Senator Ed Emery’s Legislative Report for March 20, 2017

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Public Service

“Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.”
The Apostle Paul to the Roman church

Today – March 20th, begins the legislative spring break; it coincides this year with my wife’s spring break from teaching kindergarten, so that is convenient. Last week ended on a high note as Rep. Donna Pfautsch, R-Harrisonville, and I attended the annual Cass County law enforcement awards banquet in Harrisonville. Eight law enforcement officers received recognition – including resolutions from both the Missouri House and Senate – in honor of their exceptional service to their communities during 2016. The Elks Club has sponsored and conducted this banquet for many years in recognition of the selfless sacrifices made by law enforcement officers and their families. May God remind us often to offer effectual and fervent prayer for these men and women as they face tests that may be both physical and emotional.

Floor action in the Senate last week included several hours working to perfect House Bill 251, commonly referred to as “paycheck protection.” It is designed to provide workers with an automatic “reenlistment” option that does not occur today for labor unions. HB 251 debate was interrupted, and the senate will return later to finish debate. The senate debated and finished House Bill 153 and delivered it to the governor for his signature. House Bill 153, known as the “expert witness” bill, establishes enforceable guidelines regarding qualifications for witnesses providing “expert” testimony in a jury trial. In addition, Senate Bill 10 was perfected last week by the senate. It modifies the Missouri Works and Missouri Works Training programs. Although I opposed the bill because of my disinclination to insert government into the free market (sometimes referred to as mercantilism), it does improve those two programs by simplifying them and funding them directly rather than via tax credits.

Finally, you may have seen or heard about the episode in my office on Wednesday afternoon that some have termed a “scuffle.” There was no scuffle (I was there), but the group of fifteen or twenty that entered my outer office did become very vulgar, profane and unruly. For several minutes prior to their outbursts, we unsuccessfully attempted to address their questions and concerns. It then became clear, however, that I would have to out-shout them which I was unwilling to do. As they became more agitated, profanity erupted and a female staff member and I requested they cease that language. One young girl became even more profane, and when I gently restrained her from my female staff member she pretty well flipped out and refused to leave the office. For the first time in my legislative career, my office had to call security. I wish there had been time to separate the group and talk individually to each one, both about SB 98 which they so viciously opposed and about the harmful ultimate outcome of the path they’ve chosen.

Thanks for all you do for friends, loved ones and neighbors. Pray for your state and your legislature as often as God brings them to mind. I will offer one final reminder to pray especially this week for police, fire fighters and emergency personnel. God’s best to you all.

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.