Category Archives: Other

Protecting Missourians’ Privacy

I believe every American has the right to keep the details of their lives private from prying eyes. Big government and big business shouldn’t be able to sell your personal information to the highest bidder without your  consent – and ought to take reasonable steps necessary to safeguard your  information from identity thieves. That’s why I’m proposing five bills to protect different aspects of the personal privacy of Missouri citizens.

Data Brokers – The first bill will protect your rights to keep your purchasing habits private – including your purchases of health care items. It would prohibit any government or business from selling your purchasing history to a third-party data-broker without your written consent.

Personal Health Information - The second bill will protect your personal health information by requiring “navigators” under the Affordable Care Act to be bonded and insured against data identity thieves and prohibiting them from sharing your personal health information without your consent. This is a case of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery. The bill I file will be identical to SB 498, first filed by Sen. Kurt Schaefer from Columbia.

Education Records – The third bill would protect the privacy of the educational records of Missouri students. It would prohibit any entity from sharing a student’s detailed educational records without parental consent.

Banning Revenge Porn – The fourth bill would protect the right of Missourians to keep intimate photographs private by prohibiting the publication of private photographs that aren’t suitable for work without the consent of the person in the picture.

Banning Internet Extortion – The fifth bill would protect Missourians from extortionists who place arrest photographs on websites with the goal of extracting payments from people appearing in the photographs – regardless of whether the information published is true or false.

Gov. Nixon’s Post-Session Veto List

Veto reference guide: The following is a complete list of Gov. Nixon’s post-session vetoes, in reverse chronological order from most recent to oldest, complete with links to each bill, veto letter, and respective vote totals on third read in the House and Senate. I’ve done my best to keep my own commentary out and instead to just parrot Gov. Nixon’s stated veto rationale in as short a space as possible. Thus, the short explanations behind the “stated reason” are mere distillations of Nixon’s veto letters and not my own opinions. 

Veto reason: Bill “would exempt a select class of entities from punitive damages in certain instances in some instances and limit such damages in all other instances.” Bill is unconstitutional because it (1) purports to apply retrospectively, and (2) benefits only a “fixed class” of Defendants, thereby violating Art. III, Sec. 40(30) of the Missouri Constitution’s prohibition on special legislation. House 94-63, Senate 24-9.
Veto reason: Bill would “deprive voters of their right to be heard before their property is annexed into a city.” House 144-0, Senate 31-1
Veto reason: “Ill-conceived process” with certain terms undefined, specifically the terms “chief administrative assistant” and “ministerial duties.” House 100-54, Senate 24-9

Veto reason: Designating rock in I-70 median as something other than slave rock. House146-6Senate 29-4. 

Veto reason: “Bad debt” provision disincentivizes utilities from collecting money owed and no compelling need to expand current ISRS. House110-45Senate26-6

Veto reason: unconstitutional because (1) attempts to nullify federal law and mandates arrest of federal officers, and (2) provision prohibiting publication of names of gun owners infringes on First Amendment. House116-38Senate 26-6

Veto reason: would prohibit publication of names of juvenile sex offenders and allow persons to petition judges to have name removed from sex offender list. House150-13Senate28-4.

Veto reason: “Bad public policy to deny individuals who receive poor medical care access to the legal system simply because the person who provided the care was a volunteer.”       House115-41Senate 28-6.

Veto reason: “Riddles with ambiguity that will generate excessive litigation over how and to whom its provisions would apply.” House104-55Senate32-1.

Veto reason: “Proposes a convoluted and cumbersome solution to a process (the submission of fingerprints for foster parents) that can be streamlined in a simpler, more straightforward manner.” House154-0Senate33-0. 

Veto reason: Contains provision on court-approved private probation services by DWI courts that conflicts with language in a bill previously signed by the Governor. House131-18Senate28-3.

Veto reason: Bill would exempt Girls, Inc. of St. Louis from child care requirements. Girl’s Inc. is ‘ an outstanding organization’ but ‘protecting the safety of Missouri’s children should be paramount.’ House143-15, Senate33-0 (consent).

Veto reason: Infringes on employee privacy and would subject employers to ADA lawsuits.     House91-67Senate32-0.

Veto reason: Allows increased foreign ownership of farmland and creates offense of animal trespass. House133-21Senate32-1.

Veto reason: Exempts mining operations within 1,000 feet of school in Cape Girardeau County and allows increased foreign ownership of farmland. House103-50Senate32-0.

Veto reason: “Goes too far when it denies unemployment benefits” to “activities occurring outside the workplace and outside of work hours.” House98-57Senate32-2.

Veto reason: Increases “fees that payday, title, and … installment lenders can charge consumers.” House143-17, Senate34-0.

Veto reason: Changes penalty for minor in casino by reducing the charge but increasing the fine. House133-2Senate30-1.

Veto reason: Ambiguous restrictions on state and local governments would require local gov’t officials to become experts in international law. House118-37Senate24-9.

Veto reason: Under legislation, local governments “would be hampered in their efforts to enforce existing fireworks ordinances around July 4th” and bill “could cause staffing shortages” at veteran’s homes, mental health facilities, and county jails. House114-32Senate28-2.

Veto reason: Increases fees for driver’s licenses “without any improvement in the services.” House97-44, Senate31-2.

Veto reason: “Places unnecessary burdens on public employees for the purpose of weakening labor organizations” and “exempts first responders from its requirements,” thereby violating the Equal Protection Clause. House85-69Senate24-10.

