arrange to have items picked up.

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