HB 646, introduced by Representative Rory Rowland (Democrat - District 29) is a simple bill that adjusts how Sheltered Workshops receive payment. This bill simply allows workers to work less than a 38 hour week or 6 hour days, and the workshop would get a corresponding percentage of the full amount they would normally get per day based on the time worked. I'm not particularly well-versed in the specifics of this program, but the adjustment seems reasonable, and fiscal review did not indicate there would be an additonal cost to taxpayers. As a result, I voted "yes".
Tony Lovasco's Voting Record
Vote explanations will be listed below for recorded "roll call" votes made on pertinent matters (amendments, bill passage, etc). Roll call votes on routine procedural actions such as approving the daily House journal are not generally listed. If a particular action is notable for special or unusual reasons, it may be included in this list despite falling into a category not normally documented.
HCS HB 547, introduced by Representative Dave Griffith (Republican - District 60) requires each circuit court to establish a treatment court division specifically geared towards veterans. While I don't generally like creating special tracks for certain classes of people (as the law is always more fair when applied equally), I do think that the issues related to veterans are unique. Aside from the clear fact that veterans often face especially different challenges and trauma, for the most part these struggles are brought upon as a result of their military service. Accordingly, when such veterans find themselves on the wrong side of the law for minor issues, it seems reasonable to allow them the opportunity to get the help they need to bounce back.
This bill doesn't necessarily create new court divisions - if it is not feasible to do so in a particular area, the use of a nearby jurisdiction's treatment court instead. As such, this bill is not overly burdensome, and as such I voted "yes".
HCS HB 564, introduced by Representative Derek Grier (Republican - District 100) prohibits the denial of an occupational license based solely on an unrelated criminal conviction. Referred to as "The Fresh Start Act", this bill is a great example of criminal justice reform. In many cases, current policy by licensing boards and commissions is to deny licenses based on "poor moral turpitude" or similarly vague and subjective measures. Such restrictions are usually used to keep people with prior convictions from being employed in certain industries - even if the crime the person previously committed has nothing at all do to with the industry they wish to work in. This bill aims to fix this, by only allowing the denial of licenses based on prior crimes if it can be demonstrated that the crime is somehow relevant to the license being sought (e.g. someone seeking a license to sell insurance who had a previous conviction for insurance fraud).
This is a great bill, and I was happy to support it. If someone has completed their sentence for a prior offense and wishes to reintegrate into society, it makes no sense to deny them access to a job unless absolutely necessary. Prior offenders who obtain steady employment or who start their own businesses are substantially less likely to re-offend, and will also contribute back via the taxes they pay. I generally oppose occupational licensing for a variety of reasons, so it makes even less sense to me to deploy it as a way to prevent people from rebuilding their lives after a mistake or transgression.
Luckily this bill passed overwhelmingly.
HCS HB 532, introduced by Representative Don Rone (Republican - District 149), would allow the city of Portageville to levy a sales tax (subject to voter approval) for the purpose of funding public safety.
I was not convinced that there was a overwhelming need for Portageville to increase their sales tax -- in fact, I don't recall a substantial argument in favor of increasing the tax being offered at all. Instead, proponents of the bill argued that this bill would help public safety, law enforcement, etc. with few if any specifics. While it's possible this was in fact needed, the reason the legislature is provided oversight regarding such ballot measures is that it is our duty to provide a check and balance to local governments that might otherwise call for tax increases on a regular basis even if unneeded. Because a sufficient case for need was not made (in my opinion), I voted no. It did pass overwhelmingly.
There was an emergency clause on this bill, which I also voted against.
HCS HB 270, introduced by Representative Dan Shaul (Republican - District 113) allows the Department of Agriculture to assess civil fines for the violation of provisions related to the sale of eggs. Currently, if a violation occurs, the only recourse the Department of Agriculture has is to revoke a violator's license. This bill provides them the option to instead assess a fine when they believe the violation does not warrant a loss of license. I voted "yes" for this bill because I believe that regulatory bodies should have the ability to take more lenient actions when necessary to respond to a violation, rather than being forced to take more draconian action.
HB 250, introduced by Representative Nick Schroer (Republican - District 107) is an extremely simple bill. It allows someone 18 years of age to unload alcohol from a delivery vehicle. Currently, they must be 21 years of age or older, despite 18 year olds being authorized to otherwise stock and work in alcohol related delivery areas.
It seems very logical to me that an 18 year old should be allowed to unload a truck, so I voted yes.