2023 Legislative Update — April 28

In Legislative News, Legislative Reports, Legislative Resources, MPA Legislative Resources On
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The Missouri House dedicated most of the week to debating Senate bills, and what might have started off as a simple topic now includes a flurry of amendments. With time quickly running out, members are eyeing every possibility to get their priorities passed. Three Senate bills this week collected 40, 30, and a dozen House floor amendments, respectively.

The Missouri Senate spent countless hours on its floor debating over the $47 billion FY 24 state budget and the possible inclusions of Diversity-Equity-Inclusion (DEI) language throughout the budget, along with other controversial issues including healthcare and Initiative Petition reform. With two weeks remaining before session ends and the state budget, along with other major issues like open enrollment, public safety, tort reform, and transgender hanging in the balance, most watchers are focused on the Senate intra-caucus and intra-chamber disagreements that are becoming more present with each passing day.

Due to the craziness, along with quick and constant changes to bills, Clarkston Nelson will not be sending a weekly report during the next two weeks. However, we will send a detailed end of session report in the days after the session adjourns on Friday, May 12. We will be sending updates immediately if action is taken on issues of importance to you.

Physical Therapist Bill Passes
On Thursday, Governor Mike Parson held a press conference to celebrate the signing of SB 51, sponsored by Senator Karla Eslinger (R-Wasola), which allows physical therapists to treat patients without a referral. During the press conference Governor Parson threatened to call lawmakers into a special session next month if the legislature fails to approve a plan to restrict transgender athletes and gender-related care for adolescents. The House and Senate have approved separate bills (HB 183 and HB 419, and SB 39 and SB 49) aimed at addressing concerns about transgender athletes and care for adolescents. However, to date, they have not come to a consensus to work out the differences.

Marijuana Microbusiness Program
On Tuesday, the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) announced that it will begin accepting applications early for the state’s marijuana microbusiness program. The application window for the first round is July 27th through August 10th and forms and instructions will be available ahead of time, by June 6th on the department’s website. Under Amendment 3, DHSS is required to begin accepting microbusiness applications by September. In October, DHSS will issue a total of 48 microbusiness licenses via random lottery drawing and will have six licensees in each of the state’s eight congressional districts.

Budget Update
The Senate dedicated extensive floor time Tuesday afternoon into the early morning hours on Wednesday to debate the FY 2024 budget and the FY 2023 Supplemental Budget. There were no substantive changes made during floor debate but rather corrections to transposed numbers and sectional references. Senator Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg) offered modified DEI language that would have banned diversity policies within state government which led to a six-hour filibuster involving all Senators. After the six-hour filibuster, the Appropriations Chairman, Senator Lincoln Hough (R-Springfield) raised a Point of Order, stating that the Supreme Court has ruled one cannot legislate policy matters through the budget, and the with the inclusion of the DEI language, it not only goes against the Supreme Court ruling, but it could also potentially interfere with existing and future contacts. After considerable debate, Senator Hoskins amendment failed, and the Senate continued to work through the various budget items.

Out of the state’s $6 billion surplus, $2.5 billion remains. Here are some key items included in the Senate budget:

  • $3.6 billion in aid to K-12 schools
  • $2.8 billion to widen I-70 to at least three lanes in both directions from Blue Springs to Wentzville
  • $461 million to boost the pay for those who take care of people with developmental disabilities
  • $300 million to build a new psychiatric facility in Kansas City
  • $233 million to fully fund school transportation costs
  • $78 million to boost rates to childcare providers
  • $56 million for pre-K programs
  • $50 million in school safety grants
  • $50 million to help Jackson County Sports Authority organize the 2026 World Cup in Kansas City
  • $43 million to build a veterinary hospital and laboratory
  • $32 million to boost pay for experienced teachers doing extra work through the Career Ladder Program
  • $29 million to raise the minimum public school teacher salary to $38,000.
  • $25 million to build a meat laboratory.
  • $11.5 million to fight Missouri’s black vulture programs.
  • $11 million for Imagination Library
  • $2 million to help with National Guard recruitment.
  • A 20% pay increase for Missouri State Highway Patrol officers to deal with staffing shortages.
  • $4.6 million for state aid to public libraries
  • 7% inflationary funding for the state’s colleges and universities

The Senate Appropriations Committee was scheduled to begin the mark-up process for the four capital improvements bills, but that has been re-scheduled for next week to allow staff and members more time to prepare.

