By Missouri State Representative Jim Hansen
This week I had the opportunity to attend Governor Nixon’s State of the State address as well as the Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court’s State of the Judiciary address.
While many of the programs and ideas Governor Nixon addressed are important to the state, the numbers simply aren’t there to fund these increases in Government spending.
I am confident we will all be able to work together and find compromise on these issues, but it will start with using realistic revenue numbers when discussing the state budget.
The State of the Judiciary was very good. Chief Justice Mary Russell gave an excellent address and called upon the legislature for some much needed reform to our criminal code.
Currently, if a person drives a vehicle while intoxicated and kills someone they may be punished with up to seven years in a state prison. That is the same punishment for a person who writes a bad check for less than $500.
We need to ensure our laws are fair and just for all Missourians.
Justice Russell is a seventh-generation Missourian and one of five children raised on a dairy farm in Ralls County. I have invited her to come and tour the district courts with me this summer which she has agreed to do.
I will be providing more information on this as details progress.
The state celebrated Missouri Military Awareness Day and, as a member of the Veterans Committee, I attended a joint meeting with the Senate to listen to an address by Major General Leslie Smith, Commanding General, Fort Leonard Wood and Colonel Michael J. Francis, Commander, 131st Bomb Wing, Missouri Air National Guard, Whiteman Air Force Base. It was an excellent committee meeting and I had the opportunity to learn more about the military’s $39.8 billion economic activity in Missouri.
I worked to address a health issue for an inmate in the NECF with the Department of Correction’s Legislative Liaison Ian Dunlap. Ian’s parents, Monty and Becky, live in Perry, Mo. It is always great to run into locals while working in Jefferson City.
I attended the Senate hearing on the Right to Hunt and Fish legislation being carried by Senator Munzlinger and that I am carrying in the House. The National Rifle Association, Missouri Farm Bureau, and others testified in favor of the bill with no opposition testifying. My bill will be heard next Tuesday by the Agriculture Policy committee.