Greetings Fellow Missourians,
I am currently serving as the Legislator for Missouri State House of Representative in the newly formed 125th district—thanks to the supporters in the Primary elections of 2012 and 2014. This district includes the southern half of Benton, northern third of Cedar, and all of Hickory and St. Clair Counties. [see map]
Committees: • Agriculture Policy • Appropriation - General Administration • Emerging Educational Issues • Telecommunications
CAPITOL REPORT - September 15, 2016. Veto Session began at “High Noon” yesterday on September 14th. We spent nine hours combing through legislation that Governor Nixon had vetoed this summer. In the end, out of 20 vetoed bills, we voted to override 13 pieces of legislation. This total includes seven House Bills and six Senate Bills.
HIGHLIGHTS ON 5 KEY BILLS:
I am happy to report that all three pieces of legislation deemed priority by the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association were successfully overridden. These bills will benefit farmers throughout Missouri. SB641 addresses a tax deduction for farmers who receive federal disaster or emergency aid payments. Under this bill, the deduction will be available for all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2014. Up to this point, no other disaster program is taxed as income by the federal and state government. Farmers shouldn’t be taxed either! This law will correct that wrong.
SB844 was approved to clarify that an animal owner is liable for damages done by the animal to another’s property only if the owner has been negligent. Currently, if horses, cattle, or other livestock break through a fence and cause damages to another’s property, the owner is strictly liable. Even in cases when the fence is torn down or broken by someone else, the owner of the animals is still liable under current law. The change will relieve the animal owner from liability for damages when the animals were released because of the actions or fault of another.
The third bill, HB1414, protects the privacy of Missouri farmers who voluntarily disclose information for certain government programs from facing sunshine inquiries for this information unless it is needed to protect consumer and animal health. It encourages partnership between private citizens and government programs in order to help gather more research and further improve our understanding of animal disease traceability. Missouri Cattlemen's Association (MCA) President Keith Stevens stated, "Missouri cattle farmers and ranchers certainly want to be transparent, but should not fear their private information being public knowledge because of participation in a government program. The threat of agro-terrorism is real and this legislation helps reduce this threat for Missouri farm and ranch families." This legislation proactively addresses a problem that will only intensify with time in the generation of “Big Data.”
The General Assembly also overrode the veto of HB1631 that would require Missourians to show a photo ID in order to vote. The bill would implement a system of voter identification in the state if Missouri voters approve a constitutional change that is on the November ballot. This change is vital to protect the integrity of the election process and prevent voter fraud.
If the constitutional change is approved by voters, Missouri will then implement a system of voter identification and require voters to present a specified form of ID in order to vote in a public election. Valid forms of identification would include photo IDs issued by the state, the federal government or the military. The bill also would require the state to pay for individuals to obtain a valid ID if they do not have one, or to obtain documents necessary for an ID.
Finally, SB656, which I received many, many emails and phone calls in support of the override, did indeed pass, strengthening the gun rights of law-abiding citizens. It is important to remember that Missouri’s law already allows anyone of age to carry a weapon openly with no permit or training. SB656’s Constitutional Carry portion allows a law-abiding citizen the freedom to carry a firearm in their purse or concealed under their clothing. It DOES NOT allow criminals or mentally ill to carry, nor does it change the current concealed carry permit laws.
SB656 also expands the castle doctrine by allowing persons who have been authorized by a property owner to be on or in the property to use deadly force as necessary in order to protect themselves and others. As well, the requirement that a person must attempt to retreat before using force is repealed in SB656 which allows a person to better protect themselves.
If you would like to be added to the e-mail list to receive our Capitol Reports, you can e-mail me at email@example.com or call the Capitol office at (573) 751-4065 and speak with Kelley Rogers, my Legislative Assistant.
“Ride’n for the Brand”
Representing the good people
of the 125th District
PRESS RELEASE - August 30, 2016. – 100-MILE YARD SALE THIS WEEKEND!
