The Capitol Report | August 10th, 2017

Process Begins For Adult High Schools

As mentioned in my report a few weeks ago, the Governor signed HB 93 into law last month, which will give approximately 500,000 Missourians without a high school diploma a second chance to obtain an education that will allow them to secure good-paying, family-supporting jobs. The bill will establish four adult high schools located in Southeast Missouri, St. Louis City, Mid-Missouri, and Southwest Missouri for individuals age 21 and up who do not have a high school diploma.

A high school diploma is a key component to giving Missourians an opportunity to obtain gainful employment. Many proponents point to Census Bureau statistics that indicate a high school diploma can increase a person’s lifetime earnings by as much as $400,000. Moreover, a high school diploma is critical to empower people to move off of government assistance and toward self-sufficiency.

The schools will help these individuals complete their high school education and obtain a diploma. They will also offer skills certifications based on regional demand through partnerships with community colleges and other programs. Additionally, they will offer a child care center to remove a significant barrier for many adults who would like to participate.

Most recently, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) began implementing the new law by issuing a “Request for Information” to allow the opportunity for qualified vendors to provide DESE with ideas, suggestions, and other information related to developing adult high schools. For more information, visit: https://missouribuys.mo.gov/bidboard.html

196stateofmoOn August 10, 1821, 196 years ago, Missouri joined the union. Happy birthday to the great Show-Me State!

Also, as promised, below is a brief summary of more bills the legislature has passed this regular session. More passed bill summaries will follow in the weeks to come.

SB 108 (Signed by Governor: 6/14) – Grants reemployment rights to members of the military

SB 111 (Signed by Governor: 7/11) – Modifies various provisions regarding bonds issued by a political subdivision, qualifications for candidates of public office, limited liability companies who own property in certain cities, public administrators, and guardianships

SB 112 (Signed by Governor: 7/11) – Modifies provisions relating to political subdivisions

SB 128 (Vetoed by Governor: 7/14) – Modifies various provisions regarding criminal offenses, the Attorney General, the Department of Revenue, child support and custody, trusts and estates, guardianships, judges, court surcharges, court reporter fees, and victims of crime

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

 

DESE Begins Implementation of Adult High Schools

As mentioned in my report a few weeks ago, the Governor signed HB 93 into law last month, which will give approximately 500,000 Missourians without a high school diploma a second chance to obtain an education that will allow them to secure good-paying, family-supporting jobs. The bill will establish four adult high schools located in Southeast Missouri, St. Louis City, Mid-Missouri, and Southwest Missouri for individuals age 21 and up who do not have a high school diploma.

A high school diploma is a key component to giving Missourians an opportunity to obtain gainful employment. Many proponents point to Census Bureau statistics that indicate a high school diploma can increase a person’s lifetime earnings by as much as $400,000. Moreover, a high school diploma is critical to empower people to move off of government assistance and toward self-sufficiency.

The schools will help these individuals complete their high school education and obtain a diploma. They will also offer skills certifications based on regional demand through partnerships with community colleges and other programs. Additionally, they will offer a child care center to remove a significant barrier for many adults who would like to participate.

Most recently, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) began implementing the new law by issuing a “Request for Information” to allow the opportunity for qualified vendors to provide DESE with ideas, suggestions, and other information related to developing adult high schools. For more information, visit: https://missouribuys.mo.gov/bidboard.html

Rare Solar Eclipse

solar-eclipse-151211_960_720On Monday, August, 21, 2017, the Great American Total Solar Eclipse will sweep across the United States along a stretch of land only 70 miles wide. For the first time in 148 years (Aug. 7, 1869) asolar eclipsecome to Missouri. The 1869 eclipse only clipped the northeast corner of our state. The upcoming eclipse promises to be even better as the center of the eclipse’s path will follow a diagonal line crossing Missouri from Buchanan County in the northwest to Perry County in the southeast. Be sure not to miss this historic event which is expected to draw spectators from around the world. Depending upon where you are in the state,eclipse will begin between 11:30 a.m. and noon, and will continue until between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. For more info, visit: https://www.mo.gov/eclipse/

Truly Agreed To & Finally Passed Bills

Now that the regular and both special legislative sessions have come to an end, the legislature stands at a little over 75 bills that have been Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed (TAFP). These bills now await the Governor’s approval or veto. These TAFP bills span a variety of topics. Below is a brief summary of a few more TAFP bills. As promised, more TAFP bill summaries will follow in the weeks to come.

