Defending traditional families

Under the Dome: 1-18-2010

Last week in your Missouri state capitol…

Wednesday evening in the House chambers the legislature held a joint session to host Governor Jay Nixon’s State of the State address.

The chamber floor was full, not only with House members and Senators, but all of Missouri’s Supreme Court Justices and state wide office holders filled the floor to listen to the Governor’s view of our state.

Governor Nixon began to outline his vision of 2010 by talking about jobs, including his initiatives “Training for Tomorrow” and “Show- Me- Heroes” dedicated to helping Missouri veterans. Other legislative priorities outlined by the Governor included increased education funding, freezing college tuition, ethics reforms, DWI enforcement, and the creation of the “Missouri State Parks Youth Corps.”

But this year will be a lean year, and Nixon has responded by trimming $600 million out of the state budget, and reducing the state workforce by almost 1,800 positions.

So here is the challenge for this year- with the economic loss of $778 million to 1 billion in revenues, where will the increases in spending come from? And how will the state afford current programs, much less create new ones? Which programs will be cut through the budget process?

This will certainly be an interesting year as the House and the Senate must work together to balance the state budget according to their Constitutional mandate. As Governor Nixon closed his address, “Tonight, let’s swear an oath, to the people of the state we love and to each other- that nothing will stand in the way of rebuilding our economy and reimagining our future. Let’s make 2010 the year we put politics second, and put Missouri first.” How will the media, political pundits, and partisan candidates spin the facts as political promises clash with fiscal realities?

Within minutes of the Governor’s State of the State Address, Lt. Governor Peter Kinder responded with his “Republican Response” in which he challenged Gov Nixon on several points.

If you have not seen nor read these addresses go to www.mo.gov to view or read Governor Jay Nixon’s State of the state address – then – visit (Kinder’s video) and/or read Lt. Gov. Kinder’s speech

As the 2010 legislative session and electoral season develop, remember:

– Read between the lines of shallow sound bites, political rhetoric, and partisan bickering.

– Prepare to sort out “politicians” from “statesmen”.

– Actively support legislation and candidates which promote the virtues of limited yet responsible government.

– Read everything you can about how your local judges are performing.

– Study the fine print and details of ballot initiatives and Constitutional questions.

– Support those organizations which represent your values and help you participate in the processes with facts and information not otherwise offered by common media sources.

Legislative Actions Last Week

ABORTION

HCS HCR 18 Sponsored by Representative Diehl (R), urges the Missouri Congressional delegation to vote against H.R. 3200, the federal health care reform legislation. Adopted in the House on Tuesday, and reported to the Senate on Wednesday.

SB 696 Introduced by Senator Wright-Jones (D), changes the laws regarding sexual education, abortion, and pregnancy prevention. Second read and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

SB 792 Introduced by Senator Dempsey (R), modifies provisions relating to abortion reporting and recordkeeping requirements. First read in the Senate on Tuesday.

SB 793 Introduced by Senator Mayer (R), enacts provisions regarding informed consent for abortions. First read in the Senate on Tuesday.

HB 1688 Sponsored by Representative LeVota (D), requires a person who has reasonable cause to believe that a pharmacist’s or health care professional’s conduct is illegal or could cause serious injury to make a report to specified authorities. Second read in the House on Wednesday.

HB 1725 Sponsored by Representative Pollock (R), prohibits health insurance exchanges established in Missouri from offering health insurance policies or optional riders that provide coverage for elective abortions. First read in the House on Wednesday.

DRUGS & ALCOHOL

HB 1666 Sponsored by Representative Fischer (D), requires law enforcement agencies to report intoxication-related traffic arrests to the Missouri state highway patrol’s DWI tracking system (DWITS). Second read in the House on Tuesday.

HB 1670 Sponsored by Representative Meiners (D), changes the laws regarding the classification of marijuana as a controlled substance and allows the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes under certain conditions. Second read in the House on Tuesday.

HB 1674 Sponsored by Representative Lipke (R), requires law enforcement agencies to enter alcohol-related traffic arrests into the DWI tracking system (DWITS). Second read in the House on Monday.

HB 1695 Sponsored by Representative Stevenson (R), revises laws relating to driving while intoxicated. First read in the House on Tuesday, and second read on Wednesday.

HB 1696 Sponsored by Representative Stevenson (R), requires the issuance of an ignition interlock restricted driver’s license for persons required to have an ignition interlock device. First read in the House on Tuesday, and second read on Wednesday.

HB 1697 Sponsored by Representative Stevenson (R), revises the definition of “driving while intoxicated”. Second read in the House on Wednesday.