Discover More on Rt. 54 is hosting the 2nd annual 100-mile yard sale that will be coming up on Labor Day weekend, September 3rd-5th. This will cover communities along U.S. Hwy 54 from Nevada to Camdenton. The host locations are for sellers living away from Hwy 54 that wish to participate over Labor Day weekend. Due to great interest in the event, there is a newly created website, https://100mileyardsale.wordpress.com/, and will contain any new updates.
RULES FOR HOST SITES:
First come first set up basis each day, dumpsters located on the property are not for public use, remove everything you didn’t sell, and be respectful of their property. The sellers will be responsible for their own sale signs to draw in motorists.
APPROVED HOST LOCATIONS: Free use unless indicated by [$] [$ =daily use fee charged]
EL DORADO SPRINGS, at Chamber of Commerce (old Wood’s) parking lot, located at the SE corner of Hwys 54 & 32. (417)876-4154.
NEAR COLLINS, at Brenda’s Quilt Stop & More, located west of Collins along Hwy 54 (417)876-9997.
WHEATLAND, front office lot at Darby Motors/A+ Glass office, located next to Hwy 54 & Main St. (417)799-9399.
HERMITAGE, [$] at Beyond Bargains Flea Market, located next to Hwy 54 & Pitts Ln. (417)399-1474.
NEAR PRESTON, [$] at Yates Rustic Range Trading, located 6 miles East of Preston on south side of Hwy 54 (417)733-7193.
NEAR MACKS CREEK, at public road side park at the junction of Hwys 54 & 73.
MACKS CREEK, at Bank of Urbana by permission only call Sherry Nations prior to setting up (573)363-1000.
CAMDENTON, at Farmers Insurance (west of the square) parking lot, courtesy of Shane Hulett.
All updates will be posted on the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/MOHwy54YardSale/ and the new website, https://100mileyardsale.wordpress.com/.
CAPITOL REPORT - May 26, 2016. Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Major General John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.
The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including General and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.
It is imperative to pay tribute this upcoming Memorial “Decoration” Day for all of our fallen countrymen that paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect our homeland and uphold the Constitution and our freedom. Take time to pause and reflect on the following statistics provided from USA Today listing the casualties from each U.S. war:
Civil War: Approximately 620,000 Americans died. The Union lost almost 365,000 troops and the Confederacy about 260,000.
World War I: 116,516 Americans died.
World War II: 405,399 Americans died.
Korean War: 36,574 Americans died.
Vietnam Conflict: 58,220 Americans died.
Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm: 148 U.S. battle deaths and 145 non-battle deaths.
Operation Iraqi Freedom: 4,422 U.S. service members died.
Operation New Dawn: 66 U.S. service members died.
Operation Enduring Freedom: 2,318 U.S. service members have died as of May 12, 2014.
"We live in the land of the Free, because of the Brave." It sounds cliché, but it is so true. Now, and always, let us honor our guardians of liberty for their diligence and sacrifice.
We commemorate this day to remember all those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation. As one of our greatest Missourians, President Harry Truman, once said, “Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.”
I will be delivering a Memorial Day message at the Liberty Baptist Church in Iconium on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. On Monday, I will be participating in the annual Cross Timbers Memorial Day Service on the square. If you do not have plans already, I invite you to join us. I hope you have a safe Memorial Day, 2016, and join with me in thanking God for our great nation and the men and women who have served to protect it.
It is my honor to serve the constituents of District 125. If you ever have questions, concerns, or input, please feel free to contact me any time at (573) 751-4065. YOUR District 125 capitol office is 235B, and YOU are always welcome!
CAPITOL REPORT - May 19, 2016. My interim started bright and early Monday morning at a directors’ meeting of our “Discover More on Route 54” project. “Discover More on Route 54” is reminding the public of the 2nd Annual 100-mile Yard Sale that will be coming up on Labor Day weekend, September 3rd-5th. This will cover communities along U.S. Hwy 54 from Nevada to Camdenton. We need sellers and bargain hunters to make this event a huge success. Sellers will be responsible for their own yard sale signs to attract motorists. With the increased holiday traffic, we also encourage other non-profits (fire departments, churches, etc.) to hold rummage sales and fundraisers at the same time. Start making plans now! Please direct questions or suggestions to the Facebook page, facebook.com/MOHwy54YardSale/. For sponsors, additional promotional signs have been ordered and will be distributed.
