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Jerome Barnes Representative District 28 News Letter

Barnes

July 20, 2017

Volume 1, No. 28

 

 

 

Quick Links:

www.state.mo.us

www.house.mo.gov

www.modot.org

STATE AUDITOR NICOLE GALLOWAY AND RACHEL GONZALES

State auditor Nicole Galloway visited Raytown July 14th,  also in Raytown was Rachel Gonzalez Missouri Democratic Party Young Democrat of the year.

GREITENS VETOES THREE MORE BILLS FOR TOTAL OF FIVE

On the last day to act on bills from the 2017 regular legislative session, Gov. Eric Greitens on July 14 vetoed three bills separately relating to judicial proceedings, boating safety and National Guard grievance procedures. With those vetoes, Greitens has rejected a total of five bills while issuing three line-item budget vetoes since taking office.

Among Greitens’ latest vetoes was House Bill 850

, which would have specified that complaints by Missouri National Guard members can only be made to the adjutant general and not directly to the governor. Greitens said there was no substantial justification for the change and that guard members should retain the option of going directly to the governor.

He also vetoed Senate Bill 128, an omnibus judiciary measure that he said violates constitutional restrictions against bills that contain multiple subjects or that are expanded from their original purpose, and Senate Bill 65, which Greitens said would have repealed “common-sense” boating safety restrictions.

Greitens previously had vetoed HCR 19, which had sought to authorize the sale of $48 million in bonds to help finance construction of a downtown arts campus for the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and HCB 3, which would have swept $35 million in excess funds from certain special state accounts and redirected the revenue to prevent more than 8,000 disabled and elderly Missourians from losing nursing home and in-home care services.

Lawmakers will have the opportunity to override the governor when they convene Sept. 13 for their annual veto session. While the General Assembly, with Republican supermajorities in both legislative chambers, had been prolific in overriding previous Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, it is expected to take a more subdued approach with a GOP governor in office.

GOVERNOR SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER ON DRUG MONITORING

Gov. Eric Greitens issued an executive order on July 17 that purports to create a statewide prescription drug monitoring program to help prevent opioid abuse. However, lawmakers from both parties questioned whether Greitens’ action accomplishes its stated purpose given that executive orders have no force of law.

Missouri is the only state in the nation that lacks a statewide monitoring program to alert doctors when patients seek to obtain multiple prescriptions from different doctors. Legislative efforts to enact such a program have failed repeatedly in recent years due to concerns by some lawmakers that it would put patient privacy at risk.

Greitens’ executive order directs the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to enter into a $250,000 no-bid contract with St. Louis-based Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefits management company, to analyze prescription data in an attempt to identify medical professionals who may be overprescribing prescription narcotics. Express Scripts donated $25,000 to Greitens campaign committee.

Because the executive order has no force of law behind it, it doesn’t appear that prescribers will be under any legal obligation to turn over their data to be analyzed. Also, unlike the prescription drug database the legislature has sought to establish, under Greitens’ plan physicians would have no access to the data and, therefore, no ability spot patients who have sought multiple prescriptions. Stopping doctor shopping is the primary purpose of prescription drug monitoring programs.

DORMANT SPECIAL SESSION ON ABORTION TO REVIVE JULY 24

The dormant special legislative session on abortion regulations will revive on July 24 when the full Senate convenes to consider its next move on a more restrictive bill sent back from the House of Representatives. The session began June 12 but has been on hold for more than a month as neither chamber has met in full session since June 20.

As originally passed by the Senate, SB 5 represented a compromise aimed at avoiding a Democratic filibuster. The House, however, took a more hardline approach that seeks more restrictions than even Gov. Eric Greitens originally had requested in calling the special session. As a result, Greitens, a Republican, modified the special session call on July 5 to ensure the House version fits within the call’s parameters, as required by the state constitution.

A key provision of a bill, and one both chambers agree on, seeks to invalidate a St. Louis City ordinance prohibiting employers or landlords from discriminating against women who are pregnant, use contraception or have had an abortion. The bill also would impose more stringent regulations on abortion clinics than are required of other medical facilities and grant the attorney general original jurisdiction to prosecute alleged violations of abortion laws.

If the Senate passes the House version, the bill would go to the governor and the special session would be over. The Senate’s other options are to negotiate a final version of the bill with the House or insist that the House accept the original Senate bill.

Greitens has called two special sessions since the regular session ended on May 12. Those sessions so far have cost taxpayers more than $140,000, and those costs continue to mount. The current special session must end no later than Aug. 11.

MISSOURI’S TRANSPORATION FUNDING ISSUES

Missouri House Policy Development Caucus is seeking the public’s input on Missouri’s transportation funding issues. They will be in  Lee’s Summit on Tuesday, July 25th . This meeting will be at 5:00 p.m., Lee’s Summit City Hall in the Howard Conf. Room, 220 SE Greet Street.(For more information see attachment).

NEXT WEEKS NEWSLETTER WILL HAVE  UPDATES ON REAL ID AND VOTER ID.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Join the conversation and follow me on Twitter @RepJeromeBarn28. Pease feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and will try to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at (573) 751-9851 or email at Jerome.Barnes@house.mo.gov.

If you would like to be removed from the mailing list for this report, please reply to this email with “remove from list” in the subject line. Thank you.

Jerome Barnes

Representative District 28

573-751-9851

 

WEEKLY CAPITOL UPDATE

July 13, 2017

Volume 1, No. 27

 

 

 

Quick Links:

www.state.mo.us

www.house.mo.gov

www.modot.org

MORx PROGRAM CUT

Last week, marks the start of July – which in Missouri unfortunately means that more than 60,000 seniors are going to see an increase in their prescription drug costs. 

All around the state, older Missourians have been receiving letters from Governor Eric Greitens administration telling them that their monthly prescription drug prices are going up.  This includes over 6000 seniors here in  Jackson county.  

The letter reads in part: “your Missouri Rx (MORx) program coverage expires in 2017. The last day you can receive help with prescription drug co-payment costs from the MORx program will be June 30, 2017. Prescriptions filled after this date will not be covered by MORx.” 