SB 108 (Signed by Governor: 6/14) – Grants reemployment rights to members of the military

This act provides that a Missouri employee who is a member of the National Guard of another state called on active state duty by the governor of that state or who is a member of any reserve component of the Armed Forces called to active duty shall be entitled to reemployment rights upon his or her return to Missouri as granted under federal law.

SB 111 (Signed by Governor: 7/11) – Modifies various provisions regarding bonds issued by a political subdivision, qualifications for candidates of public office, limited liability companies who own property in certain cities, public administrators, and guardianships

This act requires political subdivisions with an unenhanced bond rating of AA+ or higher to issue such debts through a competitive process unless such political subdivision employs the services of a municipal advisor, as defined in the act. Such political subdivisions may use a negotiated or competitive process. This requirement shall not apply when the bonds are sold to a government entity, when the principal amount of the bonds issued does not exceed $12,500,000, or to bonds issued for refinance. Any person who is engaged as a municipal advisor by a political corporation or subdivision with respect to a particular issue of securities shall be independent, as defined in the act, of the underwriter of that issue of securities. The State Treasurer shall make relevant information regarding debt issuance and bidding practices available to political subdivisions.

Currently, property tax exemptions for property located in an enhanced enterprise zone may not be granted for a period longer than twenty-five years from the date on which the enhanced enterprise zone was created. This act removes the language that limits the exemption to the date on which the zone is created. This act also requires that no exemption be granted during the final ten years of an enhanced enterprise zone for a period longer than ten years. Moreover, this act, among other provisions, states that a guardian may execute a preneed contract for a ward’s funeral services. If a next-of-kin does not exercise his or her right of sepulcher within ten days of the ward’s death, then the guardian may consent for the disposition of the body.

SB 112 (Signed by Governor: 7/11) – Modifies provisions relating to political subdivisions

This act authorizes a county commission to combine two or more road districts within the county upon petition request by a majority of the commissioners in each of the road districts seeking to be combined. The county commission shall hold a public hearing after publishing notice for a period of 4 weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. The county may issue an order to consolidate the districts if it finds, after the public hearing, that the consolidation is in the public good. The act also designates the procedure for appointing commissioners to the new consolidated district and transferring of assets, liabilities, and tax levies. The provisions for consolidation do not apply to road districts located in two counties.

Among other provisions, This act requires candidates for the office of public administrator provide the election authority a copy of a signed affidavit from one surety company indicating that the candidate meets the bonding requirements. After being elected to office, a public administrator shall enter into bond to the state in a sum not less than $10,000 with one or more securities, rather than two or more securities.

SB 128 (Vetoed by Governor: 7/14) – Modifies various provisions regarding criminal offenses, the Attorney General, the Department of Revenue, child support and custody, trusts and estates, guardianships, judges, court surcharges, court reporter fees, and victims of crime

This act would have authorized the state auditor or his or her authorized representatives to audit all or part of any government entity, upon request by a prosecuting attorney or law enforcement agency. Violating provisions relating to conflict of interest and lobbying is a Class E felony if the offense involves more than seven hundred and fifty dollars in value, or if the offender has previously been found guilty of official misconduct. A court may enter a judgment of restitution against an offender and may order the offender to pay restitution against the victim, a government entity, or a third-party payer. The act provides for the determination and enforcement of this restitution.

Among other provisions, this bill also creates the “Supporting and Strengthening Families Act”. It provides that during a child protective investigation if the child is at risk for possible removal, the Children’s Division shall provide information to the parent about community service programs that provide support services for families in crisis. Additionally, a parent or legal custodian of a child may delegate to an attorney-in-fact, without compensation, any powers regarding the care and custody of a child for a period not to exceed one year, unless an exception applies as specified in the act. A parent who intentionally uses a power of attorney to permanently avoid legal responsibility for the care of the child is guilty of violating current law on transferring child custody without a court order. A child subject to the power of attorney shall not be considered placed in foster care and the parties shall not be subject to any licensing regulations for foster care or community care for children. The Governor’s veto letter states he vetoed the bill due to its expansive number of topics and contradiction with the Missouri Constitution.