MAY IS BEEF MONTH:
I enjoyed lunch with members of the Cedar County Farm Bureau and the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association on Monday. They hosted "Lunch on the Lawn" at the Cedar County Courthouse to celebrate May as “Beef Month.” A ceremony was also hosted on Tuesday, May 17th, at the Missouri Department of Agriculture. The Missouri Beef Month celebration recognized the farmers and farm families behind the 1.9 million beef cattle raised in the state. Missouri’s beef industry is third in the nation in number of beef cows and sixth in total cattle, and is a leader in beef quality, safety and nutrition research and development.
On Wednesday morning, I had the honor of attending the flag raising ceremony at the new Rivers Crossing Life Center in Osceola. The new flag pole has been dedicated in memory of a beloved community member, Richard “Dick” Kiefer, who was also a World War II Veteran.
BICYCLER AND PEDESTRIAN FRIENDLY:
The City of Warsaw has recently adopted a Complete Streets policy. Warsaw's policy is the 29th Complete Streets Policy in Missouri. The purpose of this policy is to set forth guiding principles and practices for use in all transportation projects, where practicable, economically feasible, and otherwise in accordance with applicable law, so as to encourage walking, bicycling, and other non-motorized forms of transit. Warsaw joins an elite group of Missouri cities who are setting the standard for livability, connectivity, and community health by adopting Complete Streets policies. Warsaw has worked to integrate bicycling, walking, trails, parks, and healthy lifestyles into its city and region-wide economic development plan, including the development of a mountain bike park, a system of trails and bicycle routes in and around the city, an improved, walkable downtown area, a system of parks connected by trails, a beautiful riverfront harbor and park connected to downtown, and much more. The Complete Streets Policy is part of the city's plan to make the entire city and region walkable and bikeable, because the Complete Streets elements allow every neighborhood, school, and commercial area of the city to make the "last mile" connection to the city's trails and bikeways system.
FRIDAY, JUNE 17TH:
The MO Department of Natural Resources invites the public to attend an informational meeting at Pomme de Terre State Park on Friday, June 17th. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Hermitage Area Campground Amphitheater. Park staff will be presenting an overview of the park and its resources as well as answer any questions. Visitors will be invited to share comments on the park and its facilities. The meeting is part of an ongoing effort by the Missouri State Parks to ensure that the public has input on services and facilities offered in state parks and historic sites. For questions, please call Dave Herigon, Park Superintendent, at Pomme de Terre State Park, at (417) 852-4291.
* Please note: Capitol Reports will not be as frequent during the Interim. *
CAPITOL REPORT - May 13, 2016. Friday the 13th has ended our last day of the 2016 legislative session. The closing bell will ring at 6:00 p.m., and now we can look back and review what we have accomplished.
The House and Senate reached final agreement on two measures designed to require a valid form of photo identification in order to vote. One is a proposed constitutional amendment that will go on the November ballot for voter approval. The other is a statutory change that is now on the governor’s desk for his consideration. HJR 53 will allow voters to decide if the Missouri Constitution should be changed to allow a system of voter identification. The bill would require voters to present a specified form of identification in order to vote in a public election. Valid forms of identification would include photo IDs issued by the state, the federal government or the military. The bill also would require the state to pay for individuals to obtain a valid ID if they do not have one, or to obtain documents necessary for an ID. Additionally, the final version of the HB 1631 contains a provision that would allow a voter without a valid photo ID to vote with a regular ballot by showing another form of identification.
Helping Missouri’s Farmers:
The members of the House and Senate also gave final approval to several pieces of legislation to support Missouri’s livestock owners and agricultural producers. As it has done several times over the years, the Missouri General Assembly took action to reject a proposed tax increase on Missouri’s agricultural land. Bipartisan support was given to HCR 58, which rejected a recommendation made by the Missouri Tax Commission for a five percent tax increase on farm and ranch properties.