Key Upcoming Dates
May 5, 2023 – Constitutional Deadline to pass the FY2024 state budget.
May 12, 2023 – Last day of Legislative Session
July 1, 2023 – First day of the new fiscal year
July 14, 2023 – Last day for Governor Parson to sign or veto legislation.
September 13, 2023 – Veto Session

Committee Activity

On April 17, three citizens were appointed by Gov. Mike Parson to the University of Missouri Board of Curators. This week on Thursday the three appointees received unanimous Senate approval.

Dr. Robert Fry of Greenwood was introduced by Sen. Rick Brattin (R-Harrisonville) during a Senate committee hearing on April 19. During the hearing, Dr. Fry said he is a “big believer in academia” and he is honored and humbled to be appointed to the Board of Curators. Dr. Fry currently serves as an orthodontist for Fry Orthodontic Specialists. He founded the business in 1977. He also serves as founder and director of DuckHorn Outdoors Adventures, a Missouri nonprofit. Dr. Fry has previously served as president of the Kansas Dental Association and as a delegate to the American Dental Association. He holds a DDS from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a Master of Science from the University of North Carolina. Dr. Fry will be filling the vacant Fourth Congressional District slot on the board.

Robert Blitz of St. Louis was introduced by Sen. Andrew Koenig (R-Manchester) during a Senate committee hearing on April 26. Blitz told committee members he hopes to make the university system better and to make a positive impact. Blitz currently serves as a partner at Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch Law firm. He has been a member of the Missouri Bar since 1973. He previously served as a member of the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority. He received the 2022 BAMSL Distinguished Lawyer Award. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Drake University.

Blitz will be replacing Curator Greg Hoberock for the 2nd Congressional slot on the board.

Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield of Westphalia was introduced by Sen. Ben Brown (R-Washington) during a Senate committee hearing on April 26. She said major things are to focus on students, so they graduate in a timely way and receive an excellent education. “There are smart people inside and outside of the universities who can move the system in five years to where it should be,” she said. Dr. Sinquefield served as Head of Trading for Dimensional Fund Advisors for 23 years before retiring as Executive Vice President and Head of Trading in 2005. She joined the All You Call Mizzou capital campaign in late 2005 and currently serves as a member of the Missouri 100. In addition, she served as Chair of the University of Missouri System Review Commission in 2016. She holds a Ph.D. in demography and an MBA in Finance and Management Science from the University of Chicago. Dr. Sinquefield will be filling the vacant 3rd Congressional District slot on the board.

Counties without a Newspaper
House Bill 344 (Mike McGirl, R-Potosi) provides that in counties without a newspaper of general circulation, the county collector must post a copy of the list of delinquent lands and lots on the county website or in the county courthouse in an area viewable by the public for three consecutive weeks before the sale of properties due to delinquent taxes. The House Rules – Administrative Oversight Committee voted “do pass” on HB 344 by a vote of 7-0 on April 24.

Media Literacy in Schools
House Bill 492 (Jim Murphy, R-St. Louis) establishes the “Media Literacy and Critical Thinking Act.” Rep. Murphy said the legislation is “not just about how to use media technology, but to empower children to differentiate between facts and opinion. If we don’t teach our children how to critically think, it will affect our society.” The bill defines “media literacy” to include a person’s ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and participate with all forms of media, including news in print and social media content, and recognize bias and stereotypes in media, as well as internet safety. A pilot program, established by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to include five to seven diverse schools, is to address media literacy and develop strategies for student learning in the 2024-25 and 2025-26 school years. On April 24, HB 492 was voted “do pass” by the House Rules – Regulatory Oversight Committee by a vote of 9-0.

Land Bank Allowed
House Bill 587 (Bill Owen, R-Springfield) would allow cities over 1,500 inhabitants and are not already authorized to have a land bank, the ability to establish a land bank in their communities. HB 587 also allows county commissions to establish land banks if they meet certain criteria. The sponsor’s intent for the bill is based on his opinion that it is a waste of both the General Assembly’s and local governments’ time having the local government come to the capitol to pass legislation to allow their individual community to have a land bank. A hearing was conducted on HB 587 by the Senate Emerging Issues Committee on April 25. Testimony in favor of the bill was offered by a St. Louis area attorney who represents St. Louis investors and residential rehabbers, the Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, Missouri Association of Realtors, Municipal League of Metropolitan St. Louis, St. Louis County, the Missouri Municipal League, the City of Springfield, and Empower Missouri. Testimony in opposition to the bill was presented by the Show-Me Institute. On Thursday the committee voted the bill do pass by a vote of 4-3.

