Dec. 1 each year marks the start of pre-filing bills for the legislative session beginning in early January. Area state lawmakers from both the House and Senate have been busy filing several measures for consideration in the session that begins Jan. 9. A few of the measures, many of which represent the second, third or fourth attempt at passage:
A bill requiring compulsory disclosure of donations to private inaugural committees. -- State Rep. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau.
A bill clarifying legal jurisdiction in credit card and check fraud cases. --- State Rep. Tom Burcham, R-Farmington, and Crowell.
A proposed constitutional amendment (requiring voter approval) lengthening Missouri's term limits from eight years to 12 years each in the House and Senate. -- State Rep. Dan Ward, D-Bonne Terre.
A bill lengthening to 32 hours the period of time that law-enforcement authorities can detain a suspect without filing criminal charges in cases of suspected felonies. -- State Rep. Phil Britt, D-Kennett.
A bill specifying that employee votes on unionization would be successful only if approved by a majority of workers eligible to join. Currently only a majority of ballots cast is needed. -- State Sen. Peter Kinder, R-Cape Girardeau.
A bill honoring fallen state trooper James Froemsdorf by renaming a six-mile stretch of I-55 in Perry County the Trooper James Froemsdorf Memorial Highway. -- State Rep. Patrick Naeger, R-Perryville (companion Senate bill filed by Kinder).
As is the case every year, some of these are meritorious, others less so. Some are contentious issues and will be difficult to pass, while others, such as the bill honoring Froemsdorf, will likely sail through.