Give Liberty a Chance!

God has given to men all that is necessary for them to accomplish their destinies…

And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgement of faith in God and His works.

- Frederic Bastiat, The Law, 1850

Monday, April 7, 2008

Progress in Missouri

This past week was a very busy week for the House and the Senate. The House worked into the early morning Thursday to pass over 70 bills that are considered “consent”, i.e. bills that are not controversial, do not come with a cost to taxpayers, and have no penalties associated with them. In addition, legislation passed both chambers that could have a significant positive impact for Missouri.

Property Taxes - HJR43
As I mentioned earlier in the year, the General Assembly is considering a number of ways to help people suffering from the financial strain caused by excessive property taxes. The House has passed a proposed constitutional amendment that, upon voter approval, changes the rollback requirement for the Hancock Amendment by requiring the current levy, instead of the voter approved maximum levy, to be reduced in a reassessment year. These rollbacks are intended to protect property owners from sharp tax rate increases and prevent windfall revenues by taxing entities in reassessment years. If approved by the Senate, it will be on the ballot for voters to approve in November 2008.

Judicial Taxation – HJR41
While we can’t control the actions of federal judges, we can ensure Missouri judges don’t overreach and stake a claim on the power to tax. The House gave approval this past week for a proposed constitutional amendment that would clearly state that the judiciary does not have the power to tax through court order. Specifically, this proposed amendment prohibits the Missouri Supreme Court or any other court of the state from ordering the state, a county, or any city to increase taxes. The amendment also prohibits any Missouri court from controlling how the state, a county, or any city spends, allocates, or budgets, except as expressly authorized by legislation or approved by Missouri voters. If approved by the Senate, it will be on the ballot for voters to approve this November.

Illegal Immigration – SB858
The Missouri Senate kept itself busy this past week by approving legislation dealing with the problem of illegal immigration. The bill has a number of provisions including: prohibiting illegal aliens from obtaining a driver’s license; prohibiting the creation of sanctuary cities in the state; requiring verification of the legal employment status of every public employee; allowing for the cancellation of state contracts for contractors if they hire illegal immigrants; requiring public agencies to verify the legal status of applicants before providing welfare benefits; criminalizing the transportation of illegal aliens for the purposes of human trafficking, drug trafficking, prostitution, or illegal labor; and enacting provisions to punish bad acting employers who hire illegal aliens. This bill is now under consideration of the House.

Protecting Missourians from excessive property taxes; strengthening our Constitution by further defining the roles of the judicial, legislative, and executive branches; and taking leadership to protect our national sovereignty – not a bad week, not a bad week at all.

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