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06 February 2012

Tim Jones: Majority Minute: Take Two on Voter ID, Workplace Discrimination

After a brilliant sports-filled weekend including a huge Tigers win over those Jayhawks, and an extremely exciting Super Bowl, it is back to work under the Capitol Dome as the days begin to slowly lengthen and debate deepens later into the eve…

A Glimpse at the Week Ahead

The following bills were laid over last week and will be brought back for Perfection this 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.

Bills Passed out of the House Rules Committee

There were several bills passed out of the House Rules Committee this afternoon. These include: HCS HCR 3, the Balanced Budget Amendment, sponsored by Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst (R-93); HCR 13, Rivers and Streams sponsored by Rep. Tom Loehner (R-112); HJR 45, Veterans Lottery Ticket sponsored by Rep. Shelia Solon (R-55); HB 1075, Pharmacy Inventory Requirements sponsored by David Sater (R-68); HB 1093, Navy Cross Special License Plate sponsored by Kevin Elmer (R-141) as well as several others that will now move to the House Calendar for consideration.

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

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