As the Representative for District 28, I find it despicable that in order to try to deal with our state’s budget, the Republican establishment in Jefferson City has been prioritizing big corporation and special interests instead of our working families and older Missourians.  And now as a result, more than 60,000 seniors are facing rising costs for their prescription drugs as if they didn’t have enough to worry about. 

That kind of disastrous policy from Republicans is unacceptable

– and it’s why I’m fighting to make sure the health and financial security of our seniors is always a top priority. If you are no longer getting this coverage please contact my office at 573-751-9851 or jerome.barnes@house.mo.gov to see if there is something we can do to help.

The temperature has been in the upper 90's so please check on our senior neighbors.

FIRST PHASE OF STATE INCOME TAX CUT TO KICK IN JAN. 1

The state income tax rate paid by most Missourians will drop one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.9 percent as of Jan. 1, the State Treasurer’s Office confirmed on July 6. The tax cut is part of legislation passed in 2014 but triggered only recently due to growth in state revenue collections.

Although state revenue collections increased sufficiently during the 2017 fiscal year to meet the relatively low benchmark set by the 2014 tax-cut measure, SB 509, it’s not an indication the state is doing well financially. In enacting the FY 2018 state budget, lawmakers made deep spending cuts across state government, particularly to higher education, and Gov. Greitens announced plans to unilaterally cut another $191 million in approved spending, most of which he has already implemented.

When fully phased-in over several years, Missouri’s main income tax rate will drop to 5.5 percent, and the law also will provide a 25 percent tax deduction for “pass through” business income reported on personal tax returns. It also will restructure the state’s income tax brackets, which haven’t been updated since 1931 and resulted in individuals earning more than $9,000 a year paying the current top rate of 6 percent.

The Republican-controlled General Assembly enacted SB 509 over the veto of then-Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat. It was modeled on a massive tax cut Kansas enacted in 2012 that promised economic growth and job creation but delivered neither and instead shattered the state’s finances. The Kansas Legislature largely repealed the cuts earlier this year.

Because the Missouri Constitution requires voter approval to enact any major tax increase, if SB 509 produces a similar outcome, lawmakers won’t easily be able to raise taxes back to their previous levels.

GREITENS TO LET STL MINIMUM WAGE CUT BECOME LAW

The minimum wage in St. Louis City will be cut by 23 percent on Aug. 28 under legislation Republican Gov. Eric Greitens will allow to become law without his signature. The city’s minimum wage currently stands at $10 an hour and was slated to increase to $11 an hour next year. Instead the city’s wage floor will revert to the statewide minimum of $7.70 an hour.

Under the Missouri Constitution, all bills passed during the regular legislative session that are neither signed nor vetoed as of July 14 automatically become law. In a June 30 news release announcing his planned inaction on HB 1194, Greitens wasn’t entirely clear about his motivation.

While he blasted St. Louis’ higher minimum wage by saying “it will kill jobs and … take money out of people’s pockets,” he said he disapproved of how the Republican-controlled legislature handled the bill by waiting until late in the legislative session to grant it final passage. Greitens didn’t explain why that fact prompted him to not sign a bill he supports, causing Democrats to accuse him of attempting to avoid responsibility for cutting the wages of thousands of low-income workers.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen enacted the city’s minimum wage ordinance in 2015 but its implementation was delayed until earlier this year due to legal challenges. While the city will revert to the state minimum wage in August, employers in the city won’t be compelled to cut wages to employees currently earning $10 an hour, although they will be free to do so.

GOVERNOR ORDERS HIGHWAY PATROL TO PATROL HIGHWAYS

As the centerpiece of his plan to address violent crime in St. Louis City, Gov. Eric Greitens has ordered the Missouri State Highway Patrol to patrol state highways within the city limits. Although under state law the patrol is charged with enforcing traffic laws on all state highways, it apparently stopped doing so in St. Louis years ago for reasons that aren’t clear.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the city’s police chief asked the patrol in 2015 to resume patrolling the interstates through the city, but the patrol declined. Greitens anti-crime plan also calls for unspecified partnerships between the Missouri Department of Public Safety and federal law enforcement agencies and increased services targeting at-risk youth.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Join the conversation and follow me on Twitter @RepJeromeBarn28. Pease feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and will try to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at (573) 751-9851 or email at Jerome.Barnes@house.mo.gov.

If you would like to be removed from the mailing list for this report, please reply to this email with “remove from list” in the subject line. Thank you.

Jerome Barnes

Representative District 28

573-751-9851

 

State Representative

JEROME BARNES

28th District

Missouri Government News:

WEEKLY CAPITOL UPDATE ; June 29, 2017 ; Volume 1, No. 25 GREITENS VETOES STATE FUNDING FOR UMKC ARTS CAMPUS ; Rejecting a top priority of Kansas City business and civic leaders, Gov. Eric Greitens on June 28 vetoed bipartisan legislation that sought to authorize the sale of $48 million in bonds to help finance construction of a downtown arts campus for the University of Missouri Kansas City. Greitens’ veto of HCR 19 was his first since taking office in January. ;

