Wed, 03/17/2021 - 11:45am admin
by Rep. Travis Smith (R-155)
Friends, you will be happy to know that over the last two weeks we have gotten some great legislation passed in the House regarding election integrity. There won't be any of the election shenanigans going on in the great state of Missouri that happened in other parts of the country.
Forgiving Unemployment Overpayments (HBs 1083, 1085, 1050, 1035, 1036, 873 & 1097) -Thousands of Missourians who received unemployment overpayments would have the federal portion of their debt forgiven under legislation approved by the House. The bill would ensure Missourians who received the overpayments non-fraudulently do not have to repay the federal dollars they received. The bill passed by the House would instruct the department to waive repayment of the federal portion of the overpayments for those who received them non-fraudulently. If the department determines a recipient received money through fraud, those overpayments would not be waived. Under this bill, the department would still seek repayment of the state portion of the overpayments. However the repayments would be made without interest and without penalties and the department would work out an affordable payment plan with each recipient. In effect, the state portion will end up being a zero interest loan.
Reinstating Voter ID Law (HB 334) - Legislation approved this session would reinstate a voter ID requirement that was struck down by the Missouri Supreme Court last year. The bill will ensure Missourians present a photo ID when they go to vote, but will also allow people without a photo ID to cast a provisional ballot. In order for the provisional ballot to be counted, election officials would have to verify the voter’s signature based on voter records, or the voter would need to return later that day with a valid photo ID.
Protecting Information of Private Citizens (HB 362) - Two bills approved by the House this session would allow public governmental bodies to protect certain information shared by private citizens. The bill is meant to prevent individuals and organizations from obtaining contact information of members of the public to use for their own purposes such as political campaigning.
Protecting Missouri Farms from Unauthorized Inspections (HB 574) - The House approved legislation that would protect Missouri agricultural facilities from other states and outside organizations that want to gain access to the facilities without legal authority. The bill is meant to protect producers from animal rights activists who may seek access under false pretenses, and is also designed to limit the spread of disease by ensuring only qualified inspectors are allowed into the facilities. The bill specifies the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of Agriculture, the county sheriff and any other federal or Missouri state agency with statutory or regulatory authority have exclusive authority to inspect the grounds or facilities in Missouri. Facilities include those used for the production of eggs, milk or other dairy products, raising of livestock, or the production or raising of dogs or other animals not used to produce any food product. The bill also allows a facility owner to request and allow groups outside those listed to inspect.
If any of you want details on legislation, we pass please email me a request to Travis.Smith@house.mo.gov and I will put you on our weekly Capitol Report. If you ever have any questions or concerns feel free to call me at 573-751-2042. Thank you for keeping our Ozark Conservative views going.