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

The Capitol Report | August 3rd, 2017

Driving Checkpoints & Foster Care

The state budget that went into effect on July 1st could lead to fewer impaired driving checkpoints but more periods of increased law enforcement presence on Missouri roads. Under language put into the budget by the House, no money controlled by the budget can be used on checkpoints., $20-million available for grants that law enforcement agencies have used to fund various efforts now cannot be used for checkpoints.

Instead of checkpoints, law enforcement may now focus on saturation efforts. Data from the Department of Transportation show that periods of having more officers on the roads, often called “saturation efforts,” get more results for the money invested. The House Budget Committee Chairman said the new language was about making the most effective use of Missouri budget dollars and taking the most effective action toward making roads safer.

Governor Greitens recently announced that he is undoing a 1.5 percent cut to funding for foster care families. The cuts were unintentionally made as part of an overall reduction in Medicaid spending. If the cuts had gone into effect, foster families could have lost between one and six dollars per week in assistance. In undoing the cuts, Greitens said, “Missouri should not take money from them and their families, not even in these tough budget times.” The total amount of funds in question amount to $629,244. The reduction will end within the next month as the administration moves money out of other foster programs that have seen savings in recent months. Foster parents are unlikely to see any change in their reimbursements.

Remember, this weekend is a school sales tax holiday. For more information, visit: http://dor.mo.gov/business/sales/taxholiday/school/

Also, as promised, below is a brief summary of more bills the legislature has passed this regular session. More passed bill summaries will follow in the weeks to come.

SB 52 (Signed by Governor: 7/7) – Creates several provisions relating to suicide awareness and prevention

SB 64 (Signed by Governor: 7/11) – Gives designation to certain infrastructure

SB 65 (Vetoed by Governor: 7/14) – Exempts vessels propelled by outboard jet motors and vessels not originally manufactured with adequate guards or railing from the provisions prohibiting passengers from riding in certain areas of a boat

SB 66 (Signed by Governor: 7/5) – Modifies provisions of law relating to workers’ compensation

SB 88 (Signed by Governor: 6/30) – Establishes a two year statute of limitation for claims of malpractice or negligence against veterinarians

SB 95 (Signed by Governor: 7/7) – Extends the expiration dates on certain provisions relating to public funds

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

Changes in State Budget Places Emphasis on Saturation Patrols

The state budget that went into effect on July 1st could lead to fewer impaired driving checkpoints but more periods of increased law enforcement presence on Missouri roads. Under language put into the budget by the House, no money controlled by the budget can be used on checkpoints., $20-million available for grants that law enforcement agencies have used to fund various efforts now cannot be used for checkpoints.

Instead of checkpoints, law enforcement may now focus on saturation efforts. Data from the Department of Transportation show that periods of having more officers on the roads, often called “saturation efforts,” get more results for the money invested. MoDOT reported that in the year that ended July 1, 2016, saturation efforts resulted in 3,055 arrests at a cost of $704 per arrest, compared to 1,201 arrests at checkpoints at a cost of $1,047 per arrest. Over the three years through July 1, 2016, saturation periods yielded 9,288 arrests at $704 apiece compared to 4,152 arrests at checkpoints costing $919 each.

A comparison by House staff of states in which checkpoints are legal with states in which they are not found that the latter had a slightly lower number of drunken driving fatalities per capita. The House Budget Committee Chairman said the new language was about making the most effective use of Missouri budget dollars and taking the most effective action toward making roads safer.

Supporters say the change is a better use of tax dollars as it gets more drunk drivers off the road at a lower cost. They say it is more effective for law enforcement officials to actively seek out impaired drivers rather than have numerous officers wait at a checkpoint hoping to catch someone driving under the influence.

Opponents say it’s misleading to say saturation patrols yield more arrests. They say saturation efforts and checkpoints work together. When a checkpoint is announced the saturation patrols can then catch those on the perimeters who try to avoid the checkpoint.