Environmental Regulation Omnibus
The Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy, and the Environment Committee convened Tuesday morning to consider passage of HB 631, sponsored by Representation Dan Houx (R-Warrensburg). The bill modifies the composition of the Industrial Minerals Advisory Council. The bill also prohibits more than four appointees from the same industry and removes the qualifiers for the appointees. During committee discussion, substitute language was adopted to add HB 779 which extends the sunset date on certain fees within the Department of Natural Resources. Additionally, the substitute added HB 984 which allows money received from the National Forest Reserve for the state’s mineral products can be allocated to improve public schools or roads in the area where the forest reserve is located. Finally, the substitute includes HB 1207 which establishes exemptions from clean water law permitting requirements. Once modified, the committee passed the bill by a 11-0 vote.

State Contracts, Newspaper Notices
House Bill 752 (Jeff Knight, R-Lebanon). Currently, the state and its agencies and political subdivisions are required to advertise in newspapers for competitive bids for a state contract that exceeds $100,000. HB 752 modifies this provision and requires that the bid be advertised on the official website of the agency or subdivision or through any electronic medium available to the general public for a period of at least 10 days before bids are to be opened. House Committee Substitute for HB 752 includes House Bill 400, sponsored by Rep. Mike McGirl (R-Potosi) which provides an alternative to posting the delinquent land tax notices from the currently required three consecutive weeks of printing in a newspaper published in the county, to one week of printing in a newspaper published in the county during the third calendar week before the delinquent tax sale and then two consecutive weeks of posting on the county’s website and in the county courthouse. The HCS does include compromise language agreed to by the Office of Administration and the Missouri Press Association, requiring one notice in newspapers on certain state contracts that exceed $100,000. On April 24, the House Rules-Legislative Oversight Committee voted “do pass” on HCS HB 752 by a vote of 6-2.

Omnibus Judiciary Bill
The Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee met Monday afternoon to discuss HB 994, sponsored by Representative Cameron Parker (R-Campbell). The bill as originally filed modifies the definitions of “adult” and “child” as it relates to orders of protection. During the bill’s progression through the House process, the bill was expanded to include numerous provisions. Specifically:

  • HB 984, narrows what classes of personal information can and cannot be disclosed, such as date of birth which cannot be disclosed outside of the month and year and allows insurance organizations to view required records as needed.
  • HB 87, modifies provisions relating to the compensation of jurors and clarifies the City of St. Louis is included.
  • HB 389, modifies provisions regarding the disclosure of personal information of judicial officials and staff and removes all provisions regarding elected officials.
  • HB 52, modifies provisions regarding the release of an offender from prison.
  • HB 537, allows for the increase of compensation for court reporters.
  • HB 663, creates the “Public Defender – Federal and Other Fund” to allow for the deposit or grants, federal funds, general revenue, and other funds.
  • HB 911, provides exemptions for those seeking to become guardians or conservators from background screenings under limited circumstances.
  • HB 87, establishes the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act
  • HB 90, extends the sunset on the Court Automation fee, repeals the date the Court Automation Committee must complete its duties, and adds two additional municipal employees to the committee.
  • HB 787, which allows the circuit court in St. Louis City to collect a fee not to exceed twenty dollars to go toward the law library.

During committee discussion, a Senate committee substitute was adopted to further amend the bill to include:

  • SB 128, relating to divorce proceedings.
  • SB 365, pertains to transfer of venue in family court.
  • SB 103, removes the court automation fee sunset.
  • SB 72, includes the Judicial Privacy Act.

Once modified, the committee passed the bill by a 5 – 0 vote.

Mutual Aid Agreements
The Senate Transportation, Infrastructure, and Public Safety Committee convened Wednesday afternoon to consider passage of HB 1015, sponsored by Representative Jeff Meyers (R-Warrenton). This bill allows the chief law enforcement executive for any law enforcement agency to request assistance from a law enforcement agency in another jurisdiction, including from outside the state but within the United States. During committee discussion, substitute language was adopted to change the title from “Law Enforce Practices” to “Public Safety” in order to include several provisions. Specifically, the bill now includes:

  • SB 625, which updates various statute references relating to emergency medical services.
  • SB 343, known as Blair’s Law, which creates the offense of unlawful discharge of a firearm.
  • SB 228, relating to do-not-resuscitate orders.
  • SB 28, relating to fees paid to the Missouri Highway Patrol.
  • Includes provisions relating to criminal background checks for school personnel.
  • SB 38, relating to peace officer standards.
  • SB 630, relating to the closure of certain public safety records.

