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Author Topic: From the House... Fixing a Broken List  (Read 2387 times)

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Offline David Day

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From the House... Fixing a Broken List
« on: August 22, 2011, 03:22:26 PM »

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This week's From the House can be viewed at:  http://staterepday.com/FromTheHouse/FTH_08-22-11.pdf
 
 Fixing a Broken List

“Rep. Day what are you doing coddling sex offenders?  I just heard where you went to a meeting full of registered sex offenders and said that you would be standing up for them!  I am going to tell the entire community what you are up to; you have to clarify your position.”  That was a recent call I received in my office, of course no name or number was left for me to reply to, otherwise I would have.

Since I did receive this call I thought I would share with you just want I am up to in regard to the Sex Offender Registry.  Last year we worked on a bill that my good friend Rep. Rodney Schad sponsored and I proudly supported, it was HB 999.

The meeting I attended and spoke at in St. Louis was made up of a group of individuals that who, like me, feel the current Sex Offender Registry laws are broken and they are trying to reform them.  My purpose at the meeting was to visit with them about working with elected officials and lobbying them, something I have done with several groups in the state.

What last session’s HB 999 would have done is simply recognize the difference between a true sex offender and someone who makes a dumb mistake at a young age or even can almost be an innocent bystander.  I will try to explain what I mean by that.

We all know what a true sex offender is, the really bad people that often prey on children, sometimes in a violent manner and often in repeated fashion.  Trust me, nobody in the Missouri Legislature, of any political affiliation, wants to coddle or give these people a break.  Actually HB 999 would have increased the penalty for many of them, as I think it should be.

But what do I mean by young people making dumb mistakes?  There are many people currently on the registry that at the age of 19 or 20 had a relationship with someone a few years younger than them, which then qualifies them to be put on the registry.  Now if the incident was an issue that involved violence, that is one thing and not what I am talking about.  However, often it is a situation where two young people want to be together, maybe one was less than honest about their age, whatever the circumstance it was consensual.  Today we have those then 19 or 20 year olds on the Sex Offender Registry, meaning at the age of 35 they can’t even take their kids to a ball game because other kids are there.

Or how about the person who is sent an inappropriate photo to their cell phone, not necessarily knowing who the photo is of or even who sent it, maybe they received it by mistake and someone found out.  They are now candidates for the registry and there are examples of individuals on there because of such situations.

These are just a couple of examples of where a law that has great intentions has become out of control in my opinion.  Not only does it destroy lives of individuals that don’t need this kind of life-long punishment, but it also costs taxpayers huge amounts of money.  These individuals often can’t get jobs, they are restricted on where they can live, all of the things that will often put them on public assistance because they can’t provide for themselves.  The system is broken.

All HB 999 does, and all this group I visited with in St. Louis wants, is a system that recognizes the difference between true violent sex offenders and a young man or woman that just makes a dumb mistake.  It allows for an effective appeal process after a number of years and does not treat all offenders the exact same, because not all offenses are the same.  They would still be punished, but is a life-long sentence truly appropriate for someone that makes a mistake at the age of 19 or 20?  Someone who has never committed such an act before and has not since?  I don’t think so.

So…regardless if you agree or disagree with me, I wanted to let you know where I stand on the issue and what we are working on…in case the same guy who can’t leave his name and number decides to call you too.

Last year HB 999 passed out of the House with only 16 “No” votes, but never received floor time in the Senate because of it being so late in session.  Our hope is to have it moving much quicker next session and try to fix a system that in my opinion is a broken one.

As always, please feel free to contact me anytime I can be of service.  My office number is (573) 751-1446 and my e-mail address is david.day@house.mo.gov.
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Offline darrellmaurina

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Re: From the House... Fixing a Broken List
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2011, 06:09:53 PM »
For whatever it's worth, I got a similar phone call. The person calling probably thought I could call him back since he offered to provide me additional information, but because I was out of the coverage area for my cell phone, his call went straight to my voicemail and the calling number wasn't recorded on my phone. The result is I don't have a phone number to return his call.
 
I add this because it appears someone is trying to take this to the media and Rep. Day will probably get more phone calls from reporters.
 
Anybody who knows me knows I am not in the business of making elected officials look good and I don't think I can be fairly accused of trying to "cover up" for Rep. Day or anyone else.
 
I have no agenda either against or for Rep. Day, but there's not much I can do when somebody makes accusations and says he has evidence but doesn't give me a phone number where I can call back to get that evidence.
Darrell Todd Maurina
Check out the Pulaski County Daily News online newspaper at
http://www.pulaskicountyweb.com
Cell: (573) 433.6733 * FAX: (573) 774-2349
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Offline David Day

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Re: From the House... Fixing a Broken List
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2011, 06:53:28 PM »
Maybe this was his evidence:  Rep. David Day MO

Basically the only breaking news there is that I said legislators don't read every word of legislation put in front of them (something I have said from the first day I was elected...just being honest.  Not enough hours in the day to read that many bills).

Anyway, since the guy has a hard time leaving his name anywhere he calls, maybe this is his proof and I can help him out.  This was filmed as I was leaving the meeting I mentioned in my article.