Legislators also approved SB 844 to clarify that an animal owner is liable for damages done by the animal to another’s property only if the owner has been negligent. Currently, if horses, cattle, or other livestock break through a fence and cause damages to another’s property, the owner is strictly liable. Even in cases when the fence is torn down or broken by someone else, the owner of the animals is still liable under current law. The change approved by the General Assembly will relieve the animal owner from liability for damages when the animals were released because of the actions or fault of another.
Legislation was also passed to strengthen the gun rights of law-abiding Missourians. The bill will allow Missourians to carry a concealed weapon where currently they have the right to open- carry. Commonly referred to as constitutional carry, the bill would allow any person to carry a concealed firearm anywhere that isn’t expressly prohibited by law. The legislation also contains a provision commonly referred to as “Stand Your Ground” law. The measure removes the requirement that a person, who is in any place they are legally allowed to be, can use force without retreating first. For instance, if I catch someone stealing a battery out of my tractor and I apprehend them and they come at my with a crescent wrench, then I have the right to protect myself with deadly force if I feel my life is in danger. It also expands the state’s castle doctrine law: current statute allows individuals to use deadly force to defend themselves and their property against intruders, and this law extends the same protection right to any of my family members who may be staying in my home while I am away.
Legislation that did not make it to the finish line:
Unfortunately, several bills that would benefit District 125 did not pass, but I anticipate discussion on these proposals again next year: HB1904 would enhance 911 emergency services; and HB1891 the proposal that would have required public employees to give written permission annually for union dues to be collected from their pay failed by one vote in an veto override attempt. Also not passing, HB1780 and 1420 which would haverepealed the July 1, 2014, termination date of a provision allowing members of the Public School Retirement System of Missouri who have 31 or more years of creditable service to have their retirement allowance calculated using a multiplier of 2.55%.
||The Warsaw South 4th Grade students visited the Capitol on Thursday, May 5th, to learn about the legislative process and tour the beautiful historic building.
||It was a joy to have visitors, Anna and Maura Crusha last Thursday. Daughter and granddaughter of Representative Love, they were touring the Capitol on May 5th with the Paris school district.
||The General Assembly observed “Wear It Missouri” on Wednesday. In 2015, almost 80% of water related deaths could have been prevented by simply wearing a properly fitted life jacket. Let’s change that statistic.
||A very professional group of Weaubleau 8th grade students visited on Wednesday. Their tour included the Capitol, the Whispering Gallery, Dome, observing session and Highway Patrol Education Center.
||Benton County Assessor, Rodger Reedy, met with Rep. Love in the side gallery during session on Wednesday. Mr. Reedy is a member of the MO State Assessors Association and serves as Secretary for the Executive Board of MSAA.
CAPITOL REPORT - May 5, 2016. My in-district day started at 9:00 a.m. on Friday presenting “Show Me the Show Me State-Do You Know MO” booklets to the Osceola 4th grade class. At 11:00 a.m. I discussed Missouri history and government with the Appleton City 4th graders. I thoroughly enjoy reporting about our duties as a legislator and how the lawmaking process works.
||Photo: A vibrant group of young scholars, the Osceola 4th grade class pauses from learning to pose for a photo.
||Photo: Wednesday, I invited members of the General Assembly who are Masons or Eastern Star members to join me for a photo in the House Chamber. On the front row and far left, we were honored to have Brent Stewart join us. Mr. Stewart is the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the A.F. and A.M. of the State of Missouri.
House and Senate Give Final Approval to Voter ID Measure (HB 1631):
The General Assembly reached a final agreement this week on legislation designed to require a valid form of photo identification in order to vote. The legislation, which would put a system of voter identification into state law, is a companion piece to a proposed constitutional amendment that would first allow voters to determine if Missouri should require photo identification to vote. The constitutional amendment requires a final vote in the Senate and one more vote in the House before going on the November ballot. This bill will protect the integrity of the elections process. Providing a valid photo ID is the best way to ensure voters are who they say they are when they cast their vote. The bill also would require the state to pay for individuals to obtain a valid ID if they do not have one, or to obtain the documents necessary for a government-issued photo ID.