Once modified, the committee passed the bill by a 5-0 vote.

Personal Privacy Protection Act
The Senate Governmental Accountability Committee convened Thursday morning to discuss HB 1064, sponsored by Representative Ben Baker (R-Neosho). The bill seeks to modify the Personal Privacy Protection Act to allow public agencies to release, publicize, or otherwise publicly disclose personal information in the agency’s possession with the express, written permission of every individual who is identifiable from the potential release of the personal information. The bill also allows for the disclosure for nonprofits to release information which has been voluntarily provided previously to public agencies, allows for law enforcement agencies to disclose information, and allows the disclosure of personal information to a labor union or employee association regarding employees in a bargaining unit represented by the union association. Lastly, the bill includes negotiated language for the Missouri Ethics Commission regarding financial disclosure reports for committees and candidates, for the Office of Administration to ensure the Transparency Portal is restarted, and negotiated language with the state’s two zoos to ensure donors may choose to have their contributions made public. People United for Privacy, City of Kansas City, Friends of the Kansas City Zoo, Institute for Free Speech, and the MO Office of Administration supported the bill. No opposing testimony was presented.

Sex Offender Registry
The Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence met Monday afternoon to discuss HB 1108, sponsored by Representative Justin Hicks (R-St. Charles County). The bill as filed, provides modifications to child sex offenders registrations and includes Rap Back Program provisions. During the bills progression through the House process, the bill was amended to include several provisions. Specifically:

  • SB 343, establishes “Blair’s Law” which specifies that a person who commits the offense of unlawful discharge of a firearm shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor for the first offense, a class E felony for the second offense, and a class D felony for any third. KC Police Department.
  • HB 567, defines “telecommunicator first responder”.
  • SB 464, DHSS must require certain individuals working in a marijuana facility to submit fingerprints for a background check.
  • HB 305 – Prohibits a court from issuing an arrest warrant for a person’s failure to respond, pay a fine, or appear in court for a motor vehicle equipment violation citation classified as an infraction.
  • HB 454, relates to admissibility of statements made by a minor or vulnerable person. Also amends the offense of patronizing prostitution.
  • HB 83, change of venue.
  • HB 725, relates to tampering with or destroying an ATM.
  • HB95, creates the offense of mail theft.
  • HB 1181, creates the offense of delivery of a controlled substance causing serious physical injury and the offense of delivery of a controlled substance causing death.
  • SB 630, authorizes a public governmental body to close certain records, meetings, and votes if leaving them open would potentially endanger the health or safety of an individual or the general public.
  • HB 1086, creates a conviction integrity unit under the Missouri Office of Prosecution Services to investigate claims of actual innocence.
  • HB 1228, allows motor vehicles operated by canine search and rescue teams to qualify as emergency vehicles when responding to an emergency.
  • Requires birth certificate fees to be paid by state agencies.
  • Includes Victims Compensation Fund provisions.
  • HB 1133, time served provisions.
  • HB 86, tampering with electronic monitoring equipment; and
  • HB 677, advocate program file management

Quest Diagnostics, Missouri KidsFrist, the Missouri Highway Patrol, Missouri Sheriff’s United, all of the 9-1-1 advocacy organizations, Missouri Circuit Judges Association and the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys testified in support of the bill. Women Against the Registry, the Center for the Rights of Children, Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys testified in opposition to language that creates a diversion process in first time DWI offenses and the language related to lifetime sex offender registrations. Missouri residents also testified to modifications that would be made to the state’s sex offender registry.

