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7/25/11 Capitol Report

Posted Monday, July 25, 2011, at 3:14 PM

Numerous bills from this past legislative session gained final approval as the deadline for the governor to sign bills passed. This gives us the opportunity to review what has become law.

Every year, the governor has 45 days after receiving a bill to veto or sign the legislation into law. According to the Missouri Constitution, if the governor fails to do so, the legislation automatically becomes law. This year, he had until July 15th to give final approval to the legislation we passed.

On July 14, the governor signed my highest legislative priority, HB 798. This bill included language naming Highway 25, from Route U in Bernie to U.S. Highway 412 in Kennett, the Representative Otto Bean Jr. Memorial Highway.

Otto died of leukemia while serving in office, and it was important to honor him. He was a very dedicated servant of the people, and would often stay to vote even while he was feeling ill. Once, he was told that if he had spent 15 more minutes on the House floor before getting to the hospital, he would have died. Naming a portion of Highway 25 after him was a good way to honor his memory. We will be having a dedication ceremony in the near future.

HB 798 also included Rep. Todd Richardson's language designating a portion of U. S. Highway 67 in Butler County as the "Missouri State Highway Patrol Sergeant David May Memorial Highway."

Many of you may recall Sergeant May's story. May was originally from Risco. After graduating from Murray State University in Kentucky, May was accepted into the Highway Patrol Academy.

May started his career with the Missouri Highway Patrol in the Hayti region, and he began taking flying lessons at the Malden Airport so he could become a backup pilot. May transferred to the Dexter zone, and began flying full-time for the patrol after the retirement of Sergeant Lester Enderle.

Then the fateful events of May 17, 1999 took place. On that day May was flying his 77MP helicopter on a photo flight for the Missouri Special Olympics. After completing the assignment, May started flying back to Poplar Bluff when it began to storm.

At that time, May decided to land in Malden to let the storm pass. After a brief conversation with a fellow patrolman about the weather, May decided it was safe enough to resume his flight. He left the Malden Airport, but never landed in Poplar Bluff. Witnesses stated that the tail rotor on the chopper stopped turning, causing him to lose control of the helicopter and crash.

The memorial highway allows us to honor the memory of one of our citizens who lost his life while serving us. I can't think of a better way to honor such a dedicated highway patrolman.

One bill that became law without the governor's signature was HB 423. HB 423 fights Obamacare by creating a "Health Care Compact" with other states. This allows us to retain control of healthcare regulations as a state, and will make it easier to fight the federal law mandating you purchase coverage.

A compact is a legal device states can use to work together outside the realm of the federal government. We currently use compacts for issues like energy development and managing the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. With the help of Congress, states can form compacts that have the legal authority to override federal laws like the federal healthcare law.

In other words, if Congress consents to the compact, we can enact laws that supersede federal regulations within Missouri in the area of healthcare. This takes power away from the federal government and will keep them from making healthcare decisions for you. It is a way to return power back to the states.

Next week, we will continue the discussion on bills that gained final approval.

As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Missouri House. If you would like to discuss any issue, please call 573-751-3629. You can also email me at Kent.Hampton@house.mo.gov. I look forward to hearing from you.

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163rd Capitol Report
Rep. Kent Hampton - 163rd District
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