My Fellow Missourians:

This past Saturday I sat in with Austin Shelby at Carney’s Five Star Supermarket in Osceola.  The month of May is National Beef Month.  Both of us are members of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association; and representing St. Clair County, we were ‘riding for the brand’ and promoting beef.

On Sunday, Marla and I attending the 125th Anniversary Celebration at Tiffin Baptist Church northeast of El Dorado Springs.  The church had its original beginning in 1883 as a non-sectarian meeting house to serve the worship needs of five different denominations by taking turns using the building.   In 1892, the Baptists decided to build their own building at the current location, and the land for the new building was sold to the church members for a sum of $1 by B.F. and Martha Burch.  It was recorded and deeded to David Zener, Albert Chambers and E.C. McLain, trustees of Tiffin Baptist Church.  The original 11 charter members were:  Robert and Minerva Evans, E.C. McLain and wife, J.P. and Mamie Skillman, Griffin Thomas and wife, Thomas Evans, Jemima Chambers, and Zerielda Zener.

Session opened at 3:00 p.m. on Monday and turned into a marathon seven hours of debate on SB43.  While the House worked through the bill, my family members, who made a special trip to Jefferson City to attend the Governor’s Annual BBQ, joined several other family members from around the state and attended the BBQ without us House members.  They reported that the food was delicious and outdoor musical entertainment was enjoyable.  At 9 p.m., the House members were fortunate to have some BBQ delivered to us while we continued to work in the House Chamber.

Legal reform:

SB43 would require a former employee to prove that his or her age, race, gender, disability or ethnicity was the main reason he or she was fired rather than one among other reasons.  Republicans said the bill is needed because the courts have allowed too many cases of alleged workplace discrimination to proceed.  It is a long awaited response to a series of Supreme Court decisions culminating in a 2007 decision that lowered the bar in employment discrimination cases and opened the door to frivolous lawsuits against our businesses.  The court-constructed standard has made Missouri one of the easiest places in the country to sue a company and win.  Trial lawyers know this, and they have spent the last decade profiting and exploiting this situation.  The House debated the bill for more than five hours Monday, rejecting five amendments, before voting to pass the bill the Senate had proposed.  It’s now up to Governor Greitens whether it will become law.

Real ID compliant licenses:

HB151 requires that the Department of Revenue give applicants the option of either a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card or a license or identification card that is not in compliance with the federal REAL ID Act. The department will be required to inform applicants of the differences between the compliant and noncompliant forms of license, specifically that the REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card can be used for federal purposes such as commercial domestic air travel and gaining access to military bases and most federal government facilities, while the non-compliant license or card cannot.  The bill passed through the Senate on Thursday and was truly agreed to and finally passed.