House Overrides Governor’s Veto of “Paycheck Protection” (HB 1891):
Legislation commonly referred to as “paycheck protection” is now just a vote away in the Senate from becoming law. The House approved a motion this week to override the governor’s veto of HB 1891 by a vote of 109-47. With the successful override vote in the House, the Senate will now need to complete the override with at least 23 votes, which the bill received when it was originally passed by the Senate.
The bill is meant to give public employee union members the right to opt-in annually if they choose to participate in their union. The current system requires a public employee to opt-out; and if they fail to do so, their dues are automatically deducted. In effect, the bill would require annual written consent from a public employee before any amount could be withheld from the earnings of the employee for the payment of any portion of dues, agency shop fees, or other fees paid to a public labor organization. It would also require public employee unions to obtain annual written consent in order to spend a portion of the fees on political activities.
* * * *
Next week is the finale for the 2016 session with many bills left to discuss and debate. I am hopeful and anticipate that legislation on outdoor advertising/billboards, securing of ambulance district funds, and the organ donor program fund check-off sunset date that I have sponsored will all be passed before we adjourn Friday, May 13th, at 6 p.m., according to the Missouri Constitution.
It is my honor to serve the constituents of District 125. If you ever have questions, concerns, or input, please feel free to contact me any time at (573) 751-4065.
YOUR District 125 capitol office is 235B, and YOU are always welcome!
If you would like to be added to the e-mail list to receive our Capitol Reports, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Capitol office at (573) 751-4065 and talk to Kelley Rogers, my Legislative Assistant.
“Ride’n For The Brand”
Representing the good people of the 125th District
CAPITOL REPORT - April 28, 2016. April 24-30, 2016, is Administrative Professionals Week, and I want to start my report by acknowledging my legislative assistant, Kelley Rogers, who serves our District 125 from my Capitol office. With a background in public relations, she has been working at the Capitol since 2013. Prior to serving District 125, she served as secretary to the Children and Families Committee, the Interim House Review Committee on the 2011 Water Patrol Merger, and the Interim Committee on Healthcare Workforce. A lifelong resident of Camdenton, she carpools every day on Route 54. Her activities have included raising her family with her husband, serving in church activities, school district foundation, Eastern Star, and her youngest son’s school robotics team activities. Kelley is honored to work for District 125 and proud to live in lake country.
HB1636 – MISSOURI STATE FAIR/SCHOOL FUNDING:
On my way to the Capitol Monday I stopped by the State Fairgrounds in Sedalia. I dropped off a local newspaper that had an article about school starting dates and how they overlap with the State Fair schedule. In the article, an area school superintendent had suggested the fair should move their starting date up and commented that the State Fair used to be the first week of August, and it is now held during the second week. This information is incorrect, and Mark Wolfe, Director of the Missouri State Fair, stated that historically, the fair always ended on the Sunday one week before Labor Day and the earliest fair dates were August 13-23. In 1997, the Missouri State Fair Commission, in an effort to avoid earlier school start dates, moved the dates of the fair up one week. The fair now ends on the Sunday two weeks prior to Labor Day. Based on calendar shifts, the earliest fair is August 7-17 and the latest is August 13-23. This year the State Fair dates are August 11-21, 2016.
He also stated it is nearly impossible to move the State Fair dates another week earlier, because it would conflict with over half of the 114 county regional fairs and the Ozark Empire Fair held each year in late July and early August. The winners of those fairs move on to exhibit at the State Fair. Pushing back school start dates closer to Labor Day would encourage 4-H and FFA youth participation and increase attendance and revenue for the promotion and awareness of Missouri’s #1 industry, agriculture. For this to happen, the citizens and businesses in each local
school district need to get involved and encourage school boards to set school start dates later in August.
Also, Tuesday morning after the Capitol Commission Bible Study, I had a complimentary breakfast sponsored by the six national parks in Missouri. I asked them how park visitor attendance was before school started compared to after school started. They commented, “It drops like a rock.” While visiting about the parks and how important they are for our tourism industry, I also encouraged them to continue the development of the Butterfield Overland
National Parkway from Tipton, Missouri, to Sacramento, California. This historic trail passes through eight states and covers over 2,800 miles. It travels a southerly course through Missouri from St. Louis to Tipton through the southwestern tip of the state.
