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Legislative update for April 23 - 27

Posted Friday, April 27, 2012, at 1:09 PM

The following bills have passed the House this week and have been reported to the Senate:

HB 1254 (link to full bill summary) is a large agriculture omnibus bill that among its many provisions are the following:

*Designates December as "Pet Breeders Appreciation Month";
*Extends the tax credit for wood energy producers;
*Changes vocational agriculture programs in private schools;
*Requires the Missouri State Fair Commission and the governing bodies of all national, state, and local fairs and expositions that include the exhibition of livestock are required to permit all qualifying 4-H and Future Farmers of America members to exhibit livestock at the fair or exposition.
*Specifies that the right to conduct and participate in rodeos is guaranteed and prohibits any law, ordinance, or rule restricting the conducting of or participating in rodeos in Missouri, except any reasonable restrictions regarding time, place, and manner consistent with other similar events.
*A child may perform agriculture work on a farm owned and operated by the child's parent, sibling, grandparent, or sibling of a parent or, if performed by the child with the knowledge and consent of the child's parent A child working on a family farm may do so without obtaining a work certificate and is not subject to specified limitations on the hours which he or she may work;
*Changes several provisions regarding agricultural crimes;
*Establishes the Missouri Agri-tourism Promotion Act.

HB 2099 establishes the Whistleblower Protection Act which places in statute existing common law exceptions to the at-will employment doctrine making it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discharge or retaliate against an individual who is a protected person.

HB 1890 (link to full summary) changes the laws regarding health insurance coverage and contracts in the following areas:

*STATE REGULATED HEALTH INSURANCE MANDATES: regarding the diagnosis, treatment and

HB 1758 (link to full summary) allows any person having a parent/child relationship with a minor child who is not the child's biological or legal parent to petition a court for an order establishing custody and visitation rights. This bill's provision is not to be construed to affect the procedure for the termination of parental rights or to revive the rights of a natural parent whose rights have previously been terminated.

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State Representative Donna Lichtenegger is currently serving the 146th District of the Missouri House of Representative. Born July 26, 1950, in St. Louis, MO. A 1969 graduate of Normandy High School. She received an A.S. in Dental Hygiene in 1973 from St. Louis Community College -- Forest Park. Rep. Lichtenegger has 37 years of experience as a dental hygienist. She resides in Jackson with her husband, John. They have two children, Brent and Leigh Ann. Current and past memberships: Missouri Dental Hygiene Association; American Dental Hygienist Association; Southeast Missouri Dental Hygienist Association. St. Paul Lutheran Church -- Ladies Guild; Jackson Noon Optimist Club; Cape Girardeau Boys and Girls Club, board member; Cape County Black and Gold Club; Lutherans For Life; University of Missouri Alumni Association; and the Regional Samaritan Clinic, board member; and former memberships with JC Wives and the Lutheran Family Children Services' Cape Girardeau board. Public Service: 20 years Republican Central Committee; the Republican State Committeewoman from 1998 to 2010 for the 25th Senatorial District; Chair of the 32nd Judicial District for six years; ten years Chair for the Eighth Congressional District.