Defending traditional families

Under the Dome: January 14, 2008

TheÂ? 2008 Missouri General Assembly

began on Wednesday, January 9th, 2008.

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Wednesday, January 9th 2008

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The first day of the 2008 Missouri state Legislative Session

began with a special morning prayer service to uphold elected

officials before the Lord and to charge them from a spiritual

perspective to serve Missouri inÂ? God honoring ways.

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Sponsored by the Christian Life Commission and the

Pathway newspaper the program was once again held

this year at Concord Baptist Church in Jefferson City.

 

The “Who Am I” Factor

II Samuel 7:8-9

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Pulling from aÂ? passage about King David’s having been selected by God, Monty Shinkle, Pastor, Concord Baptist Church, charged Missouri elected officials to remember the “Who am I” factor.Â? Â?

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The Lord reminded David,� “I took you.” “I selected you.” “You were my choice.”

Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? The challenge was to adopt self-disciplined attitudes to help them keep their leadership positions in perspective as mere men and women elected by voters but “selected” by God.

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I.� Have a sense of God’s Sovereignty.

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II. Have a sense of your own Humility

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III. Have a sense of Civility.

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IV. Have a sense of Fallibility

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V. Have a sense of Accountability.

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House and Senate members began the first day of the 2008 legislative session

with a noon opening, starting with remarks by both House and Senate leadership.

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“We have made a real difference for Missouri families”

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In his last opening address Speaker Jetton took time to reflect on past accomplishments since his first election in 2000.Â? Highlighting economic growth and the creation of 90,000 new jobs since 2005, he pointed to the budget shortfall just three years ago and how the state is now looking at 5-600 million dollars in surpluses.Â? This budget forecast comes directly on the heals of having LOWERED taxes for over 300,000 Missourians!

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Not only have House and Senate majority party (republicans) leaders held the line on “no new taxes” they also have refused to grow state government following the post-Carnahan years when government growth outpaced the economy. � Today Speaker Jetton outlined how republican leadership has actually shrunk the size of state government from 65,000 to under 60,000 employees!� At the same time they have moved

Missouri from the 47th worse roads in the nation to the ninth best, reorganized MoDOT and is now spending the third lowest administrative cost per mile in the country.� Best of all – highway deaths are down by significant numbers!

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Lowering meth incidents by 55%, increasing elementary and secondary education funding by hundreds of millions of dollars, and spending an additional $45 million in scholarships resulting in sending 37,000 students to college this year were among the Speaker’s enumerated accomplishments coming out of the Legislature.�

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The most notable item in Speaker Jetton’s address was that new abortion figures now show that Missouri abortions are down to pre-1975 figures!� This is the lowest in over 32 years!� Jetton also noted that newer policies have provided for safer facilities for those women caught in the abortion trap.

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Outlined his legislative agenda for this year Speaker Jetton spoke about The Teacher Protection Act, which would allow teachers and school districts to remove those students that disrupt classrooms without fear of frivolous lawsuits.� He emphasized the state’s need to tackle reforming property tax policies and making sure Missouri is doing what it can to stem the tide of illegal immigration in Missouri.

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Speaker Jetton closed with a statement reflective of his priorities.� “This is my last year – and an election year – but I have no doubt we will continue to pass legislation that makes Missouri a better place to live, work and raise our children,”� �

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HOUSE

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Due to vacancies created by several special elections to the Senate and other resignations,

the House has several changes in leadership positions.Â? Along with returning republican and

democrat leaders, please remember to pray for these key legislators and their families by name:

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HOUSE REPUBLICAN

LEADERSHIP

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Speaker of the House

Rod Jetton (156)

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Speaker Pro Tem

Bryan Pratt (55)

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Majority Floor Leader

Steven Tilley (106)

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Assistant Majority Floor Leader

Tom Self (116)

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Majority Caucus Secretary

Marilyn Ruestman (131)

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Majority Whip

Brian Nieves (98)

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Majority Caucus Chair

Bob Dixon (140)

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HOUSE DEMOCRAT

LEADERSHIP

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Minority Floor Leader

Paul LeVota (52)

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Assistant Minority Floor Leader

J.C. Kuessner (152)

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Minority Whip

Connie Johnson (61)

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Minority Caucus Chair

Ed Wildberger (27)

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Minority Caucus Vice-Chair

Gina Walsh (69)

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Minority Caucus Secretary

Sara Lampe (138)

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Moving on into a technical session, the House first read 196 House Bills.