Deleting Newspaper Notices from Self-Storage Sales
House Bill 1120 (Bill Hardwick, R-Waynesville) modifies requirements of the public notice by an operator of a self-service storage facility for the sale of personal property of an occupant in default. HB 1120 allows the storage facility operator to advertise in the classified section of a newspaper prior to the sale, OR the operator may instead advertise in any other commercially reasonable manner such as online. The advertisement is “commercially reasonable” if at least three independent bidders attend the sale. On April 25, the Senate Emerging Issues Committee conducted a hearing on HB 1120. Testimony in support of the bill was presented by the Missouri Self Storage Owners Association and by StorageMart. Testimony in favor of the bill focused on several letters that are required to be sent prior to a sale notifying the person in default and concern that some locations in Missouri are without newspapers. Testimony in opposition to the bill was offered by Mark Millsap of newspapers in Jefferson City, Fulton, and California. Millsap noted every Missouri county has at least one newspaper, totaling more than 200 newspapers in Missouri. The bill has no penalties if three or more bidders do not show up for the sale. He said newspaper notice of storage facility auctions increases transparency, and such notice is a part of due process. Large segments of rural Missouri are without strong internet, and residents without internet still depend on their local newspapers. These newspaper notices alert family, friends, even next-door neighbors of the property owner, as well as potential bidders, that a sale of property is about to happen, Millsap said. Websites notify no one. A website does not push out or distribute notices to anyone, however, in a newspaper notice which is distributed to homes and businesses, a reader may see his or her property is being sold at auction. Simply placing the notice on the internet does not promote transparency. The committee took no action on the bill.

Public Domain Preservation Act
The House Special Committee on Government Accountability convened Monday afternoon to consider passage of House Bill 1283, sponsored by Representative Tony Lovasco (R-O’Fallon). The bill establishes the “Public Domain Preservation Act”, which provides that, if produced as part of a person’s official duties, federal copyright or patent protection shall not be asserted for judicial opinions; administrative rulings; legislative enactments; public ordinances; or any other material produced by an officer, employee, director, board member, or agent of the state of Missouri, any state department, political subdivision, or special district of this state. Any existing work shall be made available at no cost under a perpetual, transferable, worldwide license, that stipulates no enforcement of such copyright or patent protection shall be exercised, and the work shall be considered within the public domain. This bill shall not apply to any research, discovery, or invention that was discovered, documented, or published by an employee of any public school or public institution of higher education; however, such items shall be made available under license at no cost to any natural person residing in the state. Any material published by a state department, political subdivision, or special district of this state that is subject to this bill shall be accompanied by a notice stating: “Public Domain Content, No Rights Reserved”. Any material published or distributed by a state department, political subdivision, or special district of this state shall contain the words “Paid for by” followed by the public entity and name of the director of the public entity that paid for the material. House Committee Substitute for Hb 1283 was voted do pass by a vote of 14-0. The substitute includes independent contractor language, exempts universities from the bill as well as clarifies certain points.

Various Business Organization Provisions
SS for Senate Bills 3 & 69 (Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg) establishes provisions relating to business organizations. The bill establishes the “Regulatory Sandbox Act” which creates the Regulatory Relief Office within the Department of Economic Development (DED). The Regulatory Relief Office shall create and maintain on the DED website a web page that invites residents and businesses in the state to make suggestions regarding laws and regulations that could be modified or eliminated to reduce the regulatory burden on residents and businesses. The Regulatory Relief Office shall administer the provisions of the bill with the purpose of identifying state laws or regulations that could potentially be waived or suspended for participating businesses during a 24-month period in which the participating business demonstrates an innovative product offering to consumers. The bill also includes the Right-To-Start Act which promotes and tracks state contracts with businesses that have been in operation less than three years and establishes the Office of Entrepreneurship within the DED to promote entrepreneurs, including minority entrepreneurs. The bill repeals the Missouri Limited Liability Company Act and establishes the “Uniform Limited Liability Company Act.” The bill requires businesses making automatic renewal offers or continuous service offers to consumers to put such offers in a conspicuous manner, obtain consent before automatic renewal, and acknowledge renewal offer terms. The bill provides that healthcare professionals in non-research roles shall not be required to sign any non-compete covenant as a condition of employment. On April 24, the bill was voted “do pass” by the House Rules – Legislative Oversight Committee on a vote of 8-0.

