It didn’t take long for Missouri Democrats to take retribution against Representative Keith English (D-Florissant.) English was the sole democrat vote needed to override Democrat Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of the Tax Cut Bill (SB509.)
Yesterday, the day following English’s veto-busting vote, he received a letter from House Democratic Leader Jake Hummel removing him from his committee assignments. Some insiders claim it was a symbolic gesture because none of English’s committees will be meeting for the remainder of this legislative term.
It is remarkable to observe the differences between democrats and the ‘pubs. English was disciplined by being removed from his committee assignments for a critical vote against the demands of his party. Last September, Senators Dempsey and Richard, reversed their votes on similar bills during the veto session, voting to uphold Nixon’s vetos. Their change of votes, from for-the-bill to against-the-bill, occurred after they accompanied Nixon on a taxpayer-paid junket to Europe. Nothing happened to those two. English, however, lost his committee assignment.
English’s decision to vote for the tax cuts, some $620 million when the cuts are activated, was not a recent occurrence.
“English was a special guest at a private reception for Republican lawmakers on Tuesday night. He told members that he wanted to vote in favor of the bill when it was first brought up in the House, but that he was urged by Republican leadership to hold off until the override vote in an attempt to avoid pressure from Democrats, including the governor.” — PoliticMO Newsletter, May 8, 2014
I haven’t examined English’s voting record. I would not be surprised that he has sided with the ‘Pubs in the past.
HB 1439, the Second Amendment Preservation Act, is hung up in committee in the House. It had passed in the House on April 12th on a vote of 114 to 41. It went to the Senate and passed there on a vote of 23 to 8. However, (isn’t there always a ‘however?) the Senate made some changes to the bill. Those changes required a confirming vote in the House. That vote has not yet happened.
There was a provision in the House version that was changed in the Senate; a change some House members demand be reinstated. If the House changes the Senate version, we are in another series of ping-pong from House to Senate and time is running out.
I’m coming to believe we will not pass HB1439. Some insiders who have watched this bill closely from the beginning believe it was designed to fail, that it contained a poison-pill or two.
It is not a good bill. It is a hodge-podge of components that should rightly have been proposed and voted upon individually instead of being collected into a monstrous Congress-style conglomeration of components. One reason why this bill is bad is that if it is passed and is enacted, we, the CCW holders in the state, would lose reciprocity with a number of states…maybe half of those states who currently recognize our permits.
HB1439 lowers the age for a CCW permit from 21 to 19. That would make our CCW permits incompatible with those states whose lowest age is 21 for a CCW holder.
Our neighbor, Kansas, is one whose minimum age for a CCW permit is 21. Think for a moment of the consequences if we lost reciprocity with Kansas! I live within ten miles of the Kansas/Missouri border. I travel to Kansas several times a week. I used to work in Kansas. Imagine not being able to legally carry in Kansas and all the burdens that would ensue!
There are other issues in HB1439 that can cause issues, too. For me, I won’t cry if it fails to pass. Yes, there are provisions in it I would dearly love to see enacted—open carry for one (although I would probably not carry openly myself. I do believe, however, that we should have the option. Kansas will have Open Carry in a few months.)
If HB1439 fails this year, we must learn from our mistakes. I believe it is a strategic mistake to roll all the firearm/CCW/2nd Amendment items into one bill. Yes, it may be a convenience for those sitting in Jeff City, but it has great dangers as we are seeing now with HB1439.
Personally, I’m going to meet with my Senator and Representative and urge them to fight to change how we organize any future bills for firearm and 2nd Amendment rights. One bill for each item. If an issue cannot stand alone on its own virtue, perhaps it shouldn’t be passed? When we have an omnibus-style bill, like we’ve attempted to pass in the last two years and have failed, there will always be one issue or another that will/could stop its passage. Let’s chalk this idea of attempting to pass a large complex bill under the “Lessons Learned” column and vow not to repeat it.