Speaker Tim Jones addressed the House Wednesday morning revealing his legislative priorities for 2014:
- Renewed efforts for broad based tax cuts (vetoed by the governor last year)
- "Right to Work" legislation that would prohibit unions from collecting fees as a condition of employment (also known as attacks on workers via ALEC)
- Medical malpractice reform, which he referred to as "the true healthcare crisis in Missouri"
- Education reform
- Protecting Missouri values
- Sounding like a stump speech for his projected 2016 Attorney General race, Jones was very clear what bills he wants on the floor this session. What was blaringly missing was ANY reference to: expanding Medicaid/healthcare access for Missourians, addressing the crippling school transfer issue gripping St. Louis and Kansas City school districts OR any legislative attempt to increase jobs in the state.
What does he mean by "protecting Missouri values"?
Jones is looking for co-sponsors for his Conscience bill which he intends to file shortly (see HB457 from 2013) = "anyone or any medical entity providing medical services may refuse services or treatment based on their conscience or principles". He has pushed this same legislation since 2012. Missouri values???
What does he mean by "education reform"?
Jones' major education push last year, HB631 dealing with teacher tenure, was soundly defeated in several attempts. We anticipate he will push similiar bills after retaliation of his own caucus members who voted against him last year. Education reform???
BILLS READY TO ROCK AND ROLL WHICH I'M MONITORING:
- SB519 (Sen. David Sater) - increasing the waiting period for an abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours
- HB11 (Rep. Ron Hicks) - requiring an ultrasound to be viewed prior to a waiting period of 24 hours for an abortion
- HB1132 (Rep. Kevin Engler) - increasing tax credits for pregnancy resource centers to $2.5 million (these centers have no medical oversight)
- SB511 (Sen. Will Kraus) HB107 (Rep. Tony Duggar) SJR31 (Sen. Will Kraus) HJR47 (Rep. Stanley Cox) - requiring a state issued photo ID in order to vote - INCLUDES A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT WHICH WOULD GO STRAIGHT FROM THE LEGISLATURE ONTO THE NOV BALLOT
- SJR36 (Sen. Kurt Schaefer) - constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to bear arms
- HB1164 (Rep. Chrissy Sommers) - Firearms Freedom Act
- SB613 (Sen. Brian Nieves) - Second Amendment Preservation Act
If you have any interest in testifying on any bill this session, please let my office know. We'd be happy to keep you informed - which may involve last minute notice on public hearings (what we typically receive).
Stay tuned. I guarantee you there will be plenty of fireworks this session inside the Dome. One of these days we just might get around to "responsible governing" on issues Missourians really care about.