From now through June 30, 2018, Missouri law enforcement agencies can still conduct checkpoints, but would have to pay for them through means other than grants authorized under the state budget.

Governor Reverses Unintended Cuts to Foster Care

Governor Greitens recently announced that he is undoing a 1.5 percent cut to funding for foster care families. The cuts were unintentionally made as part of an overall reduction in Medicaid spending.

If the cuts had gone into effect, foster families could have lost between one and six dollars per week in assistance. Because Missouri already has a very low rate of foster reimbursements at just about one-third of what it costs to take in a child, these additional cuts would have been very difficult on foster families.

In undoing the cuts, Greitens wrote a letter to foster families letting them know it was “never our intention” to cut aid to families who care for foster children. He said, “Missouri should not take money from them and their families, not even in these tough budget times.”

The total amount of funds in question amount to $629,244. Of that, $371,254 is state money, and the rest is federal matching money. The reduction will end within the next month as the administration moves money out of other foster programs that have seen savings in recent months. Foster parents are unlikely to see any change in their reimbursements.

Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday

As the summer comes to a close, families now turn their attention to the annual tradition of getting their kids ready to go back to school. For parents, this means buying new school supplies, electronic devices, and clothes to get their children ready for the classroom. To help with this process, Missouri has a three-day back-to-school tax holiday that exempts everything from school supplies to computers from sales tax.

Approved by the legislature in 2003, the three-day period allows parents to buy school-related items such as clothing, school supplies and computers without having to pay the state sales tax of 4.225 percent. In some cases, local municipalities have also chosen to honor the holiday, which means parents in these areas will be able to forego local sales tax as well. For a complete list of the cities and counties that have chosen not to participate, please use the following link: http://dor.mo.gov/business/sales/taxholiday/school/

This is a great way for Missourians to stretch their dollars by making the cost of going back to school a little more affordable. Parents are encouraged to take advantage of the holiday that begins Friday, Aug. 4 at 12:01 a.m. and runs through Sunday, Aug. 6. It’s important to note that the school supply tax exemption has a limit of $50 per purchase, while the clothing exemption has a $100 limit and the personal computer tax exemption has a limit of $1,500. For more information, please visit: http://dor.mo.gov/business/sales/taxholiday/school/consumers.php

Truly Agreed To & Finally Passed Bills

Now that both the regular and first special legislative sessions have come to an end, the legislature stands at a little over 75 bills that have been Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed (TAFP). These bills now await the Governor’s approval or veto. These TAFP bills span a variety of topics. Below is a brief summary of a few more TAFP bills. As promised, more TAFP bill summaries will follow in the weeks to come.

SB 52 (Signed by Governor: 7/7) – Creates several provisions relating to suicide awareness and prevention

This act requires each public institution of higher education to develop and implement a policy to advise students and staff on suicide prevention programs available on and off campus that includes, but is not limited to crisis intervention access, mental health program access, multimedia application access, student communication plans, and post intervention plans. Such policy shall also advise students, faculty, and staff of the proper procedures for identifying and addressing the needs of students exhibiting suicidal tendencies or behavior, and shall require training where appropriate.

SB 64 (Signed by Governor: 7/11) – Gives designation to certain infrastructure

This act designates memorial highways and bridges in Missouri.

SB 65 (Vetoed by Governor: 7/14) – Exempts vessels propelled by outboard jet motors and vessels not originally manufactured with adequate guards or railing from the provisions prohibiting passengers from riding in certain areas of a boat

This act exempts vessels propelled by outboard jet motors and vessels not originally manufactured with adequate guards or railing from the provisions prohibiting passengers from riding in certain areas of a boat.

SB 66 (Signed by Governor: 7/5) – Modifies provisions of law relating to workers’ compensation

This act authorizes, beginning January 1, 2018, a shareholder of an S corporation with at least 40% or more interest in the S corporation to individually elect to reject coverage under the workers’ compensation laws by providing a written notice of the rejection to the S corporation and its insurer. Failure to provide notice to the S corporation shall not be grounds for any shareholder to claim that the rejection is not legally effective. The shareholder may rescind the rejection in writing to the S corporation and its insurer. The rescission shall entitle the shareholder only to the benefits which accrue on or after the date of the notice of rescission is received by the insurance company.

