Thursday, February 16, 2017
Speaker of the House: Blue Alert System will track those who harm law enforcement officers
This week the House continued to take bold action as it advanced legislative priorities that will help bring criminals who attack law enforcement officers to justice; unleash our economy; and break down economic barriers for low-income families. You can learn more about the legislative priorities advanced by the House this week below.
Supporting Our Law Enforcement Officers
Every day, thousands of fathers, mothers, sons and daughters across our great state place their lives on the line to protect and serve our communities. Some of these brave officers end up making the ultimate sacrifice to protect their community. Inexplicably, many of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes evade apprehension and escape justice. This week the House took an important step towards ensuring all of these criminals are brought to justice.
House Bill 302, sponsored by Rep. Justin Hill, would establish a statewide Blue Alert System to aid in the identification, location and apprehension of anyone suspected of killing or seriously injuring a law enforcement officer. Under this system, the Department of Public Safety will coordinate with local law enforcement agencies and broadcasters to ensure officials quickly receive necessary information to apprehend criminals who injure or kill police officers.
Officers serving at every level of law enforcement, from local sheriffs’ offices and municipal police departments to the Missouri State Highway Patrol and various federal agencies, are the backbone of our communities. All make sacrifices to ensure the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are a reality for the rest of us. They deserve our respect and gratitude and the House will continue to search for ways to aid our state’s law enforcement officers in performing their duties. The House passed HB 302 with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 146-6.
Ensuring Fairness in Public Construction
House Bill 126, sponsored by Rep. Rob Vescovo, would prohibit any political subdivision of the state from encouraging or giving preferential treatment to bidders, contractors or subcontractors for entering into agreements with labor organizations to restrict bidding on public construction projects.
Under current law, municipalities can enter into project labor agreements with labor organizations that require all publicly-funded construction projects to only accept bids from firms that agree to either hire workers exclusively through union halls or require non-union workers to pay union fees. Effectively unions use the threat of strikes and protests to extort municipalities for these agreements that drastically restrict competition for public construction projects; raising prices for taxpayers and denying economic opportunity to non-union construction workers.
This common sense labor reform will allow free-market competition for public contracts across Missouri and prohibit local bureaucrats from colluding with union bosses to cheat taxpayers out of their hard-earned money. The House passed HB 216 this week and continues to be committed to pursuing common sense labor reforms that will make our state’s economy more competitive, encourage economic growth, and improve the lives of all Missourians.
Eliminating Unnecessary Regulations
The Missouri House is moving swiftly to craft legislation to eliminate unnecessary, burdensome regulations that are holding our state back. One such piece of legislation, House Bill 230, sponsored by Rep. Shamed Dogan, would exempt individuals who professionally braid hair from cosmetology licensing requirements.
Currently, under Missouri state law, an individual must spend thousands of dollars on cosmetology school and complete 1,500 hours of training in order to acquire a license to legally braid hair. Hair braiders in Missouri are required to undergo more training than real estate agents (72 hours), emergency medical technicians (100 hours) and dieticians (900 hours) combined. This arduous requirement rigs the system against the economically disadvantaged and needlessly prohibits too many hard-working Missourians from employing entrepreneurial spirit to provide for their families.
Our chamber gave strong bipartisan approval to Rep. Dogan’s legislation this Thursday. The House will continue to examine our state’s regulatory environment looking for ways to reduce big government’s burden on everyday Missourians.