Jim Hansen Capitol Report 4-30-18
House Gives First-Round Approval to Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana (HB 1554)
The members of the Missouri House of Representative have given an initial stamp of approval to legislation that would provide access to smokeless medical marijuana to patients with terminal illnesses, as well as other debilitating conditions. The sponsor of the bill said his goal is to help ease the pain and suffering of patients and give them an alternative to opioids.
The bill originally applied only to terminal illnesses, but an amendment added on the House floor expanded the legislation to include debilitating conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, or multiple sclerosis. Another amendment added to the bill expanded it further to allow individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to use medical marijuana. Supporters noted marijuana can help relieve the symptoms of PTSD and has been proven to reduce the rate of suicide by veterans.
The measure now requires another vote in the House before moving to the Senate for consideration.
Probation and Parole Videoconferencing (HB 2499)
Last week the Missouri House voted to perfect House Bill 2499, which I filed.
Currently, the use of videoconferencing must not be used if an offender, victim, or the victim's family objects. HB 2499 removes the offender from the list of individuals who can object. The bill also removes the requirement that the parole board conduct a personal interview with the offender, permitting the interview to be conducted via videoconferencing.
Last week I was visited by an outstanding young man from Ralls County, Collin Pettitt. Collin will be graduating soon from State Technical College of Missouri, under the A+ Program, with a degree in heating and cooling. I enjoyed meeting with Collin and wish him all the best!
I enjoyed meeting with representatives of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association last week to discuss priorities important to the association. It is always a pleasure to sit down with hardworking farmers to discuss issues facing agriculture – our state’s number one industry.
I had the opportunity to visit last week with Adam Trower and Bridgette Reuther of Community State Bank, of which Mr. Trower is Senior Vice President. Mr. Trower and Ms. Reuther were visiting the Capitol to help build support for Senate Bill 769 and House Bill 1879 and the other priorities of the Missouri Bankers Association. I enjoyed our visit and found it very informative.
Last week I also had the chance to sit down with Carla Potts of the Northeast Community Action Corporation (NECAC), Department of Corrections Director Anne Precythe, and Deputy Director Matt Sturm. We discussed the possibility of establishing an on-site home-building program for inmates that would allow offenders to learn many skills related to the construction of homes. This would help to equip offenders with the skills needed to succeed after leaving the correctional system. I found the meeting very productive and look forward to meeting at Northeast Correctional Center in the near future to discuss this proposed program’s possible implementation.
I plan to meet with Anne Precythe, Director of the Department of Corrections, and as many as 13 wardens from across the state later this month to discuss pertinent issues and review programs that have been implemented by Director Precythe over the last year. I look forward to the opportunity to meet with our Corrections officials who work so hard to keep our correctional facilities running smoothly.
Also among my future plans is an additional meeting of the Subcommittee on Corrections Workforce Environment and Conduct. The subcommittee formed last year to help improve the work environment for all Corrections employees. I look forward to meeting with my fellow members once again to discuss important issues and receive an update from the Director.
Working on your behalf,
Representative Jim Hansen
Proudly Serving the 40th House District
Lincoln, Monroe, Pike, & Ralls Counties
Missouri House of Representatives