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02 February 2012

Neth: Busy Week For Committees, An Old Friend Visits Jeff City

This was a week with very little floor activity, but a lot of committee action. See below for a summary.

In some ways this was a flashback week on the House floor. We took up and started debate on a bill regarding Employment Law and Whistleblower protection(HB 1219). For some of you who were connected with me last year, you might remember my opposition to this bill. In short, it is a bill that has the backing of my caucus, but I and a few others in the majority caucus, oppose the bill and that causes for some interesting times. The bill passed the Senate and the House last year but was vetoed by the Governor. Due to the few of us that opposed in the Majority party, there was no chance to override the Governor's veto, thus it did not become law. We have not voted on the bill yet and it was held over for debate in the coming days.

Such are the dynamics of the legislative process and the ins and outs of the many relationships between different persons and groups. It is this part of being a Representative that is the most frustrating, but also is the most invigorating as it is challenging to work towards a solution and consensus. But in my opinion, solutions and consensus are what we are charged to accomplish. I just wish more people thought that way, instead of stubbornly holding their own views in higher regard than others.

Until next week,

Visit to Northview Elementary

I had the privilege of speaking to the 5th Graders at Northview Elementary in the North Kansas City School District. I had a great time and loved their interest in how government works.

I was met at Northview Elementary by Carson and Jacob. They introduced themselves and then escorted me to the room where the rest of their classmates were. They then had a great introduction for me with my bio and other information. I then proceeded to talk to the kids and take lots of great questions. I had a great time.

Visitors to the Capitol

My friend and predecessor, Tim Flook visiting his old stomping grounds this week. I was thrilled to see him as was many others. He was and is highly respected in the ranks of the legislators and someone I look to as a great example.

Mike Torres and Dennis Fulk with Platte Clay Electric Cooperatives. We visited about some current issues and legislation that is affecting their industry.

Dr. Brian Robb from Liberty Emergency Physicians. He was in town for some meetings as well as to meet with some local legislators.

Several patrons of the OATS public transportation system in Clay County came by to express their support for this service. I plan to support keeping this valuable service funded in order to help our seniors and others who benefit from it in our community.

This Week in Committee

Elections Committee

HB 1250: Allows for cities classified as third class to cancel a primary election when there are not enough candidates in February that involves a mayoral race or councilman.

Financial Institutions Committee

HB 1192: This Bill will allow the board of Missouri Higher Education to study the benefit options of other states in order to provide benefit options the same or similar to other states for new contracts.

HB 1349: Allows banks or trust companies to transfer fiduciary obligations to any other bank or trust company which has authorized trust authority, rather than just a Missouri Trust office belonging to an out-of state bank agency.

HB 1103: Repeals the requirement for certain banks, savings institutions, and credit unions to not have independent appraisers file information that registered real estate appraisal management companies must file.

HCS HB 1308: Repeals provisions allowing federal home loan banks to use bonds as acceptable collateral for public deposits.

Elementary and Secondary Education Committee

HCS HB 1043: Changes laws in relation to the funding formula given the recent lack of money to fully fund the school formula.

HCS HB 1174: Addresses the issue of school accreditation and makes it easier for the Missouri board of education to be flexible in dealing with unaccredited schools.

This Week on the House Floor

HCS HB 1104: This bill was debated on the floor and will continue to be hotly contested. Creates new safeguards against fraudulent voting on ballots by requiring a form of photo ID to be shown prior to voting, creating measures for persons w/o voter ID to still vote and have that vote protected.

HB 1219: Changes the laws regarding unlawful discriminatory employment practices as they relate to the Missouri Human Rights Act and establishes the Whistleblower Protection Act.

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