The long-sought downtown arts campus is slated to cost $96 million, with $48 million in private donations already secured to cover half its cost. The state bonds would have paid for the other half. UMKC officials will now attempt to raise more private donations to cover what would have been the state’s contribution. However, that could delay the project indefinitely. > > Supporters of the downtown arts campus said it would help revitalize downtown Kansas City and provide a strong economic stimulus for the city. HCR 19 enjoyed widespread support in both chambers, passing 117-39 in the House of Representatives and 28-4 in the Senate. In a statement, Greitens, a Republican, called it “wrong” to use public money for the project, notwithstanding the fact that it would be a public facility at a public university. > > Lawmakers could attempt to override the action when they convene for their annual veto session on Sept. 13 but that is considered unlikely. Although the measure passed by veto-proof margins, many Republican lawmakers who originally voted for it might be reluctant to override a governor of their own political party. > > SCOTUS RULES AGAINST MISSOURI IN PLAYGROUND CASE > > In a 7-2 ruling issued June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court said the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ exclusion of a Columbia church from state grant program to fund the installation of recycled rubber playground surfaces unconstitutionally discriminated against the church on religious grounds. > > Trinity Lutheran Church applied for a grant in 2012 to resurface the playground at its adjacent preschool. In rejecting the application, the department cited a state constitutional provision that prohibits public funding from being used to directly or indirectly aid any church or religious organization. The church sued claiming its exclusion from the program based solely on its religious affiliation violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Both a federal district judge and the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected that argument and upheld the department’s action. > > In reversing those decisions, the Supreme Court said that because the grant program was for the purely secular purpose of resurfacing a playground, the state can’t automatically reject churches from participation. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said “the exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution.” > > In a strongly worded dissent, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the majority ruling leads “to a place where separation of church and state is a constitutional slogan, not a constitutional commitment.” The case is Trinity Lutheran v. Comer. > > CUTS TO DRUG BENEFIT WILL AFFECT 63,000 MISSOURIANS > > More than 63,000 Missourians will lose their prescription drug coverage under the state’s MORx Program when the new fiscal year begins July 1, according to the Missouri Department of Social Services. The change is expected to save the state an estimated $15 million and was approved earlier this year by the Republican-controlled General Assembly. > > Under the change to MORx, which provides prescription drug assistance for senior citizens, people with incomes falling between 85 percent and 185 percent of the federal poverty level will no longer qualify for a 50 percent reduction in prescription drug costs. > > HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!! > > WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU > > Join the conversation and follow me on Twitter @RepJeromeBarn28. Pease feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and will try to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at (573) 751-9851 or email at Jerome.Barnes@house.mo.gov. > > If you would like to be removed from the mailing list for this report, please reply to this email with “remove from list” in the subject line. Thank you. > > Jerome Barnes > Representative District 28 > 573-751-9851 ---------------State Representative JEROME BARNES 28th District Missouri Government News: (MO Government news comes from Rep. Jerome Barnes of the 28th District this week)

WEEKLY CAPITOL UPDATE June 15, 2017 Volume 1, No. 23 House Seal 2 color Quick Links: www.state.mo.us www.house.mo.gov www.modot.org GOVERNOR SIGNS REAL ID COMPLIANCE BILL INTO LAW Gov. Eric Greitens on June 12 signed a bill into law that seeks to bring Missouri driver’s licenses into compliance with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. Although many states initially resisted the federal law due to privacy concerns, that resistance dwindled to the point where Missouri was one of just four states that still hadn’t complied. The approval of a REAL ID compliance bill marks a sharply reversal for the Republican-controlled General Assembly, which in 2009 went so far as enacting a statute outright prohibiting state compliance with the federal law, which sets standards for security features on government-issued identification cards. However, with the federal government warning that as of Jan. 22, 2018, it won’t allow people to use non-compliant state-issued IDs to board commercial aircraft or enter federal facilities, most of the resistance from Republican lawmakers crumbled. With the signing of House Bill 151, it is expected that the federal government will grant Missouri a temporary waiver from the REAL ID requirements to give the state time to implement its new law. SENATE PASSES ABORTION BILL AFTER LONG NEGOTIATIONS After a long day of behind-the-scenes maneuvering, the Senate on June 15 voted 20-8 in favor of legislation to impose additional regulations on abortion facilities and allow discrimination against women based on their reproductive decisions. The bill advances to the House of Representatives, which is expected to debate the measure June 20. The Senate was scheduled to convene at 9 a.m. on June 14 but didn’t do so until 7:30 p.m. After just a half-hour of debate, the Senate took another two-hour break before returning to quickly grant the bill preliminary approval with little discussion. The Senate later took a final vote on the measure in the early morning hours of June 15. Instead of the scheduled public debate, the day was consumed with closed-door negotiations that resulted in the bill’s original Republican sponsor being dumped in an intra-party dispute and an extensive rewrite of the measure so that it could both win the support of majority Republicans while giving minority Democrats sufficient concessions to avoid a filibuster. In the end, Democrats opposed the bill but didn’t attempt to block it. A primary provision of the bill seeks to invalidate a St. Louis City ordinance enacted in February that prohibits employers or landlords from discriminating against women who are pregnant, use contraception or have had an abortion. Other provisions seek to increase regulations on abortion clinics and grant the attorney general the authority to initiate prosecutions for alleged violations of abortion regulations. Prosecutorial decisions typically are made at the sole discretion of county prosecutors, with the attorney general’s office primarily doing only appellate work in criminal cases. Gov. Eric Greitens called lawmakers into a special session on abortion after similar legislation failed to pass during this year’s regular session. Critics from both parties called the governor’s action an abuse of the special session provision, which under the state constitution is only supposed to be invoked on “extraordinary occasions.” Some critics contend the special session is primarily for Greitens to establish political credibility with anti-abortion groups after he was the only one of the four Republican gubernatorial candidates last year who wasn’t endorsed by Missouri Right to Life. Special legislative sessions cost taxpayers roughly $25,000 for each day both chambers are in full session. Actual costs are less, however, on days when only one chamber meets. GROUP OF SENATORS SEEKS INVESTIGATION OF GOVERNOR A bipartisan group six state senators filed a resolution on June 12 seeking an investigation into Republican Gov. Eric Greitens for possible ethical – and potentially criminal – violations relating to his campaign’s procurement and use of the donor list from a non-profit organization Greitens founded. The group consists of four Republicans and two Democrats. On April 28, Greitens admitted to violating state campaign finance laws by failing to disclose his campaign’s use of a donor list from The Mission Continues, a charity for aiding former veterans that Greitens ran until his run for governor. Greitens’ campaign was fined $1,000 by the Missouri Ethics Commission and amended its campaign finance reports to claim the donor list as an in-kind contribution from the charity. How Greitens’ campaign obtained the donor list remains unclear. If The Mission Continues gave it to Greitens, it would forfeit its tax-exempt status under federal law. A spokeswoman for The Missouri Continues told The Kansas City Star that it didn’t provide the list to Greitens or his campaign. However, if the campaign didn’t obtain the list with permission, the only alternative explanation appears to be that it was stolen. The Senate resolution would establish a five-member committee to investigate the matter, with full power to subpoena witnesses and records. While Senate Republican leaders said the measure won’t advance during the current special legislative session, they left open the possibility of it being considered during next year’s regular legislative session. In addition to issues relating to the donor list, the bipartisan group also wants to investigate whether Greitens’ recently established “dark money” organization, A New Missouri, is violating state campaign finance and lobbying laws. PAROLE OFFICIAL RESIGNS FOR TOYING WITH INMATES Missouri Probation and Parole Board Member Don Ruzicka resigned under pressure on June 12, days after a previously secret investigative report became public revealing that he and another official repeatedly played games during parole hearings in which try tried to work song titles or unusual words, such as “hootenanny” or “platypus,” into their questioning of inmates. The men awarded each other points for using the predetermined titles or words, with double points given if the inmate repeated them. The Office of the Inspector General of the Missouri Department of Corrections issued its report on Nov. 1 concluding that Ruzicka and the other man, a parole analyst whose name was redacted from the public version of the report, engaged in unprofessional conduct. The report only became public after the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center, a civil rights and social justice advocacy group, obtained a copy and released it to the media on June 8. Corrections officials initially defended the two men, who admitted to the game-playing. In a June 9 interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, parole board Chairman Kenny Jones called them “very credible members who take their job seriously,” while corrections Director Anne Precythe said: “We have a very good parole board that is very conscientious about the decisions they make when it comes to the hearings they hold.” After their antics became public, two Democratic lawmakers, House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty of Kansas City and state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis, separately wrote to Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican, asking him to fire the two men. Ruzicka was a Republican state representative from Mount Vernon when then-Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, appointed to the parole board in December 2012. It remains unknown if the unidentified parole analyst who played the game with Ruzicka has been disciplined.

