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13 February 2012

Tim Jones: Majority Minute: Make Feds Balance The Budget, Drivers Prove They Know English

Old Man Winter reminded us, with an icy, frothy blast that he was not nearly through for the season. As a blustery storm skipped across our state, we carefully made our way back to the Capitol to continue our service beneath the Dome…

A Glimpse at the Week Ahead

The following bills will be brought to the House Floor for debate and consideration this week:

HCR 3, sponsored by Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst (R-93), entails officially requesting the US Congress to pass a federal balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution. For the Constitution to be amended, one means is for the US Congress to pass the proposed amendment, by a two-thirds majority in both chambers, and then be ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states. The balanced budget amendment request that Rep. Scharnhorst is making is that the annual expenditures of the Congress shall not exceed the annual revenue for any year and that any excess money must be placed in a monetary reserve.

HCR 13, sponsored by Rep. Tom Loehner (R-112), supports the use of unbiased scientific research and data regarding the management practices for the rivers and streams in Missouri. This resolution requests that our Governor and our Missouri Congressional delegation demand that the federal agencies in charge of regulating in-stream activities manage them in a manner that is beneficial to the stream’s aquatic life as well as the farmer’s interest in protecting private property, financial interest, and the ability to feed families.

HB 1186, sponsored by Rep. Mark Parkinson (R-16), requires Missouri driver’s license examinations to only be given in English, so that the applicant can demonstrate his or her ability to sufficiently understand highway traffic signs and safety warnings.

HB 1180, sponsored by Rep Mark Parkinson (R-16) changes the determination of a defendant’s liability in a tort action for damages by specifying that the liability of each defendant for compensatory or punitive damages must be several and cannot be joint. Each defendant must be only liable for the amount of damages allocated to that defendant in direct proportion to his or her percentage of fault. A separate several judgment must be rendered against that defendant for that amount. The court must multiply the total amount of damages recoverable by the plaintiff with regard to each defendant by the percentage of each defendant’s fault to determine the maximum recoverable amount of judgment to be entered against each defendant. The court or jury must also consider the fault of all persons or entities who contributed to the alleged injury or damages, regardless of whether the person or entity was, or could have been, named as a party to the suit. Negligence or fault of a nonparty may be considered if the plaintiff entered into a settlement agreement with the nonparty or if the defending party gives notice before trial, in accordance with required court rules, that a nonparty was wholly or partially at fault.

Bills Passed out of the House Rules Committee

There were also several bills passed out of the Rules Committee that might also appear this week on the House Calendar, subject to action by the Speaker. These bills include the following: HB 1192, sponsored by Rep. Andrew Koenig (R-88), the “Higher Education Savings Program”; HB 1349 sponsored by Rep. Caleb Jones (R-117), relating to irrevocable life insurance trusts; HB 1198, sponsored by Barney Fisher (R-125), relating to prevailing wages; and HCS HB 1308, sponsored by Rep. Don Wells (R-147), relating to the security of moneys.

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

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