My Committees at a Glance
As many of you know, I was appointed to two new committees this session, Economic Development and Financial Institutions, while I continue to serve on Appropriations of Public Safety and Corrections, the Joint Committee on Gaming and Wagering, and as Vice Chair of Small Business. I am happy to report that my committees have been meeting in abundance this session in order to look at tough proposals in the Missouri House, dealing not only with the budget but with other economic issues as well. In my appropriations committee, we have been looking over the Department of Corrections and the Department of Public Safety’s yearly budgets, as proposed by Governor Nixon a few weeks ago. I can assure you that we are going to be making some tough cuts in order to save tax payer money and to divert money back to programs that really need it, such as schools and veterans. I am confident that under the leadership of the chair, Rep. Chris Kelley, we will be making the best decisions we can to move Missouri forward. In Economic Development, we heard HB 1476 known as the Freight Forwarders Act, HB 1244 relating to technology business facility projects, HB 1245 which would add two new sections to the Missouri Quality Jobs Act, and HB 1130 relating to distressed land. House members are clearly working hard to do what we can to change the economic climate in Missouri for the better; I will be researching these bills along with others that come through my committees and to the House floor for a vote in order to ensure that these are the best proposals and pieces of legislation we have to get Missouri back on track. If you have any questions about these bills or others, please feel free to email or call my office. I may not know the correct answer right away, but I will find it for you as soon as I can.
Missouri House Once Again Considers Voter ID
This week, the House again considered a bill addressing voter identification. House Bill 1104, sponsored by Shane Schoeller, mandates that any person who wishes to vote must show a valid photo identification before they are able to cast a vote, in the hopes of preventing voter fraud. If the voter does not have valid identification, they are allowed to cast a provisional ballot, which will then be counted if they return to their local election authority within three days to present the appropriate identification. Those who cannot afford to pay the cost associated with obtaining valid identification are able to sign an affidavit to receive a ballot. Further, any and all costs incurred by a local election authority in implementing the photo identification requirement will be incurred by the state of Missouri. Supports claim that HB 1104 is a common-sense piece of legislation that protects our most sacred and fundamental right as citizens of a representative republic. Opponents claim that this bill will do more to lessen voter turnout, and make it more difficult for certain people, such as the elderly, to vote. I understand this bill to be a very controversial piece of legislation. Therefore, I will be including it on my legislative survey (which will be sent out in the coming weeks to a number of citizens chosen at random) to get a good read on how the people of the 52nd District feel about this proposal.
- HB 1465 (sponsor)—Changes the laws regarding the compulsory school attendance of certain students.
- HB 1464 (sponsor)—Prohibits state-wide elected officials or members of the General Assembly elected to their first term on or after November 2, 2012, from acting, serving, or registering as a lobbyist within one year of leaving office.
- HB1214 (sponsor)—Establishes the Missouri Entrepreneur Resources Virtual Network to provide resources for the development of businesses; referred to the Committee on Small Business.
- HB 1470 (co-sponsor)—Expands the list of mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect to include coaches, youth leaders, and any volunteer who has direct contact with children.
- HB 1459 (co-sponsor)—Disqualifies a person from membership on a school board if such person has a substantiated report of child abuse or neglect on the child abuse and neglect registry.
- HB 1399 (co-sponsor)—Requires the injection of therapeutic substances around the spine or spinal cord for the treatment of pain syndromes by certain methods be performed only by a licensed physician.
- HB 1334 (co-sponsor)—Establishes the Fair Fare Passenger Safety Act of 2012 which prohibits any person operating a motor vehicle for compensation and transporting passengers from using a handheld wireless communication device.
- HB 1317 (co-sponsor)—Expands the crime of child abuse to include shaken baby syndrome.
- HB 1515 (co-sponsor)—Changes the elements of the crime of elder abuse in the second degree and the crime of financial exploitation of an elderly person or disabled person.
- You can find further information on these bills via the House webpage: http://www.house.mo.gov/billcentral.aspx?pid=26
A few months ago, Comcast introduced “Internet Essentials” which is program aimed at helping families afford fast, quality internet so that they are able to meet the demands of work and school more easily. If you qualify, you are able to receive home internet service for $9.95 a month (with no price increases), as well as a low-cost home computer with free internet training. You may qualify if your household has at least one child receiving free school lunches through the National School Lunch Program. To find out more information and to see if you can qualify, please visit the website http://internetessentials.com/. And please spread this message to your friends and family so we can help all of the 52nd District get connected!