Barnes

State Representative

JEROME BARNES

28th District

Missouri Government News:

(MO Government news comes from Rep. Jerome Barnes of the 28th District this week)

WEEKLY CAPITOL UPDATE

April 20, 2017

Volume 1, No. 15

 

FEDERAL JUDGE BLOCKS MISSOURI ABORTION RESTRICTIONS

U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs on April 19 issued an injunction blocking Missouri from enforcing two state laws imposing tight restrictions on the operation of abortion clinics. In doing so, Sachs said the Missouri restrictions violate a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down similar Texas laws.

One of the Missouri laws Sachs targeted requires abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers, while the other mandates that abortion doctors have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

While proponents of those laws claim they are necessary to protect women’s health, critics have long claimed they are thinly veiled efforts to close abortion clinics by imposing burdensome and unnecessary regulations on them. In its decision last year in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the Supreme Court agreed, noting that the Texas laws, like Missouri’s, only applied to abortion clinics and not facilities that provide other outpatient surgical services.

Attorney General Josh Hawley, a Republican, plans to appeal Sachs’ ruling. On the same day the decision came down, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives granted first-round approval to legislation to impose a new set of abortion restrictions. That measure is House Bill 194.

AUDITOR ISSUES SUBPOENA FOR REVENUE DEPT RECORDS

State Auditor Nicole Galloway on April 19 issued a subpoena to the Missouri Department of Revenue to force it to turn over information concerning whether the department is complying with a state law requiring tax refunds to be issued within 45 days after a tax return is filed. Galloway said it’s the first time since she took office two years ago that she has needed to invoke her subpoena power due to a state agency’s refusal to comply with an information request.

“If the new administration intends to operate behind a wall of secrecy, I will use the full authority of my office to ensure transparency and accountability when taxpayer dollars are involved,” Galloway said in a news release.

Until 2015, state law allowed 90 days for the revenue department to issue tax refunds, although most refunds typically were sent out within weeks. However, Republican lawmakers felt the administration of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon was taking more time than necessary to issue refunds and enacted legislation, which Nixon signed into law, cutting the time for issuing refunds in half.

The Associated Press reported that requests for comment from Gov. Eric Greitens’ office and the revenue department went answered.  Galloway, a Democrat, is giving the department until April 28 or she will go to court to enforce the subpoena.

HOUSE PROPOSES STUDY OF TRANSPORTATION FUNDING

One week after defeating a proposal to increase the state’s fuel tax for the first time in more than two decades, the House of Representatives on April 18 voted 96-36 in favor of a resolution to establish a 23-member task force to study proposals for increasing transportation funding. The resolution, HCR 47, now advances to the Senate for further action.

Missouri’s 17-cent-per-gallon fuel tax last went up in 1996 when the final 2 cents of a phased-in 6-cent increase lawmakers approved in 1992 took effect. Since that time, various panels and commissions have been created to recommend a long-term transportation funding solution, with little follow through by the legislature.

The Missouri Department of Transportation’s annual construction budget has plummeted by more than a $1 billion in recent years as it has been forced to shift a sizable portion of its revenue to paying off bonds it sold in the early 2000s to finance a short-term construction boom. In the next few years, MoDOT anticipates that it won’t have sufficient revenue to fully maintain the Missouri’s 34,000-mile state highway system.

BILLS THAT PASSED OUT OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES THIS WEEK

  • HB 29 (Pike) relating to intoxicating alcohol
  • HB 111 (Mathews) relating to the bi-state collective bargaining agreement
  • HB 118 (Wood) – student transfers
  • HB 121 (Frederick) – health professional student loan repayment program
  • HB 144 (McGaugh) relating to health care decision-maker act
  • HB 159 (McGaugh) – relating to actions against veterinarians
  • HB 170 (Curtman) relating to industrial hemp
  • HB 181 (Phillips) which grants law enforcement/conservation commission officers/water patrol authority to enforce certain laws
  • HB 209 (Wiemann) – relating to chiropractic services reimbursed under mohealthnet
  • HB 227 (Hubrecht) – psychology interjurisdictional compact
  • HB 261 (Brown 94) dealing with human trafficking hotline posters
  • HB 294 (Lynch) relating to immunity for persons who seek medical assistance for drug/alcohol overrode
  • HB 330 (Morris) – relating to assistant physicians
  • HB 334 (Lauer) – relating to the annual statewide 911 bill
  • HB 571 (Engler) which modifies fees for explosive use
  • HB 576 (McCaherty) relating to motorcycle helmets
  • HB 694 (Redmon) – motor fuel taxes
  • HB 719 (Rhoads) which changes laws regarding sawmills property classification

