– Week in Review –

Week of April 3-7, 2006

MONDAY, April 3, 2006

Senate Appropriations Committee kicked off the week early by trudging through a line by line review of the state’s twenty one Billion dollar ($21,000,000,000) budget for 2007. Beginning on Monday, this committee met time and again all week long – and will continue next week also.

See, ACTION NEEDED: below.

TUESDAY, April 4, 2006

House Budget Chair Alan Icet introduced HB 1485 on the House floor on Tuesday. HB 1485 establishes a 50% tax credit for financial gifts to Pregnancy Resource Centers. In addition to encouraging people to support these vital ministries, this tax credit represents an endorsement of the PRC’s by the State of Missouri. After a relatively short debate, HB 1485 was adopted by the House. Bills like this are very powerful in cultivating a culture of life in our State. This legislation will receive a final vote to be sent to the Senate next week.

HB 1275 was third read on the House floor (Rep. Brian Baker sponsored the legislation). HB 1275 would create virtual public schools for elementary and secondary public school children. As written, the bill does not adversely affect home schoolers in Missouri. If anything it serves as a stepping stone to get more children out of the public school environment. While still being a public school program the bill creates competition for Missouri’s 524 school districts. The educational market (like any other market), will only improve with more options and competition.

While home schooling families could discontinue and enroll in a virtual public school and current public school students could enroll in such a home-based virtual public school – this is NOT a home school option. Virtual public schools would be a public-school-program-in-the-home, basically a public school correspondence program with the bells and whistles of computers and internet interaction. However, a home-based program gives parents more opportunity to see daily materials, helps to reconnect a student with their parents, and removes students from often very detrimental environments.

The House Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee heard public testimony on HB 1298. This bill would establish “Erica’s Law” related to first degree murder when the victim is only a child.

The House Special Committee on General Laws focused on five bills related to Second Amendment issues, both pro & con ranging from government’s politically correct destruction of firearms and potential abuse of citizens constitutional rights to self-protection by executive orders, to employer harassment and CCW regulations.

This committee also took time to debate the problems of government censorship of religious holiday expressions and titles. HB 1642 would require that all government offices and buildings refer to holidays by name. Christmas break, instead of ‘holiday break’, ect.

WEDNESDAY, April 5, 2006

HB 1075 was taken up on the House floor late Wednesday afternoon. HB 1075, sponsored by Representative Cynthia David; is a very powerful piece of pro-life legislation. The main thrust of this bill would remove Planed Parenthood from our public schools. Planed Parenthood (and their affiliates, and volunteers), currently hold most state contracts to teach sex ed. Talk about conflict of interest: they can pass out condoms to our kids in school, have them practice putting them on various objects, and befriend them so they know where to go when the inevitable happens.

Contrary to what you may have read in the paper or heard on TV, HB 1075 does not do away with sex education. Instead of ‘banning’ teaching about contraception, HB 1075 would establish minimum requirements for sex ed. Prohibit anyone affiliated with abortion providers, and require that “personally relevant” medical issues be refered to the student’s private doctor. This is already the standards applied to school nurses. Planned parenthood and their supporters have been fighting this bill as their number one priority since it was introduced in December!

HB 1075 was only debated on the House floor for a short time before being put back on the calendar. This was very surprising, considering HB 1075 is one of the three pro-life bills that Governor Blunt called for in the State of the State Address. However, we do expect to see this legislation brought back, and passed, as soon as next week.

On Wednesday night the House spent over three hours debating Representative Carl Bearden’s HJR 39. HJR 39 outlines express permission for public school students to pray in public schools. The scope of this House Joint Resolution goes beyond just our public schools. It also serves to protect religious _expression in licenses offices, court houses, and all other public arenas. Religious _expression has long been a target for political correctness. This constitutional amendment reins in the over zealous left, and brings our Constitution in line with the intent of the founding fathers. The House gave first round approval to the proposal before quitting for the evening.

THURSDAY, April 6, 2006

HJR 39 was third read and passed Thursday morning. HJR 39 (see above) will now be sent to the Senate next Monday afternoon. After it passes through the legislature, because it is a constitutional amendment, it must go to a vote of the people. There are going to be several major issues on the ballot in November, including the human cloning / embryonic stem cell / human life, create & kill / initiative. So lets not forget; the battle is not over!

Also on Thursday afternoon the House third read HB 994. This “helmet law”, is a major step towards restoring personal freedom and responsibility – if it can survive the Senate.