Senate Education Legislation
Senate Bill 4, 42 & 89 (Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester) modify provisions regarding transparency in elementary and secondary education. The bill provides that school accountability report cards for each public school district, public school building, charter and virtual school shall be maintained on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s website. The bill requires school districts to adopt a policy to address bullying and school discipline. The bill creates the “Parents’ Bill of Rights Act of 2023.” Schools that provide electronic devices to students shall implement technology that prohibits students’ access to social media sites, video sharing sites, and pornography. Under the legislation, any metropolitan school board or urban school board vacancy shall be filled by appointment of the board until the next election. The bill establishes the “Teacher Bill of Rights” and outlines certain rights for public school teachers, including the right to be free from physical abuse and protected from verbal, written or electronically generated abuse; the right to exercise the freedom of speech through the media; the right to teach without fear of frivolous lawsuits. The legislation deals with teaching race, ethnicity, color, and national origin. The bill shall not be construed to prevent teachers from discussing current events in a historical context or courses including, but not limited to, African American history, Native American history, women’s history, Asian American History, and Hispanic history. DESE shall develop a patriotic and civics training program to prepare teachers to teach the principles of American civics and patriotism. Subject to appropriation, each teacher that completes the training shall receive a one-time bonus of $3,000 to be paid by DESE. On April 24, SB 4, 42 & 89 was voted “do pass” by the House Rules – Regulatory Oversight Committee by a vote of 5-4.

Omnibus Tax Credit
The House Economic Development Committee convened on Wednesday morning to discuss SB 92, sponsored by Senator Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg). The bill establishes the Missouri Rural Workforce Development Act, which provides a tax credit for investments made in businesses located in rural areas within the State of Missouri. During the bill’s Senate progression, it was amended to include SB 519, which removes the annual limit of $4 million dollars on the production of biodiesel fuel tax credit that is authorized in a fiscal year, and also removes a provision requiring the Department of Revenue to apportion tax credits to biodiesel producers that are applying for the tax credit. Additionally, the bill was amended to prohibit a business from knowingly employing any individuals who are unlawfully present in this country and limits the tax credit for businesses located or has committed to locate in a rural area in Missouri. The committee reconvened in executive session Thursday morning to consider passage of SB 92. During committee discussion, substitute language was adopted to include:

  • HB 133, establishes the Entertainment Industry Jobs Act, which creates a tax credit for those that provide live entertainment and can be used for rehearsal and tour expenses.
  • HB 1345, allows a qualified taxpayer to claim a tax credit for wages paid to an individual with barriers to employment who is employed in the state.
  • HB 727, allows an investor, as defined in the Act, to claim a tax credit in an amount equal to 50% of the investor’s investment in the qualified securities of a qualified Missouri business.
  • HB 654, authorizes a non-refundable tax credit up to 50% of the value of donations made to a local hospital foundation.
  • HB 653, local food pantry tax credit.
  • HB 1038, establishes the “Intern and Apprentice Recruitment Act” which allows a taxpayer to claim a tax credit up to $1,500 for each intern or apprentice hired.

Once modified, the committee passed the bill by an 11-0 vote.

Police Dogs and Criminal Laws
Senate Bill 189, 36 & 37 (Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville) modifies numerous provisions regarding criminal laws. On April 26, the House Judiciary Committee conducted a hearing on SB 189, et al. Much of the focus on the lengthy bill in committee was on the portion regarding police dogs. Under current law, the offense of assault on a law enforcement animal is a Class C misdemeanor. The bill provides that the offense of assault on a law enforcement animal is a Class A misdemeanor if the law enforcement animal is not injured to the point of requiring veterinary care or treatment; a Class E felony if the law enforcement animal is seriously injured to the point of requiring veterinary care or treatment; and a Class D felony if the assault results in the death of the animal. Testifying in favor of the bill were the United States Police Canine Association along with the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and Microsoft Corporation who were in support of the criminal records expungement process in the bill. No testimony in opposition was presented. Other provisions of the bill include jurisdiction of juvenile courts, certification of juveniles for trial as adults, eligibility for parole of juveniles, mental health services for detainees, minimum prison terms for armed criminal action, credit for time served in jail, creating a cyber crimes task force, rights of victims of crimes, and expungement of criminal records. The committee took no action on the bill.

Uniform Public Expression Act
The Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence met Monday afternoon to consider passage of SB 432, sponsored by Senator Elaine Gannon (R-DeSoto). The bill creates the “Uniform Public Expression Protection Act”, which provides procedures for dismissal of causes of action based public expression. After no discussion, the committee passed the bill by a 4-0 vote.

Floor Activity

Delinquent Property Taxes
The House dedicated floor time on Tuesday to debate HB 400, sponsored by Representative Mike McGirl (R-Potosi). The bill allows the posting of delinquent taxes be posted in newspapers for one week and then posted in county courthouses and county websites for two consecutive weeks. During debate, the sponsor successfully amended the bill to include HB 344, which requires delinquent land, and lots be posted on county websites or in county courthouses for three weeks if no local newspaper or publication is available. Once modified, the House provided the first of two necessary approval votes.