o   There was a technical perfecting amendment on this

  • HB 729 (Bernskoetter) – relating to the retirement of state employees
  • HB 741 (Engler) – relating to insurance markets for commercial insurance
  • HB 813 (Basye) regulating certain professions
  • HB 815 (Basye) also regulating certain professions
  • HB 849 (Pfautsch) – relating to the reporting of financial transactions by political subdivisions (fine for tardiness)
  • HB 935 (Haefner) – relating to sales taxes, with some zoo implications
  • HB 1158 (Franklin) – relating to child abuse
  • HCB 4 (Lauer) – relating to workforce development
  • HCB 5 (Lauer) – relating to computer programming education
  • HCR 9 (Gannon) relating to the Joachim Creek flooding
  • HCRs 32 & 33 (Francis) relating to the designation of Total Eclipse Day
  • HCR 35 (Hurst) – relating to Missouri POW/MIA from the Vietnam War
  • HCR 47 (Corlew) – relating to the 21st Century Missouri Highway System Task Force

SENATE BILL TO WEAKEN HUMAN RIGHTS ACT

The Senate approved SB 43 in March, and the House of Representatives will be debating this bill next week. If  SB43 passes out of the House it will go straight to Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican, to be signed into law.  I strongly oppose this bill.

This legislation will severely weaken Missouri’s anti-discrimination law that is sponsored by a Republican state senator who currently is being sued for alleged violations of that very law has cleared two House committees and is one vote away from being sent to Gov. Eric Greitens to be signed into law.

Senate Bill 43 would make it significantly harder for victims of illegal workplace discrimination to successfully sue their employer under the Missouri Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, disability or familial status.

Its sponsor, state Sen. Gary Romine, R-Farmington owns Show-Me Rent-to-Own, a nine-store chain in Southeast Missouri. In 2015, a former account manager at the company’s Sikeston location sued, alleging a white supervisor repeatedly targeted her with racial slurs and also prohibited renting to residents of Sikeston’s black neighborhood. The account manager, who is black, says she was fired for pre-textual reasons after complaining. The case remains pending in Scott County Circuit Court.

There are 24 Republican senators; 23 of them aren’t being sued under the Missouri Human Rights Act.

Yet, the one senator who is being sued under the Missouri Human Rights Act is sponsoring the bill to gut that very act. How could anyone think it was a good idea?

If a state lawmaker charged with DWI sponsored a bill to weaken Missouri’s DWI laws while the charge was pending, most Missourians would consider that improper. This situation is no different.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Join the conversation and follow me on Twitter @RepJeromeBarn28. Pease feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and will try to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at (573) 751-9851 or email at Jerome.Barnes@house.mo.gov.

If you would like to be removed from the mailing list for this report, please reply to this email with “remove from list” in the subject line. Thank you.

Jerome Barnes

Representative District 28

573-751-9851

 

WEEKLY CAPITOL UPDATE

April 13, 2017

Volume 1, No. 14

BILL TO WEAKEN HUMAN RIGHTS ACT ADVANCES IN HOUSE

Legislation to severely weaken Missouri’s anti-discrimination law that is sponsored by a Republican state senator who currently is being sued for alleged violations of that very law has cleared two House committees and is one vote away from being sent to Gov. Eric Greitens to be signed into law.

Senate Bill 43 would make it significantly harder for victims of illegal workplace discrimination to successfully sue their employer under the Missouri Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, disability or familial status.

Its sponsor, state Sen. Gary Romine, R-Farmington owns Show-Me Rent-to-Own, a nine-store chain in Southeast Missouri. In 2015, a former account manager at the company’s Sikeston location sued, alleging a white supervisor repeatedly targeted her with racial slurs and also prohibited renting to residents of Sikeston’s black neighborhood. The account manager, who is black, says she was fired for pre-textual reasons after complaining. The case remains pending in Scott County Circuit Court.

In a news conference on April 10, members of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus said the bill would weaken important civil rights protections and criticized Romine for using his elected position for personal benefit. The Senate approved SB 43 in March, and if no changes are made by the House it will go straight to Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican, to be signed into law.

SENATE PASSES TAX CREDITS FOR PRIVATE SCHOLARSHIPS

The Senate on April 11 granted first-round approval to legislation that would authorize $25 million a year in tax credits for donations to organizations that provide scholarships for private school tuition. The measure, SB 313, requires a second vote to advance to the House of Representatives.

Critics of the bill said it amounted to a back-door private-school voucher system, since money that would otherwise go into the state treasury for various state services, including public schools, would be redirected to private schools.

SB 313 also contains numerous other provisions relating to education, including changes to an existing law that allows students in unaccredited school districts to transfer to better nearby schools and modifications to the State Board of Education’s powers to take over such districts.

STATE AUDITOR FINDS ISSUES WITH TAXING DISTRICTS

Transportation development districts throughout Missouri are engaging in questionable practices with little oversight or transparency, according to a report State Auditor Nicole Galloway issued on April 10. Galloway, a Democrat, urged the Republican-controlled General Assembly to overhaul the state’s TDD law to prohibit the “self-dealing and conflicts of interest” she says are currently common.

“Insiders have rigged the system to take advantage of Missourians,” Galloway said in a news release.  “It is outrageous that taxpayers are on the hook for a billion dollars in debt without even realizing it.”

TDDs are special taxing districts -- usually created by land developers -- that authorize businesses within the district to levy a sales tax, the proceeds of which go to reimburse the developer for the cost of building and maintaining infrastructure in the district. TDD taxes are imposed without local voter approval, in apparent violation of the Missouri Constitution’s Hancock Amendment.

The problems highlighted in Galloway’s report include the inherent conflicts of interest of TDD boards controlled by developers and property owners, collection of taxes in excess of a TDD’s legal authority, improper extension of the duration of taxes and failure to comply with various reporting requirements.

