Check back here for items of interest in the Missouri legislature.
The Missouri General Assembly adjourned Friday, May 15, after a bizarre session that began January 7.
The year 2015 will be remembered in Jefferson City for opening day in the Missouri Senate when Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder was forced to delay the proceedings as a large, vocal group of protesters caused havoc and ultimately was escorted from the galleries by law enforcement. Members of the group held signs and chanted for expansion of Medicaid and called for action in wake of the riots last summer in Ferguson, Mo.
2015 will also be remembered as the year State Auditor Tom Schweich and his public information assistant Spence Jackson died as a result of separate suicides, when then-Speaker of the House, John Diehl, resigned in disgrace on the last day of the session and was replaced by new Speaker of the House Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff), when passage of a Right-To-Work bill shut down the Missouri Senate for much of the last week of the session, and when dozens of bills were introduced, relating to the tragedy last summer in Ferguson, but did not cross the finish line. Below is a list of how some major legislation fared in the Missouri Legislature, with thanks to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and its reporters Alex Stuckey and Virginia Young.
A few bills, ... continued
April 24, 2015Missouri Senate: Don't Shut Down Police VideoApril 24, 2015
Police body camera and dashboard camera video access
House Bill 762 was approved, 10-0, by the House Select State and Local Governments Committee on April 2, in Jefferson City.
HCS HB 762 includes language to allow police body camera and dash board camera video to be available to the public upon court order, and those persons or entities requesting such records can only be responsible for costs associated with their own attorney fees and not those fee of the public body.
HCS HB 762 is an improvement over the original bill's version, but the prospect of going to court every time to obtain a police video will present a challenge to the news media and other citizens.
The original bill, filed by Rep. Galen Higdon (R-St. Joseph), would have closed police video to the public.
While the substitute bill is better, Missouri Press Association prefers the version in Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 331. SCS SB 331 would make police video "investigative records." SCS SB 331 has stalled out in the Senate after receiving some floor debate on March 25.
There are six weeks ... continued
February 5, 2015Missouri Press Legislative Update, Feb. 5Missouri Press Legislative Update, Feb. 5
Missouri Press staff has been reading and reviewing the nearly 1,300 bills that have been filed in the General Assembly. So far, 864 bills have been filed in the House and 416 bills in the Senate.
One bill of concern, HB 537, has been filed by Rep. Dean Dohrman, R-LaMonte (Pettis County). The bill would virtually shut down public information in the county assessor's office. The bill has been assigned to the House Emerging Issues Committee.
Themes of note for this year's bills: Requiring police to wear video cameras; ethics reforms that affect legislators and lobbyists; proposed expungements of criminal records; setting campaign contribution limits; eliminating non-judicial property foreclosures and replacing them with judicial foreclosures, deleting public foreclosure notices in newspapers.
A Shield Law bill for news reporters has been filed this week by Rep. Joe Don McGaugh: HB 858.
Missouri Press representatives have been meeting with the Missouri Police Chiefs Association executive director in an effort to draft language on the topic of access to police body cameras video.
The Missouri General Assembly convened in Jefferson City on January 7. The 2015 session is scheduled to end at ... continued
Tuesday May 24th
Register for the Northwest Press Association meeting June 9 on the Missouri Western State University campus in St. Joseph. Link
Monday May 23rd
Tee off in Columbia for this year's Porter Fisher Golf Classic on June 16! To register, visit http://bit.ly/1UqxRjI to download the form or contact Missouri Press Foundation Director Melody Bezenek at 573-449-4167 or by email at mbezenek@socket. Link
Friday May 20th