Initiative Petitions
The Senate dedicated over six hours Wednesday to debate HJR 43, sponsored by Representative Mike Henderson (R-Bonne Terre). Upon voter approval, the Resolution modifies the initiative petition process by requiring the Secretary of State to provide voters in each congressional district with a period in which to review and comment upon all initiative petitions proposing amendments to the Constitution. The Resolution also requires initiative petitions to receive approval from 60% of the votes to pass. After six hours of debate, and no compromise, the resolution was returned back to the calendar. The Senate dedicated floor time Thursday morning to revisit HJR 43. During debate, Senator Sandy Crawford (R-Buffalo) offered compromise language to remove the foreign country provisions, removed additional wording relating to “unless any vacancies”, changed the 4/7th requirements to 57% throughout the bill, removed wording dealing with real estate provisions, and removed provisions stating the general assembly shall have executive authority. After brief debate, the Senate passed the resolution by 24-10 vote. The resolution now will be sent back to the House for further consideration.

Financial Affairs Omnibus
The House dedicated floor time on Wednesday to debate SB 187, sponsored by Senator Justin Brown (R-Rolla). The bill is the Senate companion to HB 584, sponsored by Representative Bill Owen (R-Springfield). The bill creates the “Commercial Financing Disclosure Act” and requires any person who consummates more than five commercial financing products to a business located in Missouri is required to make certain disclosure to the business with regard to the product. Additionally, the bill requires registration with the Division of Finance prior to engaging in business as a commercial finance broker and replaces commercial financing broker with a broker who engages in commercial financing. During committee progression, substitute language was adopted to include the perfected version of HB 809, sponsored by Representative Mike O’Donnell (R-St. Louis) which is the omnibus financial affairs bill. Specifically, the bill now includes:

  • HB 586 which modifies several provisions relating to the Division of Finance.
  • HB 1109 which raises the aggregate amount the state treasurer may invest in linked deposits with a cap of $1 billion.
  • HB 155, which establishes provisions relating to workplace retirement savings plans.
  • HB 725, which modifies and establishes offenses involving teller machines (ATM Smash and Grab).
  • HB 234, which allows payments from a candidate or campaign committee to be made via mobile payment services.
  • HB 585, which changes the laws regarding the terms and conditions of credit cards that lenders may offer.
  • HB 1109, which modifies the limits on the state treasurer’s ability to invest in linked deposits; and
  • HB 584, which creates new provisions requiring the disclosure of information pertaining to certain commercial financing products.
  • Allows credit from any vocational or technical curriculums on personal finance courses.

During floor debate, the bill was further amended and now specifically includes:

  • HB 1229, which requires each director shall be a citizen of the United States and resident of Missouri, except for a private trust company.
  • HB 655, which ensures all lender-placed insurance written in connection with mortgaged real property, including manufactured homes and modular units.
  • HB 902, which adds a written covenant between a business entity and its owner that prohibits the owner from soliciting, recruiting, hiring, inducing, persuading, encouraging, or otherwise interfering with the employment of one or more employees or owners of the business.
  • HB 521, which creates provisions regarding gap insurance.
  • HB 1013, which allows county and public administrators to use a pooled account.
  • HB 718, which requires the state to accept gold and silver coinage as legal tender.
  • Any entity that operates with a license or certification under Article XIV of the Missouri Constitution has the right to request, in writing, a state or local licensing agency, such as the Department of Health and Senior Services or Department of Revenue, to share the entity’s regulatory and financial data, application, license, or any other relevant information with a banking institution. The written request must include a waiver authorizing the transfer of individualized data and information.
  • HB 968, which creates provisions relating to endowed care trust funds and updates the Missouri Uniform Fiduciary Income and Principal Act.
  • HB 1340, which adds language from Money Transmission Modernization Act of 2023
  • HB 628, which creates provisions around Consumer-directed and earned and unpaid income wage access services.
  • HB 1330, which modifies provisions regarding the 340B prescription reimbursement program.
  • Made technical corrections.

After considerable debate, the House passed the bill by a 116-23 vote. The bill now will be returned to the Senate for their consideration.