GREITENS CREATES PANEL TO STUDY ELIMINATING PANELS

Gov. Eric Greitens on April 11 issued an executive order creating a governmental panel to study whether Missouri has too many governmental panels. The 12-member Boards and Commissions Task Force is charged with issuing a report no later than Oct. 31 with recommendations on whether some of the more than 200 state boards and commissions should be eliminated.

Former Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, attempted a similar culling in 2010, targeting more than 30 boards and commissions for elimination, some of which hadn’t met in years. Legislation to do so cleared the Senate but died in the House of Representatives. However, Nixon unilaterally eliminated 13 boards and commissions by executive order.

LEGISLATURE IS ON EASTER BREAK, THEY WILL RECONVENE AT 2:00 ON APRIL 18,2017.

HAPPY EASTER TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Join the conversation and follow me on Twitter @RepJeromeBarn28. Pease feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and will try to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at (573) 751-9851 or email at Jerome.Barnes@house.mo.gov.

 

HOUSE COMMITTEE SET TO CONSIDER FY 2018 STATE BUDGET

The House Budget Committee on March 28 is scheduled to begin debate on the 13 appropriations bills that make up the roughly $27.6 state operating budget for the 2018 fiscal year.

When he presented his proposed state budget on Feb. 2, Republican Gov. Eric Greitens touted $572 million in proposed spending cuts from FY 2017. However, the governor’s plan redirected the bulk of the savings from those cuts to increase spending elsewhere.

The House committee proposal omits most of the governor’s proposed cuts, as well as his recommended spending increases. The committee plan, however, largely leaves in place the deep cuts to higher education Greitens had requested, although it restructures them so the cuts are more evenly distributed across Missouri’s public colleges and universities.

On K-12 funding, the committee version calls for a $48 million increase in basic state aid for local school districts instead of the $3 million the governor had recommended. The committee version also includes $36 million for student transportation costs that Greitens had wanted to eliminate.

Also, the committee version rejects the governor’s plan to save about $52 million state revenue by eliminating nursing home and in-home care services for more than 20,000 disabled Missourians. However, the committee plan would help fund those services by eliminating the so-called “circuit breaker” tax credit for low-income elderly and disabled Missourians who rent their homes.

Because Greitens submitted his proposed budget to the legislature weeks later than is normal, the budget process is far behind schedule. With a constitutional deadline of May 5 to finish work on the budget, lawmakers have just six weeks for the House and Senate to pass their versions of the appropriations bills and then resolve any differences between the chambers before agreeing to a unified spending plan to send to the governor.

 
(Thank you Rep. Barnes for your comments and ongoing service!)

KLY CAPITOL UPDATE

March 9, 2017

Volume 1, No. 9

HOUSE REPUBLICANS REJECT MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE

After complaining that a St. Louis ordinance that ultimately would raise the citywide minimum wage to $11 an hour is inappropriate because the minimum wage should be set at the state level, House Republicans on March 8 rejected a proposal to increase the state

wide minimum wage to $11 an hour as of 2020. The wage proposal fell on a near party-line vote 108-45, with Democrats in support and all but one Republican opposed.

Democrats proposed the statewide wage increase as an amendment to another measure, House Bill 1194, that seeks to block implementation of a St. Louis minimum wage ordinance. City officials enacted the ordinance in 2015, but it had been tied up in litigation until a unanimous Missouri Supreme Court upheld it on Feb. 28.

Also in 2015, the Republican-controlled General Assembly overrode a gubernatorial veto to enact a legislation prohibiting cities from having local minimum wages that are higher than the state minimum. However, that legislation included a grandfather clause allowing for higher local wage ordinances in effect as of Aug. 28, 2015, which St. Louis’ was.

HB 1194 would eliminate the grandfather clause, thus invalidating the St. Louis ordinance. The House on March 9 voted 111-45 to send the bill to the Senate for further debate.

BUDGET PANEL PROPOSES ENDING RENTER’S TAX CREDIT

The House Budget Committee on March 7 took the first steps toward eliminating the “circuit-breaker” tax credit for low-income renters who are elderly or disabled. The roughly $60 million in savings from eliminating the credit be used to preserve funding  for nursing home and in-home care services for the disabled, which Republican Gov. Eric Greitens has proposed cutting back.

The circuit breaker tax credit provides property tax relief to low-income elderly or disabled Missourians. Republicans say that only homeowners should qualify for the credit since renters don’t directly pay property taxes on their homes. Democrats argue that it is appropriate to extend the credit to renters, as it has been for more than 40 years, because landlords pass on the cost of their property taxes to renters. The average renter’s credit is about $500 a year.

Democrats further argue that with the hundreds of millions of dollars in special interest tax cuts the legislature has approved in recent years, a relatively modest tax break for the elderly and disabled isn’t the first place lawmakers should turn to for savings. Another committee must hear the bill before it can advance to the full House for debate.

GREITENS TEAM USES NON-PROFIT TO AVOID DISCLOSURE

Operatives connected to Republican Gov. Eric Greitens have established a non-profit organization called A New Missouri Inc. to advocate for the governor’s agenda and pay for some of his expenses, The Kansas City Star reported on March 8. As a non-profit, A New Missouri Inc. doesn’t have to disclose its donors, making it impossible for the public to know if individuals, companies or interest groups with business before the state are making contributions in order to curry favor with the administration.

The Star further reported that the non-profit will coordinate directly with the governor’s office and Greitens’ campaign committee. In some cases, the various arms of the Greitens organization will share staff, with at least one person, Austin Chambers, the governor’s senior adviser, working for all three, an arrangement that could blur legal and ethical lines.

Greitens focused his campaign for office on vows to fight corruption and the influence of lobbyists and campaign donors in Jefferson City. However, Greitens has been criticized for not practicing what he preached, taking nearly $2 million in untraceable “dark money” campaign contributions and refusing to disclose how much donors gave to fund in inaugural ball or who is paying for his plane travels while on official business.

MISSOURI VIETNAM VETERANS DAY

March 30th is Missouri Vietnam Veterans Day.  The House of Representatives will meet in the House Lounge at 9:15 that day to present the Vietnam Veterans with a resolution and say a few words.  If you know a Vietnam Veteran please let my office know by March 13th so we can recognize them for their service and honor them with a resolution. 

