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House Speaker forms investigative committee, STEM Day, other bills moving to Senate

House Speaker Forms Investigative Committee (HR 5565)

The Missouri House has created a committee that will investigate the charge on which Gov. Eric Greitens has been indicted. This week the members of the House also gave unanimous, bipartisan support to a resolution that outlines the investigative process and the powers the committee will have to conduct the investigation.

Greitens was indicted by a grand jury for felony invasion of privacy. Greitens is accused of taking, without consent, a photo of a woman with whom he had an affair in 2015.

As the chairman of the committee said, “This committee’s task is going to be to investigate facts. We’re going to do so in a way that is fair, thorough, and timely, and we’re going to do it without any preordained results. We are going to be asking questions of witnesses on both sides and hope to have a process with full involvement from everyone involved in this matter.”

The committee will begin its work immediately. As the committee investigates, the Speaker made it clear the House will continue its work as normal.

“We are going to continue to move forward with the substantive legislation that we have spent the bulk of this session working on,” said Speaker Richardson, who added that the committee has a big task ahead of it, “but that is not going to deter us or limit our ability to move forward on priorities that the people of Missouri sent us here to do.”

Other Bills Moving to the Senate

HB 1873 would specify that the court may require any person found guilty of chasing, pursuing, taking, transporting, killing, processing, or disposing of certain wildlife in violation of the Missouri Conservation Commission’s rules and regulations to make restitution to the state. Supporters say Missouri has some of the lowest poaching fines in the country and the bill would increase the fines and reduce poaching.

HB 1428 would allow the county commission of non-charter counties to appoint persons to vacated county elected offices. This bill will help to avoid situations where a vacancy causes a county office to shut down.

HB 1945 would change the laws regarding the confiscation of animals. Supporters say the bill would require a speedy disposition hearing to determine if an owner is liable for animal abuse or neglect and will save money. Often animal owners forfeit their rights to the animals because they cannot pay the bond or the costs associated with the legal challenge.

Legislators Participate in Annual STEM Day

Students and education supporters once again made the trip to the State Capitol to observe the state’s annual STEM Day. The day is meant to emphasize the important role STEM education plays in the state’s economy and the opportunities it provides to students. Many of the students in attendance were introduced on the House floor in recognition of their advocacy for STEM education.

Hosted each year by the Missouri Chamber Foundation’s Mathematics and Science Coalition, the day is highlighted by various hands-on technology displays and booths that showcase the various school and student science projects and activities. The event also featured an F-18 flight simulator, and saw students compete for the Capitol Cup in the First Lego League Robotics Challenge.

Representative Rick Francis, 145th District Representative

Representative Rick Francis, 145th District Representative

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