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.

Click here to view a single page with all my votes listed by date.


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03/04/19 -- HCS HB 469 -- Consolidates programs within the Department of Economic Development

Bill Number: 
HCS HB 469
Bill Purpose: 
Consolidates programs within the Department of Economic Development
Date of Vote: 
03/04/19
My Vote: 
Yes
Explanation: 

HCS HB 469, introduced by Representative Derek Grier (Republican - District 100) consolidates three separate programs within the Department of Economic Development into one program in order to improve efficiency and cut red tape.  In addition, it allows the Department to "claw back" funds from a participating business that fails to meet the program's requirements.

I am not in favor of the underlying programs that this bill seeks to modify, however there is nothing objectionable about this bill itself.  If we are going to have these programs, they might as well work efficiently and provide some benefit.  Additionally, we should hold participating companies responsible and make sure they comply with the program's requirements.


This bill had a roll-call vote on an amendment during perfection.  Read about that here.

03/04/19 -- HB 333 -- Eliminates one tax credit and extends another

Bill Number: 
HB 333
Bill Purpose: 
Eliminates one tax credit and extends another
Date of Vote: 
03/04/19
My Vote: 
Yes
Explanation: 

HB 333, introduced by Represetative Dan Shaul (Republican - District 113) eliminates a tax credit for certain banking institutions in certain circumstances.  It also extends the sunset on a tax credit for surviving spouces of public safety officers killed in the line of duty.  In additon, it modifies some tax provisions regarding interest.

I didn't have strong feelings about this bill, however it results in a net savings for the state of between $2.5 and $4.1 million dollars without imposing any new taxes.

03/04/19 -- HB 114 -- Requires electronic monitoring of registered sex offenders when changing counties

Bill Number: 
HB 114
Bill Purpose: 
Requires electronic monitoring of registered sex offenders when changing counties
Date of Vote: 
03/04/19
My Vote: 
Yes
Explanation: 

HB 114, introduced by Representative Randy Pietzman (Republican - District 41) requires electronic monitoring of registered sex offenders during the period in which they are relocating to another county.  The bill aims to address an issue where an offender will provide notice to one jurisdiction that they are moving out of the area, but then fails to re-register when they arrive at their destination.  This causes authorities to lose track of them.

Without speaking on the broader issue of the sex offender registry (that is outside the scope of this post, as it is a lengthy issue to discuss), I do think this bill provides a small fix that makes the system more efficient.  I'm not a fan of the requirement to make the offenders pay for the cost of monitoring, but that wasn't enough for me to vote against it.

 

03/04/19 -- HB 588 -- Increase fees for certain programs within the Agriculture Department

Bill Number: 
HB 588
Bill Purpose: 
Increase fees for certain programs within the Agriculture Department
Date of Vote: 
03/04/19
My Vote: 
No
Explanation: 

HB 588, introduced by Representative Don Rone (Republican - District 149) increases fees for various licenses and programs within the Department of Agriculture.  I am not convinced there is a need to increase these fees, so I voted no.  Many others in the House felt the same way, but it passed anyway.

03/04/19 -- HCS HB 192 -- Prohibit show cause hearings for unpaid jail fees

Bill Number: 
HCS HB 192
Bill Purpose: 
Prohibit show cause hearings for unpaid jail fees
Date of Vote: 
03/04/19
My Vote: 
Yes
Explanation: 

HCS HB 192, introduced by Representative Bruce DeGroot (Republican - District 101), prohibits courts from ordering "show cause" hearings in cases where people have unpaid jail fees.  This is a great bill that solves a big problem. 

Currently in many jurisdictions, when someone is held in county jail they are assessed a daily "board bill" to cover the costs of their stay after their release.  I find that practice unacceptable - if we are holding someone against their will (who at that part of the process is presumed innocent under the law), I believe the taxpayer aught to step up and foot the bill for their jail stay.  But nonetheless, many areas do assess these fees.  In many cases, these people are unable to afford to pay such fees outright -- often even a short stay in jail will result in the loss of a job or other income.  When these folks are unable to pay, judges will frequently order a "show cause" hearing, in which the person is ordered to return to court to justify why they have not yet paid their fee.  This is a significant burden on these people, as they must take time off work, find childcare, etc.  In many cases these people are barely getting by, and simply cannot afford to miss work to attend court (or are threatened with a loss of their job if they take time off).  As a result, it isn't uncommon for them to miss these hearings.  Once that occurs, the judge will order a bench warrant for failing to appear, the person will be arrested, and will subsequently serve more jail time.  They will then be assessed an additional board bill, which will get them deeper into debt and make their situation even worse.  This process will often repeat itself several times, often over the course of many years, leaving the person with a bill so enormous they will never reasonably be able to pay.  The result of all this is the functional equivalent of a debtor's prison. 

This bill aims to fix this problem by prohibiting the practice of ordering the "show cause" hearings, and instead requiring the courts to use standard collection methods to collect unpaid board bills.  They would still be allowed to garnish wages, etc, but they cannot haul someone back into court time and again to explain why they cannot pay.

I enthusiastically voted "yes" on this.  Luckily it passed by a huge margin, with only one person voting against it.

03/04/19 -- HB 260 -- Increase fines for poaching

Bill Number: 
HB 260
Bill Purpose: 
Increase fines for poaching
Date of Vote: 
03/04/19
My Vote: 
Yes
Explanation: 

HB 260, introduced by Representative Jered Taylor (Republican - District 139) increases fines for poaching.  I am extremely hesitant to increase fines in most cases.  However in this instance, current poaching fees are so low that in many cases it is cheaper for someone in an adjacent state to come to Missouri and pay the fine for illegally poaching an animal than it is for them to acquire a legal permit in their own state.  That is obviously unworkable.  This bill simply raises the fees for poaching such that they remain a deterrent.

While I do think that conservation efforts sometimes go to far, I do support laws against poaching, as they are necessary to manage animal populations in a responsible way.  Moreover, they are necessary to maintain access to legal hunting to people across the state.  Accordingly, I supported this bill.

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