The media this past week was replete with news stories calling this week’s presidential primary a “waste of money” or a “beauty contest.” The media focused their outrage on the General Assembly for not acting to save the state $7 million by eliminating the nonbinding primary. However, what is not mentioned is the fact that we passed SB 282 last session. This legislation would have tied the choosing of our delegates to the primary results by moving the election to March as the national parties wished. Unfortunately, the Governor vetoed this important piece of legislation. If the Governor had signed this into law, we wouldn’t have faced losing half of our delegates to the party conventions. Faced with this possibility, the state party decided to choose our delegates through the caucus process ensuring that all of them would be counted. Now, we will rely on the outcome of the party caucuses on March 17 to finish the job. Until that time, it would be good if the media pointed its finger at who really cost the state its presidential primary and the money for the “beauty contest.”
Floor Action This Week
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 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.
Additional Items of InterestMidwest Oil Pipeline
Following President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, plans for a new Midwestern oil pipeline are being considered along an existing pipeline route, which could make winning approval easier. The proposed pipeline has potential for thousands of construction jobs.
Plans by Enbridge, Inc. to build a 600-mile pipeline from Flanagan, Ill., to Cushing, Okla., would run along an existing pipeline route running diagonally from northeast to west-central Missouri
The company is still soliciting commitments from oil shippers but hopes to begin construction in the middle of 2013 and complete work on the $1.9 billion project a year later.
The pipeline, which also would cut across southeast Kansas, would link to an Enbridge pipeline from Canada to Chicago that carries Canadian crude. The pipeline would cross through 11 Missouri counties. Estimates are that the project could employ 3,400 construction workers for the pipeline and an additional 300 to 400 people for related facilities, such as pump stations. Follow its progress at www.enbridge.com/flanagansouthpipeline
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative in Jefferson City. If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call or better yet, come by the capitol and visit for a while.