As we approach the halfway point in our legislative session this year, I want to highlight some of the measures I have co-sponsored with my colleagues, and where they are in the process. The Missouri House has a strong legislative agenda this year designed to protect life, constitutional freedoms, and our tax dollars from both the federal and state government.
HB 279 is a bill I co-sponsored that ensures that welfare recipients who use their TANF (temporary assistance for needy families) debit cards at casinos or other gaming establishments will be ineligible to receive welfare benefits for the next three years. It sounds too outrageous to be true, but Missouri has actually had a lot of problems with welfare recipients spending money meant to feed and clothe their children at casinos and race tracks. This blatant misuse of our tax dollars must be stopped.
Recently, our farm families have also faced assault from federal and state regulators seeking to restrict how agriculture can operate in our state. In addition to sponsoring the Right-to-Farm constitutional amendment this year, I have co-sponsored HB 334. This bill exempts farm work performed by children under 16 years of age from certain child labor requirements. It is not the place of the federal, or state, government to tell parents that their children cannot bail hay, or work on repairing a broken down fence.
Last year we passed legislation requiring that welfare recipients must be drug tested. This year I have co-sponsored HB 474 which would require members of the General Assembly to submit to random drug-testing during the legislative session. We depend on other public servants like firefighters, policemen, and doctors to be clean and sober while they perform their duties. We should expect the same standard of conduct from our State Senators and Representatives, while they are crafting the laws that determine our way of life.
As long as Barack Obama is in office, we cannot do enough to protect our privacy and gun rights. That is why I have co-sponsored several pieces of legislation designed to protect our constitutional rights. HB 379 allows an applicant for a concealed carry endorsement to have the fingerprint background check be done anonymously. This way, if the applicant has no criminal record or history, our state won’t have a list that the federal government could use to persecute individuals with concealed carry endorsements. Concealed carry endorsements prevent crime, they should be encouraged.
This week I also participated in a press conference about HB 787 – a bill I signed onto. We filed HB 787 to prohibit the state revenue department from scanning personal documents and transferring them to an out-of-state database. This change is an important one to ensure Missourians that their trust will not be violated by state government.
I also co-signed legislation to expressly prohibit state agencies from creating lists of individuals who own firearms. HB 818 specifies that no state agency or department shall construct, enable, maintain, participate in, or develop a database of the number or type of firearms, ammunition, or accessories that an individual possesses.
Page 2 of 2 - HCR 8, another measure that I have co-sponsored, is a resolution that I signed onto against the adoption of a United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. We have seen how the United Nations has tried to use treaties to take away our property rights. So far their efforts have been thwarted by the vigilance and efforts of an informed citizenry. It would be tantamount to treason to allow the United Nations any room to try and take away the second amendment rights of United States citizens.
Another pro second amendment measure that I have signed on to is HJR 15. The amendment would change our state constitution to specify that the right of every citizen to possess or purchase ammunition for the proper functioning of arms must not be infringed or limited. If anti-gun activists continue to fail in their efforts to limit our ownership of firearms, another avenue of attack is to shut down our ability to purchase ammunition. This amendment will ensure that these activists will be unsuccessful.
HB 436 is another measure I have co-sponsored this eyar to protect gun rights. It establishes the Second Amendment Preservation Act which rejects all federal acts that infringe on a Missouri citizens' rights under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.
The House has also advanced some measures that I have co-sponsored to protect the sanctity of life. HB 298 requires that an ultrasound be conducted and reviewed with the pregnant woman prior to the 24-hour waiting period for an abortion. As long as the federal court system continues to ensure that Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, we need to make every effort to impart the gravity of the decision that individuals are making when they elect to abort their child.
We are also continuing to protect the conscience of medical service providers with HB 457. This bill specifies that anyone providing medical services cannot be required to perform or participate in activities that violate his or her conscience or principles. Pharmacists and other professionals should not be forced to violate their religious beliefs by handing out abortion-inducing drugs like RU-486.
These are just a few of the issues that I have co-sponsored this year, but I did want to take some time to highlight them. As always, should you have any questions, feel free to contact my office at (573)-751-1688 or Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org.