Eviction Moratorium
The House dedicated floor time Thursday to debate SB 222, sponsored by Senator Curtis Trent (R-Springfield). The legislation prohibits any Missouri county, municipality, or political subdivision from imposing a moratorium on eviction proceedings unless specifically authorized by state law. Additionally, the bill requires all transfers of title of real property for rental properties with outstanding collectible judgements sell be filed in the circuit court within thirty days after transfer of title. During committee discussion, substitute language was adopted to change the title from “Landlord Tenant Proceedings” to “Political Subdivisions”, which allowed for the inclusion of several provisions. Specifically, the bill was amended to include:

  • HB 986, which prohibits Library Boards from overruling county planning commission plans and limits the expenditure of tax levies or tax funds for libraries.
  • HB 1145, which seeks to prohibit political subdivisions from requiring a property owner to have a home inspection conducted of a residential property regarding the sale of the property.
  • HB 1263, creates the “Protecting MO Small Business Act” and provides in the event the Governor calls any state of emergency and a health department or political subdivision issues a shutdown order, the political subdivision will be required to refund some of the businesses licensing fees or property taxes for a business; and
  • HB 647, seeks to modify the definition of “video service” for provisions of law relating to video service providers to include the definition of streaming content.

During debate, the bill was further modified when 29 amendments were added to the bill. Specifically, the bill now includes the following provisions:

  • Made technical changes and added the Kansas City Police Department Salary scale fix.
  • Added language reclassifies 911 operators and telecommunicators first responders, allowing Jefferson County to recoup the full public safety sales tax, modifies the Missouri 911 Service Board, modifies the EMT accreditation requirements to comply with national standards and allows Platte County to offer a public safety sales tax.
  • HB 1175, which modifies the powers of the State Auditor
  • HB 1039, which modifies provisions relating to tobacco product regulations.
  • HB 802, which is the land conveyance of state property omnibus bill.
  • HB 1259, which modifies provisions relating to fire protection services for Afton and Crestwood
  • Modifies the duties of the Parks Advisory Board by changing shall fund certain projects to may fund certain projects.
  • SB 400, which allows for citizens to raise chickens in their backyards within city limits.
  • HB 909, which modifies provisions governing solid waste disposal area permits.
  • HB 93, which prohibits waste transfer stations from being located within 1000 feet of residential zoned areas.
  • HB 490, which changes the law regarding industrial development corporations by terminating provisions applicable to Lewis County only.
  • Added language creating the offense of harassing a county official and election authority and allows the Kansas City school district to fill vacancies on the school board without holding a special election.
  • HB 1214, which moves the filing deadline for filing a declaration of candidacy.
  • HB 995, which modifies the provisions relating to the operation of pet shops.
  • HB 92, which removes the requirement for county and city committee meetings take place in the county seat.
  • Added language to remove the residency requirement for St. Louis civilian and commissioned police personnel.
  • HB 625, which establishes the Building Permit Reform Act
  • HB 1013, which modifies provisions relating to pooled estate accounts by public administrators and venue in guardianship and conservatorship cases.
  • Added language protecting records that contain individually identifiable information of any person who registers for a recreational or social activity or event sponsored by a public governmental body.
  • Added language extending the sunset for small wireless facilities from January 1, 2025, to January 1, 2029.
  • Added language which exempts political subdivisions with less than 500 people to be subject to the fines for failing to produce a financial disclosure report and waives past fines.
  • Added a modified “copper wire” definition to include twisted copper telecommunication wire.
  • HB 184, which prohibits the unfunded mandating of electric vehicle charging stations.
  • HB 1295, which establishes provisions regarding public comment periods for meetings of governing bodies of political subdivisions.
  • HB 516, which allows mayors of small communities to appoint members to boards and commissions even if they live outside the city limits.
  • Added language exempting cities having an obligation to make payments for fire protection services without a petition or agreement in place.

Once modified, the House passed the bill by a 94-42 vote. The bill now will be returned to the Senate for further consideration.

Upcoming Hearings

House-Fiscal Review
05/01/2023 1:45 PM
Committee Hearing, House Lounge

Executive Session:
HJR43 Henderson – Modifies provisions for Constitutional Amendments

SB72 Trent – Modifies provisions relating to judicial privacy, including establishing the Judicial Privacy Act, the offense of unlawful posting of certain information, and the inclusion of personal information of minors in certain court documents

SB103 Crawford – Modifies provisions relating to court operations, including court automation, compensation for court reporters, and court surcharges for expungement petitions

Senate-Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence
05/01/2023 2:30 PM
Committee Hearing, SCR 1

HB90 Veit – Modifies provisions relating to court automation

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