Dave
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Offline stiffcat76

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Re: From the House... Fixing a Broken List
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2011, 12:13:22 PM »
Basically the only breaking news there is that I said legislators don't read every word of legislation put in front of them


well I am  just curious how a man votes on something he doesn't fully understand or has not fully read. you all get paid good money to read the things put in front of you before you vote. this is how stupid laws get on the books. me myself dont think i would be voting on bills that i have not read.

Offline David Day

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Re: From the House... Fixing a Broken List
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2011, 12:25:38 PM »
I often will vote no on a bill that I have not had time to review and feel comfortable with.  We also rely on others that become experts in areas of law and their opinion when voting.  Many times it is all written in "leagaleze" and we have to go to one of our attorney members and get their take on it.

Last session there were 1028 House Bills files, 53 HCR's filed, 38 HJR's filed, about 25 HR's filed, 433 Senate Bills filed, 1 SRM filed, 13 SCR's filed, 22 SJR's filed, and 6 SR's filed.  No, I was not able to read all of those.  I attempt to read a bill before I know it is coming to a vote, but sometimes it just can't happen.  Those numbers above do not include amendments, which can be about 1/2 of that amont again.

Any lawmaker that says they read every word of every bill before voting....I would have a very difficult time believing them, with a part-time legislature (remember all of these are squeezed in a 5 month period, not like the feds that go year-round), all of the meetings we are expected to make, etc...  there are just not enough hours in a day.  Just being honest.
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Offline David Day

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Re: From the House... Fixing a Broken List
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2011, 01:43:39 PM »
I should probably give an example of what I mean by trusting "experts" on issues.

Rep. Barney Fisher, Chairman of Workforce Development, a guy I have known for 7 years, serves on committees with me, former fighter pilot with the USMC, a person that votes like I do probably 95% of the time, and a person who has never been anything but honest with me...comes to me and says something like "Dave, I am carrying HB ?? which deals with Workforce Development issues and I need your support on it."  I will ask him what it does, he will explain it, answer my questions, and then I will probably tell him I will look at it. 

Because I trust Rep. Fisher a great deal, I won't feel the need to read every detail of the bill, I will look to make sure I understand it and see if I come up with any other questions....but chances are I would support it anyway, he and I have very similar views on government and our districts are very similar.  Of course I will still hear the debate on the bill and can ask questions on the floor also....but someone like him, I do give the benifit of the doubt too, because I trust him. 

It's much like...how many folks actually read every word of their insurance policies, bank loans, etc...?  I will be honest, I don't because I am working with insurance guys, bankers, etc... that I trust, if I didn't I wouldn't be working with them.  It's also worth mentioning that I fully understand that if I cast a bad vote, it is on me, there is no blaming anyone else...so I am very careful who I put that trust into.

Everyone does it, in fact one of the nicest things I have been told is last year in the Democrat Caucus someone asked the queston on Veterans Issues, something like "who do we follow if we don't know enough about the issue", the answer was, "Do whatever Day does on veterans issues, he knows more about them than anyone in the capitol and won't guide you in the wrong direction".

That is what I was meaning by trusting others...the vote is still mine, but at some point you have to have some faith in those you work with if they are folks you trust and have the same general view of government with.

Dave
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Offline Pete

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Re: From the House... Fixing a Broken List
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2011, 04:08:07 AM »
Dam Mr Day that's hard to swallow. Trust a politician that trusts another politician. I am ribbing you. Remember Nancy's famous words" we have to pass the bill to learn whats in it". I think you all need to slow down and really think what the hell you are doing. We got more laws on the books then most even know. How about we just start using the existing laws and quit trying to invent the wheel.
If your going to be dumb, you better be tough!

Offline David Day

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Re: From the House... Fixing a Broken List
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2011, 09:45:12 AM »
I don't disagree, however because of how many lawyers are able to find loopholes and judges allow it, much of what we do is just close loopholes, which then is a new law.  A very large number of the bills we have passed in the last 7 years I have been up there are simply clarifying language of existing law.

Also, just a simple rule change in an agency sometimes needs a law.  A good example is a bill I carried this year, HB 550 (think that was the number), because of how DOR decided titled loans were handled, it would be impossible for you to refinance a loan with an out-of-state lender because they couldn't generate the paperwork fast enough for DOR, so I had to carry a bill to fix that new "glitch" in the law that only became a problem because a DOR attorney decided they didn't have the authority to do it the way they were.  Clear as mud...lol, that is often the stuff we have to deal with, all because of rulings of courts or how someone interprets a law.

That said, I don't disagree...we have plenty of laws, I vote no pretty often because of that.  However, most politicians know that if they go home to campaign and someone asks them “what did you do for us”, if they can’t point to a few pieces of legislation they passed, folks think they are not working for them…everyone thinks they have to have legislation passed to get re-elected…and to some extent they are correct.  I do remember a guy that was in his last term during my first term, Rep. Roark, he voted no on everything except budget issues for the very reason you are saying.  Loved that guy.
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