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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02/25/19 -- HB 70 -- Prohibits the possession of cell phones by prisoners

Bill Number: 
HB 70
Bill Purpose: 
Prohibits the possession of cell phones by prisoners
Date of Vote: 
02/25/19
My Vote: 
Yes
Explanation: 

HB 70, introduced by Representative Chris Dinkins (Republican - District 144) creates a criminal penalty for the possession of a cell phone (or its constituent components) by a prisoner within a prison or jail.  While this conduct is currently against internal prison/jail policies, prior to this bill there was no criminal penalty, just an administrative punishment within the system.  While I am not often in favor of creating new crimes, it seems reasonable for both security and order that cell phones not be permitted in prisons or jails.  Moreover, it isn't a crime that could accidentally be committed -- the effort needed to smuggle a cell phone into such an institution is considerable.

While I suspect this wasn't an absolutely necessary piece of legislation, its reasonable enough for me to support.

02/25/19 -- HCS HB 303 -- Establishes inmate canteen fund in treasury

Bill Number: 
HCS HB 303
Bill Purpose: 
Establishes inmate canteen fund in treasury
Date of Vote: 
02/25/19
My Vote: 
Yes
Explanation: 

HCS HB 303, introduced by Representative Jim Hansen (Republican - District 40) establishes a fund within the State Treasury for the administration of inmate canteen funds collected from the sale of various items within correctional centers commissaries.  During perfection, an amendment was added by Representative Tracy McCreery (Democrat - District 88) that requires the Department of Corrections to provide feminine hygiene products to female inmates free of charge.  I supported both the bill and the amendment.  Having the canteen funds within a fund in the State Treasury seems to be an administrative improvement over the old system (where each institution would manage their own funds internally).  Also, an added benefit of this bill is that is allows the canteen funds to be spent on re-integration efforts that make it easier for inmates to transition back to life in society once they're released.

The amendment seems like basic decency -- if someone is incarcerated, the State has a duty to make sure they are provided with basic medical care.

02/21/19 -- HB 242 -- Hospice procedure changes - identical to HB 447 as amended

Bill Number: 
HB 242
Bill Purpose: 
Hospice procedure changes - identical to HB 447 as amended
Date of Vote: 
02/21/19
My Vote: 
No
Explanation: 

HB 242, introduced by Representative Jim Neely (Republican - District 8) was originally just a simple bill that allows a hospice to release a body directly to a funeral home without involving an autopsy when the person died for reasons related to their stay.  I was fine with the original bill.  However during the amendment process, the exact same language from HB 447 that mandates coroner training was added.  Since the text of HB 242 was originally amended onto HB 447, the result was that HB 242 as amended was literally identical to HB 447.

Accordingly, I voted no for this bill as amended for the exact same reasons as  I did for HB 447.

02/21/19 -- HB 402 -- Allows left turn on red down a one-way street

Bill Number: 
HB 402
Bill Purpose: 
Allows left turn on red down a one-way street
Date of Vote: 
02/21/19
My Vote: 
Yes
Explanation: 

HB 402, introduced by Representative Chuck Basye (Republican - District 47) is a simple bill that allows one to make a left hand turn on a red light when turning onto a one-way street.  It seems pretty obvious that this makes sense, as the conditions in such an intersection are essentially the same as they are when one turns right on red.  While I am not aware of any intersections I routinely drive through that this would apply to, I like the concept in principal and as such voted yes.  It passed.

02/21/19 -- HB 321 -- Requires LLCs in St. Joseph to register property ownership

Bill Number: 
HB 321
Bill Purpose: 
Requires LLCs in St. Joseph to register property ownership
Date of Vote: 
02/21/19
My Vote: 
No
Explanation: 

HB 321, introduced by Representative Sheila Solon (Republican - District 9) is specifically targeted at St. Joseph, MO.  In fact, the bill is written in a way that only St. Joseph is effected.  I am not a fan of that type of strategy -- with very few exceptions, I think we should pass laws that apply statewide, not just for certain areas.

This bill has an extremely simple goal - by making LLC's register with St. Joseph a list of properties they own, the city can more easily determine who owns and is responsible for derelict buildings.  I don't think it's generally unreasonable to require businesses that own property to provide local government with their contact information, so on those grounds alone I was fine with this bill.  However both the bill sponsor and its proponents argued that the intent and purpose of this legislation was to make it easier to hunt down owners of property that doesn't meet property maintenance codes.   That's where things fell apart for me.

I'm not against localities having ordinances against unsafe or unsanitary properties.  However in many (most?) cases, a substantial amount of the property maintenance ordinances that municipalities pass are focused on cosmetics, not safety.  That I cannot condone.  While no one likes to live in a community with rundown properties, the rights of a property owner should always come before the preferences of their neighbors.  Since I have not been fully briefed on the maintenance codes of St. Joseph, I cannot with any certainty say that this legislation won't be used to ticket people with mildly peeling paint, or who fail to plant the proper types of shrubs.   I have no interest in making it easier for government to enforce such unjust laws, and as such I could not vote for this bill.   It did end up passing overwhelmingly anyway, however.

02/21/19 -- HB 113 -- Allows the court to depart from minimum sentencing provisions

Bill Number: 
HB 113
Bill Purpose: 
Allows the court to depart from minimum sentencing provisions
Date of Vote: 
02/21/19
My Vote: 
Yes
Explanation: 

HB 113, introduced by Representative Cody Smith (Republican - District 163) allows the court to depart from mandatory minimum sentencing requirements in cases where the crime does not involve violence or a sexual offense against a minor.  While I would have liked the bill to go a bit further than it does, but it's a great improvement on our current system.  Mandatory minimums take away the court's ability to look at the totality of the circumstances of a crime when they enter a sentence, and the result is very often unjust.

The trend of mandatory minimums that was so prevalent in the 80's and 90's is finally starting to reverse, with more and more jurisdictions toning down or rescinding them.   I am pleased that HB 113 helps to move Missouri in the right direction in this area, and so I was pleased to vote yes.  Luckily, it passed quite easily.

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