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Highlights of Most Recent Jefferson City Legislative Floor Action

Here are updates about the latest happenings at your State Capitol.

HOUSE BILLS THIRD READ AND PASSED May 7:

HCS HB 1900, sponsored by Rep. Craig Redmon (R-01), restructures the statutes based on executive branch reorganizations.  This bill represents a clean-up of various statutes that have not been updated over the years.  It provides a first step toward some reorganization issues and was drafted in coordination with the Joint Committee on Legislative Research.

Changing the laws regarding services for individuals with disabilities, HCS HB 1854, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Grisamore (R-47), was Third Read and Passed.  This substitute will create the Purchasing from Persons with Disabilities Advisory Board within the Division of Purchasing of the Office of Administration which will provide oversight regarding procurement policies with qualifying vendors that includes a person with a disability or a business that employs disabled individuals that perform at least 75 percent of the direct labor to fulfill a procurement contract.  The bill provides provisions for tax credits for contributions to certain residential care providers, workforce transition services for youth with disabilities, MO Healthnet Benefit Coverage for comprehensive day rehabilitation services, MO Healthnet benefits for hearing aids, provisions for service dogs, employment security laws, and increases from $2 to $10 the surcharge that is assessed on all criminal cases which will be deposited in the Brain Injury Fund.

SENATE BILLS THIRD READ AND PASSED:

Community colleges and two-year schools offer benefits such as proximity to home or less time between starting school and getting a degree. HCS SB 455, sponsored in the House by Rep Mike Thomson (R-04), requires the Coordinating Board of Education to monitor all public two-year and four-year higher education institutions to replicate best practices in remediation and to maintain alignment of statewide assessments for entry level general education courses. HCS SB 455 would also enact a statewide reverse transfer policy.  This means that a student transferring from a community college or a two-year school to a four-year school would be able to earn an associate degree under the original school’s requirements. By utilizing this reverse transfer, these students would still be eligible to receive an associate degree once requirements were met, keeping them from simply dropping out and not completing a degree program. 

Changing several provisions of law relating to transportation, HCS SS SCS SB 470, sponsored in the House by Rep. Eric Burlison (R-136) was Third Read and Passed.  This bill prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle with dyed fuel on a public highway and transportation of quantity shipments of radioactive materials.  The bill offers several licensing provisions including a biennial registration option for larger vehicles and uniform commercial driver’s license act.  It modifies provisions relating to the regulation of household goods movers.  It is one of several efforts to promote economic growth by removing outdated barriers or limitations, allowing Missourians to grow or expand their businesses.  For more information and full bill text, please review the following link:  http://www.senate.mo.gov/12info/BTS_Web/Bill.aspx?SessionType=R&BillID=27

BILLS TRULY AGREED AND FINALLY PASSED:

SCS HB 1504 sponsored by Rep. Todd Richardson (R-154) in the House changes the laws regarding sales taxes.  SCS HB 1504 allows St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County to hold a vote of the people to create a small sales tax that will support trails, parks and the St. Louis Arch Grounds.  The tax is similar in many ways to the current tax that created the Great Rivers Greenway District, but the new funding will allow the district to complete more and different projects. 

HIGHLIGHTS OF FLOOR ACTION:  May 8

House Bills Third Read and Passed

HB 1357 sponsored by Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger (R-13), specifies that the Constitution and laws of Missouri and the United States must be interpreted, construed, applied and enforced to fully protect the rights of an alternative-to-abortion agency and its officers, agents, employees and volunteers to freely assemble and to freely engage in religious practices and speech without governmental interference.

Senate Bills Third Read and Passed

Currently, the maximum age for service in the state militia is 64.  SCS SB 715 sponsored in the House by Rep. David Day (R-148), allows the Adjutant General to waive the age limit on a case-by-case basis.

Modifying sever provisions of law relating to state and local revenues, provisions of law that specify the application of a particular interest rate and the authority of fire protection districts, HCS SCS SB 591, sponsored in the House by Rep. Ward Franz (R-151) was Third Read and Passed.

HIGHLIGHTS OF FLOOR ACTION:  May 9

Bills that were Truly Agreed and Finally Passed

In an effort to bring Missouri counties on the same level, HCS HB 1106, sponsored by Rep. Tony Dugger (R-144) was Truly Agreed and Finally Passed.  This bill will require a county collector or collector-treasurer to reside in the county from which he or she was elected throughout his or her term of office.  It also requires a candidate for the position to be at least 21 years of age, a resident of the county for at least one year prior to the date of filing, a registered voter, and to have paid all state income, personal, and real property taxes.  This bill will help make county collector requirements consistent across the state.

Since asthma related illnesses are very common in children, it is detrimental that schools have a plan in place in case a student should experience a life threatening asthma attack.  HB 1188, sponsored by Rep. Sue Allen (R-92), will establish a procedure under which a school nurse may administer asthma-related rescue medication.  A school board may authorize a licensed nurse or employee to maintain a supply of medication and to determine how much medication should be maintained.  This will be very beneficial to students who struggle with asthma.

Senate Bills Third Read and Passed

Working with schools to improve Special Educations practices, HCS SS SCS SB 595, sponsored in the House by Rep. Noel Torpey (R-52), was Third Read and Passed.  This bill transfers the administration of special education due process hearings from the State Board of Education to the Administrative Hearing Commission.  This act prohibits commissioners who conduct due process hearings from having previously worked for a school district, an organization engaged in special education parent and student advocacy, the State Board of Education, or the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, either as an employee or as an independent contractor or consultant, within the last five years.

In a consorted effort to reduce child abuse and neglect, HCS SB 628, sponsored in the House by Rep. Chris Kelly (D-24), establishes the Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect which shall be composed of seven members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker and Minority Floor Leader and seven members of the Senate appointed by the President Pro Tem and the Minority Floor Leader. No party may be represented by more than four members of the Senate and four members of the House of Representatives.  This Joint Committee will study and analyze the state child abuse and neglect reporting and investigation system; devise a plan for improving the decision process for removal of a child from a home, and determine the additional personnel and resources necessary to adequately protect children and improve their welfare.  

HIGHLIGHTS OF FLOOR ACTION: Thursday, May 10

Bills that were Truly Agreed and Finally Passed

After many hours of deliberation and debate in the House and Senate, SCS HCS HB 1731, sponsored by Rep. David Day (R-148) is now on its way to the Governor’s desk for approval.  This bill changes the laws regarding the distribution of gaming moneys.  The main focus of the bill is to provide more funding for the Veterans’ Commission Capitol Improvement Fund.  Other areas of change include more funding to the Early Childhood Development and Education and Care Fund.

Senate Joint Resolutions Truly Agreed and Finally Passed

Modifying the composition of the Appellate Judicial Commission and the selection process for judges to the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals, SCS SJR 51, was sponsored in the House by Rep. Stanley Cox (R-118).  This bill will change the number of individuals that the Appellate Judicial Commission nominates for vacancies in the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals from three to four.

Appropriation Bills

After many long hours of debate, the 12 Appropriation Bills were finally passed out of committee late last night.  I would like to thank the dedicated members of the House who served on this Conference Committee:  Ryan Silvey (R-38), Rick Stream (R-94), Lincoln Hough (R-140), Sara Lampe (D-138) and Chris Kelly (D-24).  Today, the Appropriations Committee Reports were debated and passed out of the House and Senate.  They have now made their way to Governor Nixon’s office where they await his approval.  Appropriation Bills are numbered 2001 through 2013.  For detailed information about these Appropriation bills and any other bills that are of interest to you, please access the House website at www.house.mo.gov

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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