Gently warming air rolled slowly across the Great Plains this week until it was pushed away by the return of Old Man Winter’s icy numbing touch near week’s end. As we think more of our loved ones next week courtesy of the celebration of Valentine’s Day, I would like to remind you to keep those most precious to you close to your heart. I want to wish a Happy Valentine’s Day to my favorite Valentines: my beloved wife, Suzanne, and our beautiful daughters, Katie and Abby.
“Love is a promise, love is a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear.”–John Lennon
The following bills were Perfected and Third Read this week and head now across the Rotunda to the Senate for consideration:
HB 1329, sponsored by Rep. Ryan Silvey (R-38), authorizes the Director of the Department of Revenue to issue a permit to allow the temporary operation of a motor vehicle or trailer by a buyer and changes the laws regarding motor vehicle registration. This is a good government change to existing law to increase efficiencies in the system.
HB 1311, also sponsored by Rep. Ryan Silvey (R-38), authorizes a state and local sales and use tax exemption on items related to data storage centers and several farm facilities. This bill is an important economic development tool to establish an environment to encourage these industries to come to Missouri and create jobs and expand existing operations here and add more employment positions.
HB 1219, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Elmer (R-141), changes the laws regarding unlawful discriminatory employment practices as they relate to the Missouri Human Rights Act and establishes the Whistleblower Protection Act. This bill corrects inequities that have arisen in our system due to several recent Court decisions over the past several years. The legislation would return Missouri law to the position it used to occupy as a mirror to the federal civil rights law. The proposed legislation would re-establish a level playing field for all employers and employees, allowing employers to properly deal with problem employees while still providing employees the protections they deserve. In this difficult economic environment, where employers are faced with increasing burdens in the areas of taxation, regulation and litigation, we should do all we can to ensure that our small business owners have a level playing field in our State so they can operate in a stable and certain business environment.
HB 1104, sponsored by Rep. Shane Schoeller (R-139), specifies that a person seeking to vote in a public election must show valid photo identification to election officials before they can receive a ballot and have it counted. This is a common sense piece of enabling legislation that will support and implement the constitutional ballot question that all Missourians will be able to vote upon this coming fall. In this day and age of excessive and rampant voter fraud and voter registration fraud, we should do all we can to protect one of our most sacred and fundamental rights, the right to vote.
Consent bills (zero fiscal note, no penalty provisions, non-controversial in nature) that were third read and passed on the House Floor this week:
HB 1036, sponsored by Rep. Tony Dugger (R-144) repeals the provision that require a political party’s emblem to be printed on an election ballot above the party caption.
HB 1039, sponsored by Rep. Mike Leara (R-95) allows a retiree of the Missouri Local Government Employees’ Retirement System to have health insurance or long-term care insurance premiums deducted from his or her retirement allowance.
HB 1099, sponsored by Rep. Paul Fitzwater (R-152) designates March 26th of each year as “Veterans of Operation Iraq/Enduring Freedom Day.”
HB 1100, sponsored by Rep. Paul Fitzwater (R-152) designates March 30th of each year as Vietnam Veterans Day.”
HB 1105, sponsored by Rep. David Day (R-148) allows the Adjutant General to waive the maximum age requirement for a member of the state militia.