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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02/21/19 -- HB 324 -- Prohibits the use of drones over prisons

Bill Number: 
HB 324
Bill Purpose: 
Prohibits the use of drones over prisons
Date of Vote: 
02/21/19
My Vote: 
Yes
Explanation: 

HB 324, introduced by Representative Mike Henderson (Republican - District 117) prohibits the use of unmanned aerial drones over prisons, jails, and mental health institutions.  It's designed to provide a penalty for those who use drones to help smuggle in contraband into such facilities.  While I am generally cautious about creating new crimes, this was a well written bill that only covers the specific conduct necessary to stop this behavior.  The airspace being governed here is only directly above the facilities in question, and there is a requirement that the violation must be willful.

While I am not convinced there is a pervasive problem that this bill is needed to address, it does seem like a reasonable restriction, so I voted yes.  It passed.

02/18/19 -- HB 77 -- Exempts certain retirees from paying into their pension system

Bill Number: 
HB 77
Bill Purpose: 
Exempts certain retirees from paying into their pension system
Date of Vote: 
02/18/19
My Vote: 
Yes
Explanation: 

HB 77, filed by Representative Rusty Black (Republican - District 7) was created to address an error with legislation passed last session.  That legislation created a bizarre scenario in which former Community College workers who had retired from the system and were receiving a pension would be forced to continue paying into that pension system if they decided to work part time during their retirement.  While I was not there when the original bill passed, I am told that this was an unintended consequence.

While I admit to not being fully informed regarding the issue's backstory, on its face it seems reasonable, so I voted yes.  I did vote no on the separate vote on the emergency clause, however.  I don't feel this is an important enough issue to warrant rushing the bill's effective date.  The bill did pass, as did the emergency clause.

02/18/19 -- HB 214 -- Allows certain purchases to be made without getting bids

Bill Number: 
HB 214
Bill Purpose: 
Allows certain purchases to be made without getting bids
Date of Vote: 
02/18/19
My Vote: 
Yes
Explanation: 

HB 216, introduced by Representative Curtis Trent (Republican - District 133) was a fairly simple bill.  It increases the dollar amount after which a department must seek multiple competitive bids prior to making a purchase.  While I generally favor requiring competitive bidding in the government purchasing process, overuse of that procedure can be extremely inefficient and add am onerous amount of paperwork to the process.  Especially in areas relating to Information Technology, it is not unusual for there to be only one or two possible vendors who are even capable of supplying the required product.  If for example a department needs to update a piece of software, it is exceedingly likely that only the creator of the software they currently use will ever be able to meet the requirements outlined in the request for proposal.  So do force the department to seek multiple bids would be a waste of time and resources.

Similarly, when dealing with replacement parts or equipment, having to go through a bidding process would extend the time a malfunctioning piece of equipment is out of service.  And finally, due to the lower dollar amounts often involved, it is sometimes difficult to get multiple bids for certain services, as the deal isn't substantial enough to attract multiple companies.

Overall, I think this bill was an acceptable reform to the process, so I voted yes.


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

02/18/19 -- HB 255 -- Modifies and Expands the Missouri Works Program

Bill Number: 
HB 255
Bill Purpose: 
Modifies and Expands the Missouri Works Program
Date of Vote: 
02/18/19
My Vote: 
No
Explanation: 

HB 255 was introduced by Representative Travis Fitzwater (Republican - District 49).  While it didn't exactly create a new program, it did create some new provisions within the existing Missouri Works program, which is in itself an initiative I do not support.  It is not the purpose of government to incentivize private businesses to create jobs.

This bill creates a tax credit to be awarded to businesses that demonstrate they have created a certain number of new jobs.  I am not generally in favor of tax credits as a general rule, however I will at least consider them in certain circumstances.  I will not, however, support tax credits that are refundable (can be paid out in excess of one's tax liability) or transferable (can be bought and sold like a bond or other investment).   This bill's tax credit has both attributes.  During the perfection process, Representative Deb Lavender (Democrat - District 90) introduced an amendment to remove the refundability and transferability of the tax credit.  I did vote for that amendment, but it failed on a voice vote.

I'm not sure I would have voted for this bill even had that amendment passed, however without it I was a firm no.  The bill passed anyway, likely because it is on the Governor's list of priorities.  You can view the roll call vote here.

02/18/19 -- HB 131 -- Extend the sunset on a geological resources fee

Bill Number: 
HB 131
Bill Purpose: 
Extend the sunset on a geological resources fee
Date of Vote: 
02/18/19
My Vote: 
No
Explanation: 

HB 131, introduced by Representative Sonya Anderson (Republican - District 131) is an extremely simple bill.  All it does is take an existing permitting fee for surface mining, and extends it from sunsetting in 2020 to 2025.

I am not particularly familiar with the geological resources program that these permit fees fund.  I heard from a fellow Representative that they provide some kind of oversight to the surface mining industry, and that those in that business support the program.  That may be true, but I heard no detailed explanation about why this fee is needed from the bill sponsor.  It may in fact be a good program, but absent additional information I cannot make that determination.  And given that voting for an extension of an expiring fee amounts to a tax increase, I voted no on this bill.  It passed anyway.

02/18/19 -- HCS HBS 243 and 544 -- Allow victims of domesic violence to break leases

Bill Number: 
HCS HBS 243 and 544
Bill Purpose: 
Allow victims of domesic violence to break leases
Date of Vote: 
02/18/19
My Vote: 
Yes
Explanation: 

HB 243, introduced by Representative Jim Neely (Republican - District 8) is a fairly simple bill designed to allow victims of domestic violence break their leases so they might move away from their abusers.  While I am generally not favorable to legislation that has government interfering with private contracts, I think these circumstances are somewhat unique.  If someone is a victim of violence and wishes to escape such a situation, I don't believe that government courts aught to seek to enforce contractual penalties against them as a result of their attempts to avoid further conflict.  Considering that the majority of landlords are not likely to seek such action anyway, this bill aims simply to deal with the remaining situations.

This bill does allow a landlord to collect a lease termination fee, and provides them a mechanism via the court to determine if the claim of domestic violence is appropriate under the statute.

I was on the fence about this bill, but I did end up voting yes.  It passed overwhelmingly.

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