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Posted in Newsletter on April 24, 2017   |  by Gary Burger

Tort Reform Discussion

I am heading over to Jefferson City today to talk with our legislators about numerous tort reform efforts. Three weeks left to go in this year's session. I get that Missouri should be business friendly and we need to promote capitalism, but we also need to have fair rules to protect the safety of Missourians.

The hypocrisy is palpable. Companies and wealthy donors gave millions to candidates last December before some donation limits were to take effect to get special treatment.

Missouri Senate President Ron Richard cashed a $100,000 check from the CEO of TAMKO Building Products six days after introducing legislation that would effectively derail a pending class-action lawsuit against TAMKO.

The sponsor of the bill to change discrimination laws is currently being sued for race discrimination. Senator Gary Romine is being accused of self-dealing to help himself out in his case.

Senate bills 43 and 45 remove protection for older people, women, and minorities from job discrimination while the State pays millions to settle discrimination claims against the Department of Corrections prompting a state audit.

Missouri Legislators repeatedly get caught in sex scandals with subordinates and make the national news: Mo house speaker John Diehl, Sen Paul LeVota, Don Gosen and here for more information.

Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson has spoken out against these bills; Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly's recent departures from Fox news in the wake of sexual harassment accusations certainly support the need for continuing legal protection.

Why let the foxes guard the henhouse? The same guys who can't keep their hands off their own interns want to lessen their punishment when they get caught.

Did you know that Senate Bill 43 makes it impossible to hold the person who actually committed the unlawful act liable for their actions? It lets the bad guy off. It also lets business justifications in for discrimination and heightens the burden of proving discrimination.

Whistleblowers reveal criminal corporate action that damage the public and should be protected. But Bill 43 specifically excludes managers, supervisors, and anyone who is paid to report on the business' activities from whistleblowing protection. These are the very people who catch most illegal activity. Shouldn't we encourage the reporting of dangerous misconduct?