Moreover, this act states if an employee voluntarily separates from employment at a time when the employer made work available for the employee which was in compliance with any medical restriction imposed upon the employee as a result of an injury that is the subject of a claim for benefits under workers’ compensation, neither temporary total disability nor temporary partial disability benefits shall be payable to the employee. Among other provisions, SB 66 also, changes laws regarding discharge and discrimination. Under current law, no employer or agent shall discharge or in any way discriminate against any employee for exercising any of his or her rights under workers’ compensation statutes. This act modifies that provision so that no employer or agent shall discharge or discriminate against any employee when the exercising of such rights is the motivating factor in the discharge or discrimination.

SB 88 (Signed by Governor: 6/30) – Establishes a two year statute of limitation for claims of malpractice or negligence against veterinarians

This act provides that malpractice actions against veterinarians or entities providing veterinary services for damages shall be brought within two years from the date of the occurrence of the act.

SB 95 (Signed by Governor: 7/7) – Extends the expiration dates on certain provisions relating to public funds

Under current law, a provision allowing counties to decrease their annual budgets expired on July 1, 2016. This act extends the expiration date to July 1, 2027. Also, under current law, provisions allowing the Secretary of State to collect an additional $5 fee credited to the State’s technology trust fund for filings relating to business organizations, commercial transactions, and trademarks, names, and private emblems are set to expire on December 31, 2017. This act extends these expiration dates to December 31, 2021.

 

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email
Dylan Bryant at
dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

The Capitol Report | July 27th, 2017

Second Special Session Comes to a Close

After many weeks, the Senate met Tuesday afternoon to take up and pass the House version of legislation that is meant to better ensure the health and safety of women by putting common sense safety requirements in place for abortion clinics. The bill now approved by both chambers is also designed to protect pregnancy resource centers from a city ordinance the governor says has made St. Louis an abortion sanctuary city.

The extraordinary session to consider the pro-life bill began on June 12 with a call from Governor Greitens. The Senate passed legislation and sent it to the House, and House members quickly responded by strengthening the bill and sending it back to the other side of the building. The Senate then took several weeks off before finally bringing up the bill and passing it this week. During the time the Senate halted its activity, the governor revised his extraordinary session call to ask the legislature to pass the bill in the strengthened form approved by the House.

The bill that now goes to the governor’s desk to be signed into law contains several provisions to protect the health and safety of women. The stronger safety regulations are meant to address a court ruling that struck down Missouri’s previous law that required abortion providers to abide by the same regulations imposed on ambulatory surgical centers. The court also did away with a law that required a doctor providing an abortion to have privileges at a nearby hospital. Supporters say the regulations are necessary to ensure the safety and health of women using the facilities. They note that the Planned Parenthood facility in St. Louis has had to call an ambulance 58 times in the last seven years with 23 of the calls made to respond to hemorrhages as a complication of abortion. They also point out that the St. Louis facility was cited by the Department of Health and Senior Services more than 100 times from 2009 to 2016 for failure to provide a safe and sanitary environment.

Also, as promised, below is a brief summary of more bills the legislature has passed this regular session. More passed bill summaries will follow in the weeks to come.

SB 34 (Signed by Governor 7/6) – Creates and modifies provisions relating to criminal offenses

SB 35 (Signed by Governor 7/10) – Changes the law regarding state purchases of land

SB 43 (Signed by Governor 6/30) – Modifies the law relating to unlawful discrimination

SB 49 (Signed by Governor: 7/10) – Modifies several provisions relating to local sales taxes.

SB 50 (Signed by Governor: 7/10) – Modifies several provisions relating to health care

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

 

Extraordinary Session Comes to a Close as Senate Approves House Version of Pro-Life Legislation (SB 5)

After weeks of waiting, the Senate met Tuesday afternoon to take up and pass the House version of legislation that is meant to better ensure the health and safety of women by putting common sense safety requirements in place for abortion clinics. The bill now approved by both chambers is also designed to protect pregnancy resource centers from a city ordinance the governor says has made St. Louis an abortion sanctuary city.