HB 1702 Sponsored by Representative Stevenson (R), allows for a separate DWI docket under the drug treatment court enabling statute and modifies laws relating to alcohol-related offenses. Second read in the House on Wednesday.

HB 1742 Sponsored by Representative Stevenson (R), revises laws relating to driving while intoxicated. First read in the House on Wednesday.

HB 1743 Sponsored by Representative Stevenson (R), revises laws relating to driving while intoxicated. First read in the House on Wednesday.

EDUCATION

SB 688 Introduced by Senator Wright-Jones (D), requires schools to report certain student enrollment information to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Second read in the Senate and referred to the Senate education Committee on Tuesday.

SB 732 Introduced by Senator Cunningham (R), requires public higher education institutions to annually report on steps taken to ensure intellectual diversity. Second read and referred to the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday.

SB 768 Introduced by Senator Bartle (R), modifies provisions relating to school districts charging tuition for non-resident children of district teachers and employees. Second read and referred to the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday.

SB 783 Introduced by Senator Justus (D), provides that certain aliens will receive in-state tuition at college and universities that meet certain requirements. Second read and referred to the Senate Education Committee.

SB 815 Introduced by Senator Bartle (R), relating to elementary and secondary education. First read in the Senate on Thursday.

ELECTIONS

HB 1655 Sponsored by Representative Schaaf (R), prohibits all entities except individuals or committees from making campaign contributions or expenditures. Second read in the House on Tuesday.

SB 694 Introduced by Senator Wright-Jones (D), modifies law relating to voter registration and election offenses. Second read and referred to the Senate Elections Committee on Tuesday.

SB 796 Introduced by Senator Bray (D), modifies requirements pertaining to petition circulators. First read in the Senate on Tuesday.

HB 1322 Sponsored by Representative LeVota (D), changes the laws regarding campaign contributions to candidates and committees. Heard in the House Ethics Reform Committee on Wednesday.

HB 1500 Sponsored by Representative Tilley (R), changes the laws regarding ethics and lobbying. Heard in the House Ethics Reform Committee on Wednesday.

HB 1728 Sponsored by Representative Zimmerman (D), changes the laws regarding the use of paper ballots at elections. First read in the House on Wednesday.

HB 1727 Sponsored by Representative Zimmerman (D), changes laws relating to ethics. First read in the House on Wednesday.

HB 1500 Sponsored by Representative Tilley (R), changes the laws regarding ethics and lobbying. Heard in the House Ethics Reform Committee on Wednesday.

SB 800 Introduced by Senator Bray (D), modifies ethics laws for public officials and lobbyists. First read in the Senate on Wednesday.

HB 1708 Sponsored by Representative Schaaf (R), requires candidates forming committees to indicate the office to which they seek to be nominated or elected when forming the committee. Second read in the House, on Wednesday.

CRIME

HB 1683 Sponsored by Representative Deeken (D), creates a moratorium on the death penalty until January 1, 2013 and creates a death penalty commission. First read in the House on Tuesday, second read on Wednesday.

HB 1698 Sponsored by Representative Stevenson (R), changes the age in the definition of “child” and “adult member” for child orders of protection to less than seventeen yea of age to be consistent with the age for adult orders of protection. First read in the House on Tuesday.

HB 1688 Sponsored by Representative LeVota (D), requires a person who has reasonable cause to believe that a pharmacist’s or health care professional’s conduct is illegal or could cause serious injury to make a report to specified authorities. First read in the House on Tuesday.

HB 1689 Sponsored by Representative LeVota (D), prohibits any person from possessing dog fighting paraphernalia and adds a penalty for a subsequent offense for persons committing specified acts related to dog fighting. First read in the House on Tuesday.

HB 1697 Sponsored by Representative Stevenson (R), revises the definition of “driving while intoxicated”. First read in the House on Tuesday.

HB 1702 Sponsored by Representative Stevenson (R), allows for a separate DWI docket under the drug treatment court enabling statute and modifies laws relating to alcohol-related offenses. First read in the House on Tuesday.

HB 1703 Sponsored by Representative Lair (R), revises requirements for eligibility for parole for certain sentences with no parole for fifty years or life without parole. First read in the House on Tuesday, second read on Wednesday.

HB 1711 Sponsored by Representative Schaaf (R), requires the Department of Social Services to implement an enforcement policy which requires employees to reported suspected illegal drug use and fraud by public assistance recipients. First read in the House on Tuesday, second read on Wednesday.

SB 653 Introduced by Senator Crowell (R), prohibits felony sexual offenders whose victim was less than 17 years of age from being allowed to participate in the 120-day “shock incarceration program” in the Department of Corrections. Heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday evening.

