ST. LOUIS NEWS TODAY -
Governor Nixon Vetoes Photo ID Bill
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), July 8, 2016 - Gov. Jay Nixon has taken action on a number of elections-related measures including vetoing a photo identification bill that would have made it more difficult for Missourians to vote.
House Bill 1631 would have had a disproportionate impact on senior citizens, Missourians with disabilities, and other individuals who have been lawfully voting since becoming eligible, but do not have a government-issued photo ID.
"This legislation is such an affront to Missourians' fundamental right to vote that it requires that our Constitution be amended for its voter suppression provisions to become effective," Gov. Nixon said in his veto message. "Making voting more difficult for qualified voters and disenfranchising certain classes of people is wrong."
Gov. Nixon signed Senate Bill 786 to streamline and modernize campaign filing requirements and expand the authority of the Missouri Secretary of State to investigate and help prosecute election offenses. Under Senate Bill 786, if the Secretary of State finds reasonable cause that an election offense has been committed he or she can issue a probable cause statement and refer the case to the prosecuting attorney. The Secretary of State will also be authorized to assist any prosecuting attorney or circuit attorney in the prosecution of an election offense, upon request.
Gov. Nixon also signed the following bills:
House Bill 1477, which relates to political party committees and their requirements and structure, including changing eligibility requirements for committee membership and positions.
House Bill 1480, which allows absentee ballots to be counted using voting machines and specifies procedures for votes by mail and those sealed in envelopes.
Gov. Nixon Signs Bill to Expand Rights of Crime Victims
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), July 3, 2016 - Gov. Jay Nixon has signed Senate Bill 921, which strengthens the rights of crime victims and also directs public colleges and universities to work with law enforcement on policies addressing sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and stalking. The legislation was one of four bills the Governor announced he had signed this afternoon, along with one veto.
"The cooperation between colleges and universities and law enforcement agencies will ensure there are policies in place to provide guidance for handling these cases," Gov. Nixon said. "I appreciate the General Assembly taking this action to help our students and to expand the rights of crime victims."
Senate Bill 921 directs Missouri's public colleges and universities to enter into a memorandum of understanding with local law enforcement agencies that addresses sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking incidents involving students. The new law also designates February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. In addition, Senate Bill 921 adds sexual offenses and domestic assaults to the list of crimes that victims must be afforded automatic rights under the law. Those rights include notification of the defendant's hearing dates, release on bond, and escape. The bill also expands the range of mental health services counseling covered by the crime victims' compensation law.
The Governor also today signed:
House Bill 1649, which provides immunity for civil liability for those who, in good faith, help children trapped in motor vehicles;
House Bill 1550, which creates a more equalized approach to child custody and visitation, and makes court proceedings more accessible in cases of violation of court custody/visitation orders; and
House Bill 1599, which permits adoptees to obtain a copy of their sealed, original birth certificate and to obtain medical information. Those birth certificates currently can be obtained only by court order. The bill makes provisions for obtaining the consent of the birth parents.
In addition to the bills that were signed, Gov. Nixon also vetoed House Bill 1976, which makes several changes to state law covering motor vehicle extended service contracts. Although some of the changes are intended to benefit consumers, the Governor said another provision would harm consumers who cancel their contracts by allowing contract providers to avoid paying refunds directly to those consumers.
Gov. Nixon to Publicly Read Declaration of Independence
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), July 3, 2016 - Gov. Jay Nixon will publicly read the Declaration of Independence in a re-enactment outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia on Friday, July 8, the 240th anniversary of the first reading of one of America's most historic and important documents.
This will be the 39th year for the National Park Service to re-enact the event which occurred on July 8, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was first publicly read by the sheriff of Philadelphia, Col. John Nixon, who was an ancestor of Gov. Nixon.
The Governor said he is deeply honored to be able to read the Declaration of Independence from the same spot where it was read in 1776.
"At the time the Declaration of Independence was written, signed and read, the signers and those who believed in the cause for independence didn't know if it was tantamount to a death sentence for treason against the Crown," Gov. Nixon said. "It may be difficult for us today to imagine what a daring act this was. It will be both humbling and moving to be in the same place as one of my forefathers and read the same piece of American history that he did back in 1776."
The re-enactment will take place at noon Eastern Time on July 8. The Governor, who will be outfitted in 18th-century style clothing, will be escorted to the reading platform by two actors playing the part of militia men. Gov. Nixon will read the Declaration in the text in which it was written from a replica "Dunlap Broadside" scroll.
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