The extraordinary session to consider the pro-life bill began on June 12 with a call from Governor Greitens. The Senate passed legislation and sent it to the House, and House members quickly responded by strengthening the bill and sending it back to the other side of the building. The Senate then took several weeks off before finally bringing up the bill and passing it this week. During the time the Senate halted its activity, the governor revised his extraordinary session call to ask the legislature to pass the bill in the strengthened form approved by the House.

The bill that now goes to the governor’s desk to be signed into law contains several provisions to protect the health and safety of women. Some of the main provisions of the bill will:

  • Allow the attorney general to prosecute violations of state abortion laws with no obligation to first inform local prosecutors;
  • Require the physician who is to perform an abortion to inform the woman orally and in person of the immediate and long-term medical risks associated with the proposed method of abortion 72 hours prior to the procedure;
  • Allow the Department of Health and Senior Services to adopt rules governing complication plans to ensure patients undergoing abortions induced by drugs or chemicals have access to safe and reliable care;
  • Prevent abortion clinic staff from requesting emergency responders to alter their normal response procedure by turning off lights or sirens;
  • Require an abortion facility to provide affirmative evidence that each person authorized to perform abortions is a physician currently licensed to practice in Missouri;
  • Allow the state health department to adopt separate rules to apply to ambulatory surgical centers and to apply to abortion facilities;
  • Permit the health department to make an unannounced on-site inspection of any abortion facility at least annually;
  • Strengthen penalties for abortion clinics and hospitals that do not comply with the requirements for submitting fetal tissue after an abortion; and
  • Require that all tissue removed at the time of abortion be sent to a pathologist within five days for examination.

The stronger safety regulations are meant to address a court ruling that struck down Missouri’s previous law that required abortion providers to abide by the same regulations imposed on ambulatory surgical centers. The court also did away with a law that required a doctor providing an abortion to have privileges at a nearby hospital. Supporters say the regulations are necessary to ensure the safety and health of women using the facilities. They note that the Planned Parenthood facility in St. Louis has had to call an ambulance 58 times in the last seven years with 23 of the calls made to respond to hemorrhages as a complication of abortion. They also point out that the St. Louis facility was cited by the Department of Health and Senior Services more than 100 times from 2009 to 2016 for failure to provide a safe and sanitary environment.

The provision in the bill that addresses the St. Louis city ordinance will protect the rights of pregnancy resource centers. The St. Louis ordinance was put in place by the city to prevent employers and landlords from discriminating against women who have had an abortion, use birth control, or are pregnant. The governor has said the ordinance makes it so organizations like pregnancy care centers can’t work the way they’re supposed to. As the governor said, local politicians have tried to make it illegal for pro-life organizations to say that they just want to hire pro-life Missourians. The bill passed by legislature acknowledges and protects the right of an “alternatives to abortion” agency to operate freely and engage in speech without governmental interference, and the right of a person not to be compelled by the government to participate in abortion contrary to his or her religious beliefs or moral convictions.

Following the passage of the bill, the governor issued a statement saying, “Today is a great victory for pregnancy care centers that help women and children all over the state. I’m proud that many of Missouri’s lawmakers stood strong to protect the lives of the innocent unborn and women’s health.”

Truly Agreed To & Finally Passed Bills

Now that both the regular and first special legislative sessions have come to an end, the legislature stands at a little over 75 bills that have been Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed (TAFP). These bills now await the Governor’s approval or veto. These TAFP bills span a variety of topics. Below is a brief summary of a few more TAFP bills. As promised, more TAFP bill summaries will follow in the weeks to come.

SB 34 (Signed by Governor 7/6) – Creates and modifies provisions relating to criminal offenses

Under current law, if an assault in the third degree or harassment in the first degree is believed to be knowingly motivated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, or disability of the victim, such violation shall be a Class E felony. This act makes such a violation a Class D felony.

The act further stipulates that if assault in the fourth degree is believed to be knowingly motivated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, or disability of the victim, such violation shall be a Class E felony.