HB 1468 would allow Missourians to carry a concealed weapon without the need for a permit. Commonly referred to as constitutional carry, the bill would allow any person to carry a concealed firearm anywhere that isn’t expressly prohibited by law. This piece of legislation advanced through the House this week and now moves to the Senate for approval.
HB 1679 was introduced this year to allow women to obtain their birth control prescriptions from a pharmacist instead of a physician. The sponsor pointed out reducing unplanned pregnancies by 10% to 20% could result in cost savings for state taxpayers of $47 to $95 million annually. Approved by the House this week, the bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
HB1556 that I have sponsored has been heard in its Senate committee and now waits to be third read and passed in the Senate. This language secures ambulance district funds deposited in financial institutions I am also working to insure the passage of HB1564 which changes the laws regarding MoDOT signage permits and requirements to benefit small business owners/landowners. We have two weeks of session left and amendment strategies are in place.
CAPITOL REPORT - April 21, 2016. Finally the Spring showers of warm rain have arrived. I could actually sight rows of newly planted corn as I drove to the Capitol on Monday. Plus there were lots of trucks parked alongside the roads which I’ll bet were turkey hunters out calling the gobblers on opening day of season.
I am thankful for the much needed rain, but also thankful that we are not getting the floods like the Houston, Texas, area. We still haven’t recovered from the torrential rains and flooding we experienced last Spring in Benton and Hickory Counties.
U.S. Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler reported to us that funds have been released by FEMA to the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to be distributed to Benton County for repairs. The Benton County Commissioners have provided a progress report stating they will soon be sending out a Request for Qualification (RFQ) to engineering firms to help assist with the Harper Pipe System. Because of the previously set fiscal budget for 2016, the county is looking to rely on funding in the upcoming 2017 budget while working with SEMA. They are pleased to report that 40% of the other large projects are completed in Road District #1.
HB1969 CONFISCATION OF ANIMALS:
In the event someone has been “charged” with animal abuse or neglect and has had their animals confiscated, HB 1969 specifies that all animals confiscated must receive proper care as determined by state law and regulations. It would also prevent the animals from being sterilized, euthanized or disposed of until the court makes a final ruling on the case.
This bill would require a person acting under the authority of a warrant to appear at a disposition hearing before the court through which the warrant was issued within 10 days of the confiscation, instead of being given a disposition hearing within 30 days.
In addition, this bill would also ENSURE owners who are found innocent are not liable for the costs associated with holding their animals and states that their animals must be immediately returned. (With current law in Missouri when animals are taken, animal owners are assumed guilty and must pay for the first thirty days of care in order to have their animals returned if found innocent. The fees continue throughout the life of the court case should the owner decide to continue. Since no one can afford the inflated and exorbitant charges, the animals are relinquished early on and the taking party wins regardless.) This legislation reinforces a citizen's right to due process.
I spoke on the House Floor back and forth with Representative Bill Reiboldt during debate of this bill. We discussed the not-so-pretty side of caring for cows when they are down with calving paralysis. We pointed out that a cow may be down for two days or two weeks, but as long as they eat and drink, they may be helped by turning, rotating, and lifting them for short periods of time. It is sometimes disturbing to view by people who do not understand the ins and outs of caring for animals, thus they want to report such things as animal neglect or abuse, causing animals to be confiscated.
Another example is older horses that become very thin because of age, even though the animals are well fed and cared for. I realize the concern about care for animals in many people’s eyes are just focused on small animals such as pets. However, the same laws apply to large animals referred to as livestock.
I spoke in favor of reforming the laws for confiscation of animals and reminded House members that the Missouri Veterinary Association is in support. My closing statement to my fellow representatives was, “When it comes to the common sense or horse sense of caring for livestock, not everyone understands. If common sense was lard, some people would not have enough to grease a skillet on this issue!”
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