SB 779 Introduced by Senator Bartle (R), modifies provisions relating to the DNA profiling system. Second read and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

SB 780 Introduced by Senator Bartle (R), makes refusing to submit to chemical testing a separate offense and changes the time line for when a DWI arrest without a warrant must occur. Second read and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

SJR 20 Introduced by Senator Bartle (R), creates an exception to the prohibition against laws retrospective in operation by allowing certain laws pertaining to DNA profiling analysis to be applied retrospectively. Second read and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

HB 1683 Sponsored by Representative Deeken (R), creates a moratorium on the death penalty until January 1, 2013 and creates a death penalty commission. Second read in the House on Wednesday.

HB 1685 Sponsored by Representative LeVota (D), revises the crime of murder in the first degree to include knowingly causing the death of a child younger than 18 years of age when a heinous element is involved in the commission of the crime. Second read in the House on Wednesday.

HB 1689 Sponsored by Representative LeVota (D), prohibits any person from possessing dog fighting paraphernalia and adds a penalty for a subsequent offense for persons committing specified acts related to dog fighting. Second read in the House on Wednesday.

HB 1693 Sponsored by Representative Schlottach (R), creates an offense of endangerment of emergency personnel or emergency responders. Second read in the House on Wednesday.

FAMILY

SB 805 Introduced by Senator Shields (R), allows the Children’s Division to request a juvenile officer to take a child into protective custody under certain circumstances. First read in the Senate on Wednesday.

HOMOSEXUALITY

SB 719 Introduced by Senator Bray (D), requires racial and gender equity in the membership of boards, commissions, committees, and councils. Second read and referred to the Senate Elections Committee on Tuesday.

SCR 40 Introduced by Senator Justus (D), ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution. Offered up in the Senate on Wednesday.

PORNOGRAPHY & SEX CRIMES

SB 586 Introduced by Senator Bartle (R), regulates sexually oriented businesses. Heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

SB 617 Introduced by Senator Goodman (R), regulates sexually oriented businesses. Heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday evening.

SB 735 Introduced by Senator Cunningham (R), requires public libraries to adopt policies on the placement of books and other materials that are obscene or pornographic for minors. Second read and referred to the Senate General laws Committee on Tuesday.

HB 1726 Sponsored by Representative Kenny Jones (R), makes sheriff’s sex offender registration fees mandatory and allows sheriff’s to charge a reimbursement fee for search and apprehension to an offender guilty of failing to register as a sex offender. First read in the House on Wednesday.

SB 806 Introduced by Senator Bartle (R), modifies provisions relating to children who are victims of pornographic offenses. First read in the Senate on Wednesday.

SJR 33 Introduced by Senator Bartle (R), allows in prosecutions for crimes of a sexual nature involving a victim under eighteen years of age, evidence of prior criminal acts to be admissible into evidence for certain purposes. First read in the Senate on Wednesday.

TAXES

HB 1679 Sponsored by Representative Roorda (D), changes the laws regarding certain city sales taxes and authorizes certain cities to impose, upon voter approval, a sales tax of up to 0.5% for the operation of public safety departments. First read in the House on Tuesday.

HB 1681 Sponsored by Representative Roorda (D), allows ambulance districts to impose a sales tax in lieu of a property tax when established. First read in the House on Tuesday.

HJR 75 Sponsored by Representative Ervin (R), proposes a constitutional amendment exempting from taxation business personal property. Second read in the House on Tuesday.

SB 683 Introduced by Senator Wilson (D), creates an income tax credit for poll workers. Second read in the Senate Oversight Committee on Tuesday.

SB 692 Introduced by Senator Wilson (D), criminalizes displaying a noose for the purpose of intimidation. Second read and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

SB 711 Introduced by Senator Bray (D), modifies provisions relating to the individual income tax. Second read and referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday.

SB 736 Introduced by Senator McKenna (D), modifies provisions of law regarding the collection of taxes. Second read and referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday.

SJR 30 Introduced by Senator Bartle (R), requires all state and local ballot measures which seek to create a new or increase an existing tax be placed before voters during general elections. Second read and referred to the Senate Elections Committee.

HB 1442 Sponsored by Representative Tim Jones (R), changes the laws regarding certain city sales taxes. Voted do pass out of the House General Laws Committee and referred to the Rules Committee on Wednesday.

HB 1717 Sponsored by Representative Schieffer (D), requires counties to accept quarterly payments of real and personal property taxes if assessed valuation on a taxpayer’s property increases by five or more percent. First read in the House on Wednesday.

