This morning I had the honor of attending the Patriot Day Remembrance Ceremony on the University of Central Missouri Quadrangle. Special performing guests were the Air Force ROTC Rifle Drill Team from Lee's Summit High School. They put on quite a show! The message of the ceremony is to remember those who died in the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001. Hopefully, this type of incident, or any other terrorist attack on U.S. soil, will not happen again, but we must always be prepared.
The 2014 Veto Session actually began at 10:45 on Wednesday morning as three new members, winners of special elections, were sworn into office as representatives. At 11, we began our consideration of the 116 line items and 33 bills vetoed by the governor.
In total the House overrode 55 line items and the Senate approved 47 of these vetoes. The 47 lines authorize more than $53 million in state spending. The items that are now set to receive funding despite the governor's objections include:
- $1.45 million to provide forensic exams for physically abused children
- $400,000 for Area Agencies on Aging -- At Home Meals for Senior Citizens Program
- $500,000 to provide assistance to victims of sexual assault
- $2.5 million for intensive reading instruction program for kids in failing school districts
- $150,000 for the Bright Futures Program that empowers communities to meet the needs of their children
- $400,000 for a Math and Science Tutoring Program in St. Louis City
- $500,000 in aid to Sheltered Workshops
- $100,000 for a mentoring program for the children of inmates
- $1.3 million for programs to help children with autism
- $948,381 for a Medicaid waiver for individuals with brain injuries
- $125,000 for services for Missourians with Alzheimer's
- $5.2 million for services to Missourians with asthma
In addition to the budget line items, the following bills were also overridden:
HB 1132 - Changes the laws regarding a tax credit for contributions to a maternity home, pregnancy resource center, or a food pantry.
HB 1307 - Changes the minimum waiting period before a woman can have an abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours
SB 523 - Prohibits school districts from requiring a student to use an identification device that uses radio frequency identification technology to transmit certain information
SB 593 - Modifies provisions relating to nonpartisan elections
SB 656 - Modifies the live fire exercise and testing requirements to obtain a concealed carry permit
SB 727 - Creates a sales and use tax exemption for farm products sold at a farmers' market
SB 731 - Modifies provisions relating to nuisance ordinances and actions.
SB 829 - Modifies provisions relating to burden of proof in tax liability cases with the Department of Revenue
SB 841 - Modifies provisions relating to alternative nicotine or vapor products (e-cigarettes)
SB 866 - Preempts local laws that would modify current law governing the manner in which traditional installment loan lenders are allowed to make loans
A Matter of Priorities
The veto overrides showed two things: the legislature can work in a bipartisan manner, and our priorities are education, access to health care for those who have limited income, and helping seniors and the disabled. Many of the override vote counts in these line items were in the 112-123 range. There is a spirit of accomplishing certain common goals in Jefferson City!
It is an honor to serve the 51st District in the Missouri House of Representatives. Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City and Missouri. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our state government and the quality of life for all Missourians. My telephone number is 573-751-2204 or you may contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for working with me to make Missouri a great place to live.