Our founding fathers were deeply spiritual men. Their fervent religiosity and faith in God gave them guidance; especially while drafting our country’s founding documents. Throughout the history of America, these beliefs have often come under attack in the media and in the political arena. Despite these attacks, there are key values we all share as Missourians. For this reason, we have made protecting your values one of the legislative priorities in our Blueprint for Missouri. And our commitment to this issue continued this week with the passage of several key pieces of legislation.
As you may recall, we passed the pharmacy conscience bill out of the House earlier this session. This week, the Missouri House passed a similar piece of legislation, HB 1541, sponsored by Representative Tim Jones. HB 1541 applies to medical professionals and health care institutions by prohibiting a medical professional or hospital from being required to perform a procedure they find morally reprehensible.
The bill touches on two issues important to you. First, HB 1541 protects individuals who find certain medical procedures like abortion religiously or morally objectionable. Here in the House, we don’t think it is right for the state or federal government to impose its moral code on individuals. And nobody should ever have to choose between their religious convictions and their job.
Next, the legislation gets government off the back of hospitals by empowering them to make their own decisions. It isn’t the job of the state to intrude on the freedom of any owner by determining which medical procedures they can or cannot do. HB 1541 goes a long way in keeping the heavy hand of the state out of important business decisions.
Religious values are not the only guiding principles behind the development of our great country and state. Since the first Pilgrims that arrived, hunting has been an integral part of the American way of life. This week the Missouri House took measures to secure the right to hunt and fish by passing HJR 52, sponsored by Representative Ruzicka. Upon voter approval, this proposed constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds majority for voter approval of an initiative petition relating to harvesting bird, fish, game, wildlife, or forestry resources.
The Missouri House also passed HB 1046, sponsored by Representative Rowland. This bill requires each established political party to provide the Missouri Secretary of State with verifiable proof of identity, and proof that the nominees for President and Vice President from the respective parties are natural born citizens of the United States. Currently, Missouri statute does not require candidates for the office of President and Vice President to provide this documentation before being placed on the ballot, even though it is a United States Constitutional requirement to hold that office. This piece of legislation closes a loophole that currently exists in Missouri statute, and ensures all Missouri voters that the candidates on the ballot truly meet all requirements to hold the office for which they are running.
Values are the foundation upon which our society has grown. Here in the Missouri House, we know that your values are important to you, and we will continue working to preserve the principles you live by every day. Without these core beliefs, our foundation slips away, and we truly become a “nation gone under.”
For more information about the legislation mentioned above or about any others that have been introduced please visit the House of Representatives website, www. house.mo.gov. As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Missouri House of Representatives.