Greg Duckworth | Crossover Success – A Record of Achievement
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02 May Crossover Success – A Record of Achievement

Crossover SuccessThe House of Representatives adjourned for the week after finishing a successful “crossover” period and getting important House legislation moved to the Senate. We’ve nearly completed our agenda with more than a month left in the session. We continue to wait on the Senate to act in many instances so we may give final approval on key items our state so desperately needs as we conduct the business of the people.

But this gets me back to an issue that has been on Republican Caucus agendas since we achieved the House majority in 1994. Our state has one of the longest legislative sessions in the nation, and it’s simply not necessary. As we do every session, the House approved legislation that would shorten the time legislators spend in Columbia by nearly two months, saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. We saw a furious amount of work occur in the Senate this week on important issues that have been waiting for their attention, in some cases, for years. Shortening the session would force the Senate to stop wasting taxpayer dollars and get right to work.

The House has approved a retirement system reform package which begins to address the monumental task of bringing our state retirements system into solvency, passed long-needed education reform, sent the Senate a bill to protect minors who are victims of human trafficking and fought Democrats’ attempts to kill a voter identification measure aimed at increasing voter participation.

Here are a few of the items we approved this week with further explanation that you may find of interest:

Safe Harbor for Exploited Minors Act: In many cases when minors are charged with prostitution, they are themselves victims of human traffickers and pimps who by force cause them to break anti-prostitution laws. This new law allows minors to have their charges dropped if they are indeed victims of human trafficking and encourages them to tell prosecutors who enslaved them while also getting them the care as victims which they desperately need such as helping them reunite with their parents or legal guardians where possible.

Adding CWP to Allowable Voter ID Forms: This bill adds Concealed Weapons Permits to the acceptable forms of identification necessary in order for a voter to cast an electoral ballot. The common sense law gives voters yet another option to prove their identity at the polls and will only help expand the number of people able to vote in our elections.

Alimony Reform: This fix revises existing and outdated spousal alimony laws by allowing a judge to set a reasonable expiration date of alimony payments. This prevents certain individuals from abusing or manipulating the good intentions created through systems of alimony while also removing some outdated language on the matter.

The House of Representatives has a solid record of achievement through the first 14 weeks of session. The House proved this week: We’re working hard to protect the citizens of our state and give taxpayers the best value for their tax dollars.

It is an honor to serve you and your family in the General Assembly. If you ever find yourself in need of assistance navigating state government, or if you have ideas on issues you want me to share with my colleagues in the House, don’t hesitate to contact me.