Special Committee on Litigation Reform, Vice-Chairman
Professional Registration and Licensing
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Opening of Jasper/Newton County Republican and Eric Greitens' Headquarters
Jasper/Newton County Republican Day of Action Meeting
February 22, 2016
Civil and Criminal Proceedings Committee has been considering House Bill 2084-First Degree Murder. This bill repeals the mandatory life sentences for offenders who were under the age of 18 at the time they committed first degree murder without eligibility for probation, parole, or conditional release. If this bill passes it will change the sentencing to:
· 16 years of age or older at the time of the crime may be sentenced to either life imprisonment without parole or imprisonment for at least 40 years
· Under 16 years of age may be sentenced to imprisonment for at least 30 years or life without parole
Anyone under 18 years of age whose case is not final for purposes of appeal, may file an appeal ask for a review of the person’s sentence within six months of the effective date of the act.
This issue has been brought because mandatory life sentences for juveniles have been found to be unconstitutional in the United States Supreme Court case Miller v Alabama and most recently Montgomery v Louisiana. In these Supreme Court cases it was ruled that for juveniles convicted of first degree murder 1) mandatory life without parole is unconstitutional , 2) there must be an alternative sentencing option for the jury to consider, and 3) in very rare and egregious cases it is not unconstitutional for a sentence of life without parole to be rendered.
Representative White voted in favor of four pieces of legislation that will: 1) close the revolving door of lawmakers becoming lobbyists by requiring them to wait one full year after the end of the term of their last election, 2) require candidates, elected officials and others to report their personal finances, which show personal or familial financial involvements, more often 3) ban elected officials from simultaneously serving as paid political consultants for other candidates (volunteer work is allowed), and 4) require that lawmakers disclose trips paid for by third parties more quickly. These measures will create more transparency in Jefferson City. He hopes the Senate will quickly address these bills without making many changes. There are several additional pieces of ethics legislation to be brought up this week dealing with lobbyist gifts to elected officials, investment of campaign funds, and expanding reporting requirements concerning special executive branch appointees.
Representative White also voted to pass HB 1631, Voter Identification, in the House of Representatives. This bill will protect the integrity of our voting system by requiring a voter to present a valid photo ID when voting. The bill has many safeguards to ensure that it does not disenfranchise any Missouri citizen. If a citizen cannot afford to acquire the photo ID or cannot afford to acquire a birth certificate, including an out of state birth certificate, necessary to get an approved photo ID, the State of Missouri will pay for one. If Missouri citizens do not bring an acceptable photo ID to the polls, they will still be allowed to cast a provisional ballot, with a supporting affidavit done at the polling place, and then have three days to bring in an appropriate photo ID to the election authority to have their vote counted. In any year that the State does not budget funds to pay for the IDs or birth certificates, the photo ID requirement is waived for that year.
The voters must approve a constitutional amendment, which has already been sent to the senate, authorizing the new voter ID law to go into effect.
93% rating from Missouri Alliance for Freedom
I was the only Southwest Representative outside Springfield to receive an "A" - "2015 Champion of Freedom" designation.