Bill first for 120th District in over a year.
It's the first piece of legislation that's been filed in representation of the constituents of the 120th District of the Missouri House of Representatives in more than a year.
House Bill 179 was pre-filed on December 8 by Representative Elect Jason Chipman, who will take office when Missouri's first regular session of the 98th General Assembly convenes at noon January 7.
A summery of HB 179 reads: "Currently, a military veteran may receive a veteran designation on his or her drivers license only upon presentation of a United States Department of Defense discharge document, otherwise known as a DD Form 214, that shows a discharge status of "honorable" or "general under honorable conditions" that establishes the person's service in the Armed Forces of the United States. This bill allows a person to present a DD Form 214 or a United States Uniformed Services Identification Card, otherwise known as a DD Form 2, that includes a discharge status of "retired" or "reserve retired" to establish the person's service in the Armed Forces of the United States."
Chipman is a veteran, though not a retired veteran he noted, and said he could see the practical application of the law. The issue was brought to his attention after speaking with members of the community.
"One of the reasons I thought it was important is because it would be more convenient for our retired veterans," Chipman said.
Chipman argued that in order to get a United States Uniformed Services Identification Card—DD Form 2—a veteran must first present a DD Form 214, or what is commonly called discharge papers. Those papers are not often carried, said Chipman, and since the ID card requires the presentation of those papers, it makes reasonable sense that the ID card could serve as means of establishing a person's service in the Armed Forces.
"There is no advantage to pre-filing," Chipman said, on the likelihood of the bill's passage and the serious test of any bill is once its referred to committee, which might not come until the second week of session.
Regardless of its passage, the bill represents something more broadly in that of active representation. Something the 120th District hasn't had since now 8th District U.S. Congressman Jason Smith resigned from the 120th seat after a June 4, 2013 Special Election to fill the 8th district congressional seat vacated by Jo Ann Emerson.
The Missouri House 120th District seat remained vacant for 464 days until in August 2014 Republican Shawn Sisco defeated Democrat Zechariah Hockersmith in a Special Election ordered by Governor Jay Nixon. On the same day, Chipman defeated Sisco in the Republican primary election. Chipman then defeated Hockersmith in the November General Election.
Sisco was sworn into office September 10.
So far there have been 312 bills pre-filed in the Missouri House.
Chipman said he was looking forward toward learning the rules and decorum of the House, but is also actively listening to constituents about concerns.
"I can't really speak to any specific issues, yet," Chipman said, "but I am planning to go around and speak with local elected officials to see what issues they may have."