ELECTION DAY

April 4 is Election Day in Jackson County -- DON'T FORGET TO VOTE!

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Join the conversation and follow me on Twitter @RepJeromeBarn28. Pease feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and will try to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at (573) 751-9851 or email at Jerome.Barnes@house.mo.gov.  Please go to my House web page at http://www.house.mo.gov/member.aspx?year=2017&district=028 and do the Online Survey.  I will put the results in my end of session report.

February 23, 2017

Volume 1, No. 7

March 30th is Missouri Vietnam Veterans Day.  The House of Representatives will meet in the House Lounge at 9:15 that day to present the Veterans with a resolution and say a few words.  If you know a Veteran please let my office know by March 13th so we can recognize them for their service and honor them with a resolution. 

HOUSE APPROVES SLASHING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

The House of Representatives on Feb. 23 voted 100-56 to advance legislation that would cut the maximum length of unemployment benefits in Missouri from 20 weeks to 13 weeks. Missouri already offers some of the least generous unemployment benefits in the country, and is one of just eight states that provides fewer than 26 weeks of benefits.

Under House Bill 288, the maximum duration of benefits would be based on the statewide unemployment rate during the previous year. Maximum benefits would range from just 13 weeks if the statewide rate is below 6 percent to 20 weeks if the statewide rate is 9 percent or higher.

Missouri’s statewide unemployment rate has remained under 6 percent for more than two years. It stood at 4.4 percent in December, the last month for which information is available.

HB 288 now goes to the Senate for further consideration. Republicans attempted to enact similar legislation – House Bill 150 – over a gubernatorial veto in 2015, but the Missouri Supreme Court later ruled its passage invalid because GOP leaders failed properly to follow constitutional procedures.

HOUSE TAKES FIRST STEP ON REAL ID, SENATE TAKES PASS

The House of Representatives on Feb. 21 gave preliminary approval to legislation that seeks to bring Missouri drivers’ licenses and non-driver identification cards into compliance with the federal Real ID Act. One day later, however, the Senate set aside a similar bill after three hours of debate and isn’t immediately expected to return to it.

The 2005 federal law sets minimum standards that state identification cards must meet in order to be used to enter a federal building or military base or to board a plane. Many states initially resisted complying with the law, and the federal government repeatedly delayed enforcement. However, Missouri is now just one of five states that remain noncompliant, and the federal government plans to fully enforce the law in 2018.

Even with the looming possibility that Missourians may soon be prohibited from boarding a plane unless they have a compliant alternative form of ID, such as a U.S. passport, many Republican state lawmakers remain steadfastly opposed to Real ID, saying it violates personal privacy and states’ rights.

The House version, House Bill 151, needs a second vote to advance to the Senate. Even though majority Republicans hold 116 seats in the House, support from Democrats likely will be required to reach the minimum 82 votes necessary for final passage.

SENATE ADVANCES LIMITED DRUG MONITORING PROGRAM

The Senate on Feb. 22 granted first-round approval to a highly restrictive version of legislation to create a statewide prescription drug monitoring program. However, since the bill is sponsored by a longtime drug monitoring opponent, program proponents say it falls well short of what is need to be effective.

Missouri is the only remaining state that has yet to enact a prescription drug monitoring program, which is intended to combat prescription narcotics abuse by tracking patients who obtain multiple prescriptions from different doctors. State Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph and a physician, has long blocked prescription drug monitoring legislation as an unwarranted government invasion of patient privacy.

Under Senate Bill 74, which Schaaf touted as a compromise, doctors would have limited access to patient records to through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to track prescription drug use. However, individual prescription records would be purged after 180 days. The bill also would pre-empt local governments from operating monitoring programs, which many have launched in recent years due to the state’s continued inaction on the issue.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Missouri Medical Association immediately labeled Schaaf’s bill as “fake PDMP.” Supporters of a more expansive monitoring program are expected to continue to push for it in both legislative chambers. Schaaf’s bill requires a second vote to advance to the House of Representatives.

UPDATE ON CHARTER SCHOOLS

As of today HB634 which allows charter schools to be operated in any school district of the state was heard in the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee on January 30, 2017.  The Committee has still not voted on this bill. 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Join the conversation and follow me on Twitter @RepJeromeBarn28. Pease feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and will try to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at (573) 751-9851 or email at Jerome.Barnes@house.mo.gov.  Please go to my House web page at http://www.house.mo.gov/member.aspx?year=2017&district=028 and do the Online Survey.  I will put the results in my end of session report.

If you would like to be removed from the mailing list for this report, please reply to this email with “remove from list” in the subject line. Thank you.

Jerome Barnes

Representative District 28

573-751-9851

 

February 16, 2017

 

Volume 1, No. 6

APPEALS COURT REVERSES RULING AGAINST CORRECTIONS

A panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District on Feb. 21 reversed a lower court’s ruling that the state Department of Corrections violated the state Sunshine Law by refusing to disclose records identifying the compounding pharmacies it contracts with to produce pentobarbital, the drug used to execute condemned inmates in Missouri.

The appeals panel ruled 3-0 that Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem erred when he said the state law that shields the identities of the state’s execution team doesn’t extend to those who supply the execution drug. Beetem had allowed the department to keep the identity of the drug manufacturer secret while the case was under appeal.

Missouri and other states have turned to compounding pharmacies to make execution drugs in recent years as most major pharmaceutical companies, under pressure from death penalty opponents, have refused to sell drugs to states for lethal injection purposes. States have sought to keep the identities of the compounding pharmacies they work with secret in order to shield them from the same pressures.

The case, Joan Bray, et al., v. George Lombardi, et al., is expected to be appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court.

GOVERNOR MAKES THREE PICKS TO UM BOARD OF CURATORS

Gov. Eric Greitens nominated three members to the University of Missouri Board of Curators on Feb. 15. The nine-member governing board for the four-campus UM System has been without of a third of its members in recent weeks.

Greitens nominees are Darryl Chatman of Foristell, an attorney, former deputy director of the state Department of Agriculture and former MU Tigers linebacker; Jeffrey Layman of Springfield, a senior vice president with Morgan Stanley; and Jaime Farmer of Jefferson City, president of Farmer Holding Company.

