Senate debates guns and welfare benefits

Posted April 4, 2013 at 1:24 pm


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Occupying several hours of floor debate in the Missouri Senate was a constitutional amendment strengthening the Second Amendment rights of Missourians. As we see proposals from the Federal Government which would weaken those rights, many state legislatures have taken steps to ensure their citizens are protected. This legislation would amend the State Constitution so that the right to keep and bear arms is unalienable. It specifies the right of citizens to protect their families and strengthens Missouri’s conceal and carry law. Even though there was an attempt by an urban senator to filibuster the legislation, the senate stayed in session late Tuesday until it gained first round approval. I expect it will be sent to the House of Representatives sometime next week.

In the Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee meeting on Wednesday we heard a bill that would place restrictions on where Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards could be used. It would specify they could only be used to purchase healthy food items. EBT cards have taken the place of food stamps. Recently it was discovered that Missouri EBT cards have been used in every state, including Alaska and Hawaii.

There was quite a bit of discussion about the bill among committee members. While most members embraced the concept of taxpayer dollars not being used to purchase unhealthy items, there was concern over who would decide what would qualify and what would be prohibited. The question of how grocers would program their systems to adapt to the new requirements was also discussed.

The portion of the bill limiting where EBT cards could be used met with more favor. Restricting their use to Missouri and surrounding states appeared to gain consensus with the committee members. Most agreed there was little reason that benefits paid for by Missouri taxpayers should be accessed and spent in states like Florida, California and New York.

Constituents visiting the office included Drew Adkins and Bret Stowe from Laclede County; Jessica Young and Rachel Salle from Sedalia; Charles Delaney and Brandon Blackburn from Stockton; Paige Jenkins and Dr. John Howell from Bolivar; Emily Scott from Osceola, Donita Shipman from Mora; Jim Hamilton and Joe McDowell from Buffalo; and Teresa Long from Conway. Thursday was Farm Bureau Youth Leadership Day and we were pleased to have the following students and sponsors come by the office: Bailey Crouch, Kayla Gann, Wyatt Hinds, Ariel Lindsey, Collin Crouch, Stephanie Daves, Dayle Nelson, Brendan Smith, Sandra May, Conner Locke, Samantha Halley, Logan Sawyer, Kaitlin Zeugin, Brianna Howe, Aubrey Baker and Jerry Sukovaty.

‘Nothing is Politically Right Which is Morally Wrong’

If you have any questions or comments regarding issues in state government or within the 28th Senatorial District, please feel free to contact my office. Senator Mike Parson, State Capitol Building, Room 420. Phone: 573-751-8793 or 800-752-8256. Email: mparson@senate.mo.gov.