HCR 7 Sponsored by Representative Munzlinger (R), disapproves State Tax Commission proposed state regulations regarding value of each grade of agricultural and horticultural land for 2011 2012 assessment years under Section 137.021RSMo. Heard in the House Agri-Business Committee on Wednesday.

SJR 32 Introduced by Senator Schmitt (R), requires a two-thirds majority vote of both houses of the General Assembly to pass a new, or increase an existing, state tax. First read in the Senate on Wednesday.

HB 1442 Sponsored by Representative Tim Jones (R), changes the laws regarding certain city sales taxes. Voted do pass out of the House General Laws Committee, and referred to the Rules Committee.

HB 1729 Sponsored by Representative Wallace (R), changes the fee for delinquent and back taxes certain counties may charge for certain months. Introduced and first read in the House on Wednesday.

VETERANS

HB 1653 Sponsored by Representative Pratt (R), requires the Governor to issue an annual proclamation designating September 11 as “Remembrance Day” to honor those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks and those who displayed heroism. Second read in the House on Tuesday.

SB 749 Introduced by Senator Rupp (R), requires that members of the National Guard be informed of the risks of depleted uranium and that certain veterans be informed of available federal treatment for exposure to depleted uranium. Second read and referred to the Senate Veterans Committee on Tuesday.

SB 752 Introduced by Senator Lembke (R), allows a “LEGION OF MERIT” special license plate for any person who has been awarded this military service award. Second read and referred to the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday.

SCR 39 Introduced by Senator Schaefer (R), urges Congress to designate the Liberty Memorial as the National World War I Memorial. Offered in the Senate on Tuesday.

HB 1745 Sponsored by Representative Day (R), requires the state treasurer to hold and maintain military medals until their owner, heir or beneficiary can be found and authorizes the treasurer to designate an organization to be custodian of the medals. First read in the House on Wednesday.

SCR 39 Introduced by Senator Schaefer (R), urges Congress to designate the Liberty Memorial as the National World War I Memorial. Referred to the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday.

FREEDOM

SB 587 Introduced by Senator Nodler (R), creates the Tenth Amendment commission. Referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

SJR 34 Introduced by Senator Goodman (R), relating to state sovereignty. First read in the Senate on Thursday.

OTHER

HB 1669 Sponsored by Representative Ruzicka (R), lowers the minimum age requirement for a concealed carry endorsement from 23 to 21 years of age, extends its validity to five years and allows prosecutors to carry concealed weapons, including in courthouse. Second read in the House on Monday.

HB 1680 Sponsored by Representative Roorda (D), prohibits third class cities from imposing storm water usage fees on property owned by any church, public school, nonprofit organization, or political subdivision. First read in the House on Tuesday.

HJR 78 Sponsored by Representative Smith (R), proposes a constitutional amendment requiring three-fifths majority vote to amend the constitution. Second read in the House on Tuesday.

SB 690 Introduced by Senator Bray (D), creates the Healthy Pet Act. Second read in the Senate and referred to the Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee on Tuesday.

SB 725 Introduced by Senator Rupp (R), requires drug screening and testing for TANF applicants and recipients. Second read and referred to the Senate Health, Mental Health, Seniors and Families Committee on Tuesday.

SB 745 Introduced by Senator Bray (D), creates a statewide energy code for new building construction and renovation. Second read and referred to the Senate Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Committee on Tuesday.

SJR 31 Introduced by Senator Scott (R), proposes a constitutional amendment reaffirming a citizen’s right to free expression of religion. Second read and referred to the Senate General Laws Committee on Tuesday.

HB 1680 Sponsored by Representative Roorda (D), prohibits third class cities from imposing storm water usage fees on property owned by any church, public school, nonprofit organization, or political subdivision. Second read in the House on Wednesday.

HCR 17 Sponsored by Representative Lair (R), disapproves the State Tax Commission’s proposed state regulation regarding the value of each grade of agricultural and horticultural land for the 2011 and 2012 assessment years as required under Section. Heard in the House Agri-Business Committee on Wednesday.

HCR 32 Sponsored by Representative Nolte (R), urges the United States Congress to refuse to enact cap and trade legislation establishing a cap on greenhouse gas emissions which will result in increased costs of goods and services. Offered in the House on Wednesday.

SCR 42 Introduced by Senator Bray (R), urges state agencies to address light pollution at state facilities, calls for a study on impacts of light pollution, and encourages the creation of starlight preserves. Offered up in the Senate on Wednesday.

HB 1718 Sponsored by Representative Schieffer (D), prohibits sales tax on firearms and ammunition from being imposed at a higher rate than the sales tax rate or any other excise tax rate imposed on other hunting or sporting goods. Introduced and first read in the House on Wednesday.