The Capitol Report | December 8th, 2016

Legislative Agenda & Human Trafficking Task Force

With the legislative session less than a month away, and the legislature now set to work with a governor who has shared policy priorities, House Speaker Todd Richardson recently took the time to outline part of his legislative agenda for 2017. Richardson has already met several times with Governor-Elect Greitens to talk about the common ground that can be found between the executive and legislative branches.

Speaker Richardson said his chamber’s top priorities will be issues that his party believes will improve Missouri’s economy. “That means a universe of labor reform, tort reform, and education reform,” said Richardson; “I think if we’ll focus on those issues as well as removing some of the government barriers to innovation and economic development, we’ll have the workings of a pretty good agenda to start with.”

The Speaker said his legislative agenda will include passage of legislation that supporters call “right to work,” which aims to prevent employees from being required to join a union as a condition of employment. The Speaker noted that ethics reform will also be a priority early in the 2016 session, as legislators again attempt to pass a ban on gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers.

In other news, the Task Force on Human Trafficking recently held its final hearing and is now putting together its recommendations for the 2017 legislative session. The group was created in 2015 with the goal of making recommendations to the legislature on how to fight trafficking in Missouri. A report with the group’s recommendations is due by the end of the year.

With the goal of strengthening the anti-trafficking laws already on the books, the task force will likely recommend the creation of a position in the state’s government that oversees anti-trafficking efforts. This would require the legislature to propose where the money for such a person’s salary would come from in the state budget. Discussion also continues regarding where in state government the position would be housed, or whether it should be a non-profit position outside of the government.

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

House Speaker Outlines Priorities for Upcoming Session

With the legislative session less than a month away, and the legislature now set to work with a governor who has shared policy priorities, House Speaker Todd Richardson recently took the time to outline part of his legislative agenda for 2017. Richardson has already met several times with Governor-Elect Greitens to talk about the common ground that can be found between the executive and legislative branches.

As the Speaker said, “I think we’re going to find a tremendous amount of common ground and it’s built around a common vision for what Missouri looks like. That’s a Missouri that respects and protects individual freedom. That’s a Missouri that has a stronger, more vibrant, dynamic economy than we have today. It’s a Missouri that has a strong education system for every Missourian no matter where they were born or where they live.”

Speaker Richardson said his chamber’s top priorities will be issues that his party believes will improve Missouri’s economy. “That means a universe of labor reform, tort reform, and education reform,” said Richardson; “I think if we’ll focus on those issues as well as removing some of the government barriers to innovation and economic development, we’ll have the workings of a pretty good agenda to start with.”

The Speaker said his legislative agenda will include passage of legislation that supporters call “right to work,” which aims to prevent employees from being required to join a union as a condition of employment. The Speaker noted that ethics reform will also be a priority early in the 2016 session, as legislators again attempt to pass a ban on gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers.

Task Force on Human Trafficking Prepares Recommendations for 2017 Legislative Session

The Task Force on Human Trafficking recently held its final hearing and is now putting together its recommendations for the 2017 legislative session. The group was created in 2015 with the goal of making recommendations to the legislature on how to fight trafficking in Missouri. A report with the group’s recommendations is due by the end of the year.

The General Assembly has already passed legislation to criminalize the advertising of a victim for sex or pornography. Legislators also made it law to allow a victim keep his or her address confidential, making it harder for traffickers to find them.

With the goal of strengthening the anti-trafficking laws already on the books, the task force will likely recommend the creation of a position in the state’s government that oversees anti-trafficking efforts. This would require the legislature to propose where the money for such a person’s salary would come from in the state budget. Discussion also continues regarding where in state government the position would be housed, or whether it should be a non-profit position outside of the government.

Other recommendations could include using state money to help support groups that offer treatment and assistance to victims to help them transition out of trafficking, and requiring that employers post the national trafficking hotline in break rooms. The chairman of the task force expects to include six to ten recommendations in the report.

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

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