The Missouri House of Representatives and Missouri Senate held technical sessions on Tuesday, May 25, and sent all bills that were “truly agreed to and finally passed” to the Governor. This action will start the review process by the Executive Branch as the Governor deliberates on his action. The Governor has until July 31 to determine his action on all bills. The Governor may veto a bill, sign a bill, or take no action. If the Governor decides to take no action, the legislation will go into effect just as though it was signed into law. All bills will become effective on Aug. 28, 2021, unless a provision was included that provides for a different enactment date.
INTERIM COMMITTEES FORMED, OTHERS LIKELY TO BE COMING
On May 25, several interim committees were formed under existing House and Senate Rules. In addition, as passed in several bills this session, upon signature by the Governor several Joint Committees and Task Forces will likely begin their work over the interim.
The following Interim Committees were formed as of May 25:
- House Special Committee on Broadband Development
- House Subcommittee on Mental Health Policy Research
- Senate Interim Committee on Elections
- Senate Interim Committee on Greater St. Louis Regional Emerging Issues
- Senate Interim Committee on MO Underground Safety Review
- Alzheimer State Plan Task Force (DHSS)
- Food Security Task Force
- Joint Committee on Transportation Oversight – Commercial Vehicle Towing Committee
- Electric Vehicle Task Force (DOR)
- Joint Task Force on School Bus Safety
- Joint Oversight Task Force of Prescription Drug Monitoring (OA)
- Task Force on the Future of Right-of-Way Management and Taxation
POTENTIAL SPECIAL SESSION AND VETO SESSION AHEAD
The chatter continues in Jefferson City that Governor Mike Parson (R) may be calling the legislature back this summer for a special session to revisit issues that did not reach final passage during the regular session. The Missouri General Assembly failed to extend the sunset on the Federal Reimbursement Allowance tax that is set to expire on September 30. The FRA assessment is a voluntary tax paid by hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care providers. This FRA tax allows for the state to draw down additional matching federal funds and is key to maintaining a balanced budget in regard to Medicaid spending.
In addition, there have been calls for the Governor to call the legislature back to address election integrity and reforms to the state’s initiative petition process. It is unknown if the Governor will make a call for a special session, however, the Missouri General Assembly is set to return to Jefferson City on September 15 for the annual veto session that is required per the Constitution. The FRA sunset issue must be tackled this September if not before.
JUDGE ROBIN RANSOM APPOINTED TO MISSOURI SUPREME COURT
On May 24, Governor Parson announced his appointment of Robin Ransom, currently serving on the Eastern District Court of Appeals, as the next Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court. Ransom will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Laura Denvir Stith who retired in March. Judge Ransom holds a law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and previously has served in the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the St. Louis County Public Defender’s Office.