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SENATE

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Senate President Pro Tem Michael Gibbons opened the first day with an opening address challenging his fellow

Senators to focus not on their elections, but concentrate their time doing the work of the people of Missouri.

He outlined five key issues to work on:

– Taxation

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– Jobs & Benefits

– Affordable Health Insurance

– Immigration

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The Senate then moved into a busy technical session first reading pre-filed bills.

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Thursday, January 10th 2008

Thursday morning began early with over 750 folks gathered for the annual Governor’s Prayer Breakfast with the theme of “Guide And Direct Us”.

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HOUSE

The House dealt with 342 bills in a relative short technical session. Second reading virtually all of the bills that were first read the day before,

and then going on to first read the reminder of pre-filed House bills. Not all of the bills that were second read were assigned to committee,

but here are some of the highlights:

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HB1611 Sponsored by Representative Bob Dixon

Establishes a children’s bill of courtroom rights that applies to all children testifying in court

Introduced and Read First Time

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HB1591 Sponsored by Representative Scott Lipke

Creates a crime of driving with a controlled substance in a person’s body

Introduced and Read First Time

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HB1586 Sponsored by Representative Brian Baker

Prohibits the possession or consumption of alcohol in the State Capitol or on the State Capitol grounds

Read for the Second Time

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HB1562 Sponsored by Representative Paul LeVota

Authorizes a tax credit to a taxpayer for 100% of the salary and benefits paid to an employee while on active military duty

Read for the Second Time

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HB1560 Sponsored by Representative Will Kraus

Prohibits certain sexual offenders from serving as an athletic coach, manager, or athletic trainer for any sports team with a member less than seventeen

Read for the Second Time

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HB1551 Sponsored by Representative Bryan Stevenson

Authorizes a gradual reduction in the annual corporate income tax rate

Read for the Second Time

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HB1549 Sponsored by Representative Bob Onder

Designates members of the State Highway Patrol for training in enforcement of federal immigration laws on the federal highways in Missouri

Read for the Second Time

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HB1536 Sponsored by Representative Will Kraus

Prohibits certain sexual offenders from being present in or loitering within 500 feet of any public park or swimming pool

Read for the Second Time

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HB1534 Sponsored by Representative Gayle Kingery

Allows school districts to establish a four-day school week upon a majority vote of the school board

Read for the Second Time

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HB1520 Sponsored by Representative Steve Hodges

Requires a fetal ultrasound to be performed and the images offered to the mother for viewing 24 hours prior to the performance of an abortion

Read for the Second Time

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HJR52 Sponsored by Representative Jim Lembke

Proposes a constitutional amendment creating a Bi-Partisan Judicial Merit Selection Commission for appointment of judges

Read for the Second Time

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SENATE

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Senate second read and assigned 108 SB’s to committee, and adopted SR 1 (a proposed rule change for the Senate).

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Senate bills that were assigned to committee also included:

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SB 726 – Shields

Creates a quality rating system, and regulation for child care facilities (a.k.a. preschool regulation)

Second Read, referred – Senate Education Committee.

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SB 714 – Loudon

Modifies various provisions relating to child pornography

Second Read, referred – Senate Judiciary and Civil & Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.

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SB 766 – Goodman

Criminalizes prenatal drug or alcohol use

Second Read, referred – Senate Judiciary and Civil & Criminal Jurisprudence Committee

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SB 762 – Wilson

Modifies the definition of “bullying” as used in school district antibullying policies to include cyberbullying and electronic communications

Second Read, referred – Senate Education Committee

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SB 736 – Bartle

Requires school districts to adopt policies for the testing of student athletes for the unlawful use of a controlled substance, including but not limited to anabolic steroids

Second Read, referred – Senate Judiciary and Civil & Criminal Jurisprudence Committee

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SB 737 – Bartle

Regulates sexually oriented businesses

Second Read, referred – Senate Judiciary and Civil & Criminal Jurisprudence

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SB 758 – Engler

Prohibits certain sex offenders from being present in a state park without permission of the superintendent

Second Read, referred – Senate Judiciary and Civil & Criminal Jurisprudence Committee

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SB 778 – Justus

Provides for optional immunization for HPV (the human papilloma virus)

Second Read, referred – Senate Seniors, Families and Public Health Committee

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SB 780 – Smith

Repeals the current law, which prevents abortion providers from providing sex education; and deleting all references to federal abstinence education laws.Â?

This bill also seeks to remove the portion of state statutes that would prohibit in school, or ‘take home’ abortions.

Second Read, referred – Senate Education Committee.