As session moves toward the end, the pace picks up quite a bit. Most of the bills that are going to be heard have made their way through committees and are either already on the calendar for floor debate or have been transformed into amendments to be added to either House bills or Senate bills.
I've said before that in a normal legislative session, close to 1,000 bills are proposed. Many of these never even make it to a committee, and many more are weeded out in the committee process. The remaining bills have to compete for floor time in a very busy schedule. We are now spending until 9 or 10 p.m. two and sometimes three nights a week. The more controversial a bill is, the more floor time it takes for everyone to have their say. I really don't know why we save the best for last, but it seems like we do every year. Last week we dealt with RU-486 abortion pills and the practice of a physician sitting in front of a web cam, sometimes even in another state, and gives thumbs up for an abortifactant drug to be given by a nurse. ( The drug starves the fetus and the patient is sent home with another pill to induce labor later on). HB400 is about women's health and safety. While it's tragic if a woman makes the choice to abort her baby, she still should have access to the utmost quality care of a physician. Why risk the life of the mother as well as aborting the child? One hundred and fifteen members of the House agreed and have sent this bill to the Senate.
House Bill 698 is an economic development bill which has elements of Data Storage, a fast growing industry bringing high paying jobs to local communities. Angel Investments, which give incentives to investors to get behind science and manufacturing proposals and let the private sector do what it does best, create jobs, and Historic Tax credits, which for many years have helped revitalize downtown areas and create new housing opportunities. These things create great jobs in construction and real estate to name a few.
We've continued this incentive with added budget controls which will aid in predicting revenues and thus we can continue keeping Missourians employed and our historic districts from disappearing.
House Bill 436 establishes the Second Amendment Preservation Act. This act declares that self-defense is an unalienable right, which cannot be corroded by any level of government. Our founders made life the foremost of our unalienable rights. The right to self-defense is paramount in guaranteeing the right to life. House Bill 170 nullifies any federal laws that seek to cripple Missourians' right to self defense. The bill specifies that no official shall enforce a federal firearm law when the firearm is manufactured, sold and owned solely in Missouri. It seems ridiculous to have to enact such legislation to protect our constitutional rights, but the federal government seems to be forgetting that the true chain of authority in our country starts with the individual citizen, who loans power to the state. The national government is the child –not the big brother – of the states. Our goal in the Missouri House is to ensure the safety and well-being of the citizens of this state.
Page 2 of 2 - We were visited by a group of Seneca FFA students who received accolades at the state contest. Austin Badgwell, Katie Weldon, Cheyenne Bennett, Kyra England, Hannah Kuhn, and Maura Butler were accompanied by their teacher, Mrs. Angel Roller and the junior high teacher, Ashley Wishon. All the students had received honors at the competition and we awarded them all House Resolutions and introduced them on the floor. There were over 100 FFA students from the Southwest area at the Capitol on Wednesday and we all really enjoyed visiting with them. Missouri agriculture is in good hands for the future with these great kids preparing to take over!
We are still unraveling the latest fiasco concerning the DOR. They most assuredly have been sending our information to federal agencies in spite of the assurances by the Governor that none of our documents had been provided elsewhere. Not only is that a load of bologna, but it has also been brought to light that our personal information has been SOLD to marketing firms for several years. One account shows that 4,700 firms have bought the information and are using it to target us for sales efforts. Sen. Schaeffer is spearheading the efforts to uncover and stop all the transfers, not just our concealed carry information, but all the rest as well. We have four more weeks of fun left this session. I'll keep you posted. Until next time, I am and remain, in your service.
Bill Lant represents the people of SW MO in the Mo. House of Representatives. Contact him locally at 437-8223 or at his Jefferson City office at (573) 751-9801 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.