My Fellow Missourians,
The past week began by government agencies observing Martin Luther King Day.
Tuesday morning on my way to Jefferson City I observed the devastation of a fire in Weaubleau, The century-old structure occupied by The Common Ground Café was a complete loss. The 125th District have recently experienced losses by fire at Iconium Firehouse on Labor Day Week-end, and the loss of three business buildings in Osceola in December.
The State of the Judiciary was held at 10:23 a.m. on Jan. 23, 2013, the Missouri House of Representatives voted to suspend the House Rules and allow State Office holders, Members of the Senate and Missouri Supreme Court Justices to enter the House Chambers for a Joint Session. With 150 House Members present and 32 Senate Members, we welcomed Chief Justice Richard B. Teitelman for the delivery of the State of the Judiciary Address. In a fashion befitting of Chief Justice Teitelman, he delivered a brief address designed to pay respects to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., recognized the efforts of some exceptional Missouri citizens, and offered his view on the benefits of cooperative government. It was truly an honor to welcome him to the House Chambers.
Though sometimes taken for granted, the State of the Judiciary is far from symbolic. There are few who know better, or are as well versed, in the effectiveness of our state laws than the justices who came before us. Their knowledge of the direct impact and success of policies like drug courts – which our legislature created and the judiciary implemented – serve to reinforce the rule of law in the most beneficial way to Missourians.
A Good Government Bill Passed in the House this week. I am happy to report that we saw the quick passage of a bill that supports and affirms good government procedures and protocol. HB 110, sponsored by Rep. Jason Smith (R-Salem) makes our law clear that the voice of the people will be heard when filling a vacancy for statewide offices such as; lieutenant governor, governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state auditor, state treasurer and US senator. The measure passed with a vote of 115-45.
HB 110 is a needed piece of legislation that will ensure the power to select statewide office holders remains in the possession of the people. The current system—based on precedent, not law—excludes the people from the process. In the past, the governor has been allowed to select an individual to fill a vacancy in the office of lt. governor. HB 110 simply clarifies our law to say that the governor can fill a vacant office on a temporary basis only. That appointee would then serve as the formal placeholder until the time of the next general election, upon which the people would then elect the new individual to fill that particular statewide seat.
Furthermore, this legislation stipulates that the governor must call for the special election to coincide with a scheduled general election. This is an important change that would give the people a say in the process without creating additional financial burden for Missouri taxpayers.
Now we await and anticipate swift action on HB 110 by the senate so that it can go before the governor for his approval. Upon the governor’s signature, it would immediately become law because it contains an emergency clause. This measure is an example of the common sense government the people deserve. The voters should have the ultimate authority to decide who represents them in the halls of government.
I was an honored for past legislatures to come by my office this week. Tuesday Representative Larry Wilson, Senator Delbert Scott, and wife Donna, were in the capitol along with past and present legislators celebrating a 10 year reunion of the Republican majority. Other constituents who came by the office to discuss issues and concerns were: Alan Stevens, representing St. Clair Co. Health Dept. in Osceola, Starla Dobbs, representing Sac Osage Home Health in El Dorado Springs, and Cindy Gunter from Edwards promoting a Tobacco Free Missouri.
If you have questions or comments concerning issues in state government or within the 125th District, please feel free to contact my office. Representative Warren D. Love, State Capitol Building, Room 201A. Phone: 573-751-4065, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Warren D. Love