Veto reason: fiscal note, impact on education, prescription drug tax increase, insufficient trigger. House103-51Senate24-9.

Veto reason: “Inject considerable uncertainty into Missouri’s legal system” and “have a chilling effect on foreign adoptions.” House109-41Senate24-9.

Veto reason: Duplicative of HB 133. House154-2Senate34-0.

An Ode to Rick Ankiel – Never Quit

Sports are at their best when they teach us life lessons. I’m not a big baseball fan, but I happened to be at the game when Rick Ankiel’s life imploded. Since then, he’s been down many roads – and has never quit. The P-D’s Bernie Miklasz pens an ode to Ankiel’s long journey

Ankiel had every reason to give up, every reason to crawl away into a private life, removed from the pressure and the scrutiny and the cruelty of a star-crossed career. He had every reason to want to escape the intense media attention — the paint-by-numbers profiles of a fallen star — and the taunting of mean-spirited fans. He had every reason to give in to the turmoil, the crises of confidence, the injuries and the insults.

He’s still here. The game cannot destroy him. He’s still swinging with fervor, and without asking for sympathy. He was born to be a ballplayer, and every day in the big leagues represents another triumph. He lost the ability to pitch. He lost the consistent home-run swing.

Ankiel, however, never lost himself. He’s better than “The Natural.” That was a movie. This is a real human being with fiber and flaws who overcame a pitiless, never-ending cycle of adversity. In this season of 2013, each at-bat is a happy ending.

 

To put it another way, Rick Ankiel is the living embodiment of Teddy Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena.” Ignoring his critics and striving for the sake of striving when almost anyone else would have just quit – and no one would have blamed him.

Education Reform Headed to Gov’s Desk

The Senate truly agreed and finally passed Senate Bill 125 this morning to send the education reform measure to Gov. Nixon’s desk. The final version of the bill included the following measures:

1. Equality for St. Louis – The bill allows St. Louis schools to terminate teachers for “incompetency,” which is already the case in the rest of the state.

2. Early and Flexible Intervention in Struggling School Districts – Colloquially referred to as the “Kansas City bill,” this measure would allow the State Board of Education to intervene immediately in school districts deemed unaccredited, and also give the state board the flexibility to leave the local board in place under terms set by the state board. The bill sets a back-stop date of three years so that if a local district is still unaccredited after three years, the state board must undertake a full intervention. 

3. MSIP-5 Public Engagement - Sen. Maria Chapelle-Nadal added an amendment in the Senate requiring the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to do a more thorough job of eliciting public input on the new scoring guide from MSIP-5, the new school assessment program the department is in the process of implementing. This is a good government measure which will increase public input.

4. MSIP-5 Scores for Students from Lapsed and Broken-Up DistrictsAt the request of Sen. Chappelle-Nadal, I added an amendment in the House which requires DESE to give receiving school districts a three-year waiting period before they have to count the test scores of students moving from broken-up districts into the receiving districts. This amendment makes sense so that the receiving districts are not penalized for taking on new students from struggling schools.

In my opinion, this is the most significant education legislation passed by the General Assembly since the re-write of the foundation formula in 2005. I’m hopeful that Gov. Nixon will sign it quickly.

The Mother of All Omnibus Bills

The House is on hour three of discussion on SB 83, an act relating to “political subdivisions.” The bill had 100 amendments dropped on it – and covered all of the following topics:

  • burn bans
  • luxury boxes
  • gambling 
  • booze
  • tax credits
  • stamps
  • schools
  • stocks
  • annexation
  • the Border War
  • building codes
  • senior citizens
  • databases
  • international advertising
  • taxes
  • hotels
  • paperless documents
  • cars 
  • driver’s licenses
  • abortion
  • data centers
  • golf
  • new homes
  • emergency medical services
  • museums
  • fire
  • speeders
  • angels
  • jobs
  • welfare
  • the Internet
  • dams
  • religious freedom
  • storms
  • elections
  • 911 
  • trucks
  • TIFs
  • logging
  • second-hand clothing, and
  • food taxes

Bob Priddy Receives the Osmund Overby Award for His Book ‘The Art of the Missouri Capitol’

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Bob Priddy, a living legend in the Capitol receives an award for his work documenting the historic art of our Missouri Capitol.

Celebrating 100 Years for the Missouri State Capitol

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Senator Ron Richard speaks on the 100 year anniversary of the groundbreaking of the Missouri State Capitol. The timing is fortuitous as the Missouri Senate will soon consider $50 million in appropriations for much needed and long overdue repairs to the building.

House Approves Amendment to Spur Re-development at the Old Prison in Jefferson City

Today was one of the best days in a long time for Jefferson City in the General Assembly. By a vote of 131 to 26, the Missouri House approved an amendment to a budget bill to invest $50 million for long-delayed upkeep of the Missouri State Capitol and $38 million for construction of a new state office building on the grounds of the old state penitentiary. 

I was pleased to speak in favor and vote for the amendment, and look forward to progress in Jefferson City.

Presser on PCG Contract

House Adopts Amendment to Spur Re-development at the Old Prison

In debate late Wednesday night I offered an amendment to HB 698 which would spur re-development at the old Missouri State Penitentiary in downtown Jefferson City. My amendment would require the state of Missouri to sell at least 70 percent of the land and provide state tax credits to spur investment in the area.  

As our state capitol, every Missourian has an interest in spurring economic development in downtown Jefferson City. Many thanks to Reps. Mike Bernskoetter, Jeannie Riddle, and Chris Kelly for the comments in favor of the amendment.