The board has so many vacancies because the Senate last year refused to confirm any of then-Gov. Jay Nixon’s curator appointees. Nixon, a Democrat, was able to temporarily fill some spots once the Senate adjourned for the year in mid-May, but Greitens, a Republican, withdrew Nixon’s picks shortly after taking office in January.

The terms of two other curators recently expired, but they are allowed to continue serving until Greitens nominates their replacements. All of the curator picks are subject to Senate confirmation.

We Want to Hear from You

Join the conversation and follow me on Twitter @RepJeromeBarn28. Pease feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and will try to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at (573) 751-9851 or email at Jerome.Barnes@house.mo.gov.  Please go to my House web page at http://www.house.mo.gov/member.aspx?year=2017&district=028 and do the Online Survey.  I will put the results in my end of session report.

WEEKLY CAPITOL UPDATE

February 9, 2017

Volume 1, No. 5

 

 

 

Quick Links:

www.state.mo.us

www.house.mo.gov

www.modot.org

The 99th General Assembly is in its fifth week and things are starting to heat up. Next week we will start having afternoon sessions along with our morning session. Thank you for your support.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF CHARTER SCHOOLS?

Legislation to authorize the statewide expansion of charter schools stalled in the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee amid opposition from supporters of traditional public schools. Under existing law, charter schools are allowed only in Kansas City and St. Louis.

Charter schools are public schools that are allowed to operate free from many of the regulations that traditional public schools are required to follow. Their funding is redirected on a per-pupil basis from the local school district in which the charter school operates.

Charters have had a spotty in the nearly two decades they have operated in Kansas City and St. Louis. While a few have done well, most have performed no better than the traditional public schools they draw their students from, and in some cases charters have performed far worse.

Given the lack of consistent success from charter schools, lawmakers should be skeptical about expanding this experiment statewide. Do you want charter schools in Raytown? I would like to hear from you.

OPPONENTS SEEK TO FORCE VOTE ON ‘RIGHT-TO-WORK’

Hours after Republican Gov. Eric Greitens signed a so-called “right-to-work” bill into law on Feb. 6, the Missouri AFL-CIO filed a referendum petition that would require a statewide vote on the measure before it could take effect.  Labor groups are also pursuing a proposed constitutional amendment that would prohibit the General Assembly from enacting right-to-work laws in the future.

Right-to-work opponents have until Aug. 28 – the day the measure takes effect – to submit petitions signed by roughly 100,000 registered Missouri voters. If they do so, it automatically will go on the November 2018 statewide ballot and won’t take effect until and unless voters approve it.

Senate Bill 19 would make it a crime punishable by jail time for business owners to negotiate labor contracts requiring workers to pay dues for the union representation they receive. Democratic lawmakers sought to include a provision placing the bill on the statewide ballot, but majority Republicans blocked that effort, leaving the referendum petition as the only option to give voters a say on the issue.

The referendum petition is a rarely used process similar to the more common initiative petition. But while an initiative petition bypasses lawmakers by proposing legislation and placing before voters for their approval, a referendum petition takes an act of the General Assembly and forces a statewide vote on it.

The last time a referendum petition was successfully employed to force a vote was on House Bill 695, a bill lawmakers enacted in 1981 to allow larger trucks on Missouri highways. The bill went on the April 1982 ballot as Proposition A, which was rejected by 53.3 percent of voters.

In addition to the SB 19 referendum petition, labor groups are also circulating an initiative petition for a proposed constitutional amendment to block future right-to-work legislation. The issue last went before voters in 1978 when 60 percent rejected Amendment 23, which sought to constitutionally mandate right-to-work.

HOUSE SENDS ANOTHER ANTI-LABOR BILL TO THE SENATE

The House of Representatives on Feb. 9 voted 95-60 to advance legislation that seeks to make it more difficult and costly for labor unions to collect membership dues. The measure, House Bill 251, went to the Senate on a largely party-line vote with Republicans generally in support and nearly every Democrat opposed.

Then-Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, vetoed a similar bill last year, and the Republican-controlled legislature fell one Senate vote short an override. New Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican, generally has been supportive of anti-labor proposals.

HB 251 would impose new procedural barriers to the efficient and timely collection of union dues by requiring workers to reauthorize payroll deductions for union dues more frequently.

STATE SUPREME COURT VACANCY DRAWS 31 APPLICANTS

Thirty-one lawyers have applied for the Missouri Supreme Court vacancy created by the Nov. 29 death of Judge Richard Teitelman, the Appellate Judicial Commission announced on Feb. 7. The commission will interview the applicants on Feb. 28 and March 1, and then select three finalists to submit to Gov. Eric Greitens, who must choose one of them or forfeit the decision to the commission.

The applicants include two members of the Missouri Court of Appeals and 10 state trial judges, the bulk of whom are Republican. The selection commission consists of Supreme Court Chief Justice Patricia Breckenridge, a Republican appointee; three lawyers elected by members of the Missouri Bar and three non-lawyers chosen by former Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat.

Greitens, a Republican, has called for eliminating the commission and allowing the governor to appoint whomever he wants to judicial vacancies, but such a change would require a voter-approved constitutional amendment. In 2012, 76 percent of voters rejected the most recent attempt to change Missouri’s judicial selection process.

NET STATE REVENUE UP 3 PERCENT SO FAR IN FY 2017

Net year-to-date state general revenue collections increased 3 percent through the first seven months of the 2017 fiscal year compared to the same period in FY 2016, going from $4.96 billion last year to $5.11 billion this year. Net collections for January 2017 increased 7.1 percent compared to those for January 2016, going from $791.6 million to $848.1 million.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Join the conversation and follow me on Twitter @RepJeromeBarn28. Pease feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and will try to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at (573) 751-9851 or email at Jerome.Barnes@house.mo.gov.  Please go to my House web page at http://www.house.mo.gov/member.aspx?year=2017&district=028 and do the Online Survey.  I will put the results in my end of session report.

If you would like to be removed from the mailing list for this report, please reply to this email with “remove from list” in the subject line. Thank you

Jerome Barnes

Representative District 28

573-751-9851

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