Under current law, the offense of domestic assault in the fourth degree is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the person has previously been found guilty of assault of a domestic victim two or more times, in which case such offense is a Class E felony.

This act, among other provisions, provides that domestic assault in the fourth degree is a Class E felony if the person has previously been found guilty of any assault offense under state law or of any offense against a domestic victim under any local ordinance, or any state, federal, or military law which would constitute domestic assault in the fourth degree if committed in this state two or more times.

SB 35 (Signed by Governor 7/10) – Changes the law regarding state purchases of land

Under this act, when the Department of Natural Resources or the Commissioner of Administration on behalf of a state department, contracts to purchase land of 60 acres or more or with a cost of more than $250,000 in a single transaction, the respective department is required to take certain actions, including providing public notice on its website, to elected officials, and in a newspaper, holding a public hearing in affected counties, and providing public notice of the public hearing as set forth in this act.

SB 43 (Signed by Governor 6/30) – Modifies the law relating to unlawful discrimination

Prior to SB43, the court interpretation of the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) stood as a practice that would be unlawful when a protected class served as a contributing factor in the decision to discriminate. This is the lowest legal bar to clear. SB43 changes that standard to the motivating factor. The motivating factor is defined to mean that the employee’s protected classification actually played a role in the adverse action or decision, and played a determining influence on the adverse decision or action and the resulting damages. This is the middle ground (exclusive factor is self-explanatory). The motivation adopted in SB43 is the standard used in federal cases.

SB 49 (Signed by Governor: 7/10) – Modifies several provisions relating to local sales taxes.

This act provides that a local sales tax approved after August 28, 2017, by voters in St. Louis City or St. Louis County for the purpose of funding zoological activities and zoological facilities shall not exceed one-eighth of one percent. Also, among other provisions, this act provides that a county shall not submit to the voters a proposed sales tax under the County Sales Tax for a period of two years following the date of a election in which it previously submitted a proposed sales tax, regardless of whether the initial proposed sales tax was approved or disapproved by the voters. This act also provides that no county shall submit a proposal to the voters which would result in a combined sales tax rate adopted under the County Sales Tax Act in excess of 1%. For any sales tax adopted under the County Sales Tax Act in St. Louis County, three-eighths of such rate shall be included in the calculation of the County’s 1% cap.

SB 50 (Signed by Governor: 7/10) – Modifies several provisions relating to health care

This act modifies several provisions relating to health care, including: (1) STEMI and trauma center designations; (2) newborn screening; (3) neonatal and maternal levels of care; (4) x-ray inspections; (5) a health care directives registry; (6) hospital licensure; (7) hospital employment of dentists; (8) assistant physicians; and (9) speech-language pathologists and audiologists.

Under this act, the Department shall provide rules for the designation of a trauma center and a STEMI center without site review if such hospital is certified by a national body. This act also requires the Department of Health and Senior Services (subject to appropriations in 2019) to expand current newborn screening requirements to include spinal muscular atrophy and Hunter syndrome. This act also modifies the definition of “assistant physician” to allow any medical school graduate who has met the requirements to be an assistant physician between August 28, 2014, and August 28, 2017, to be deemed to be considered meeting the requirements to be an assistant physician. In addition, this act provides that license renewal for speech-language pathologists and audiologists shall occur no less frequently than every three years. Additionally, the continued competence requirements for licensed speech-language pathologists and audiologists may include up to 30 hours triennially of continuing education, examination, self-evaluation, peer review, performance appraisal, or practical simulation.

 

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

The Capitol Report | July 20th, 2017

Governor Issues ‘PDMP’ Executive Order

Governor Greitens recently issued an executive order to create a prescription drug monitoring program in Missouri. However, the system put in place by the governor is markedly different from the plan proposed by the legislature earlier this year and other drug monitoring programs across the country. Specifically, the governor’s plan calls for the Department of Health and Senior Services to create a database that will target “pill mills” that pump out prescription drugs at “dangerous and unlawful levels.” The department will work with private sector partners to obtain de-identified data that can be used to target abusers.

The plan adopted earlier this year by the House would have tracked when patients are prescribed opioids and allowed doctors to have access to data so they could look for signs of abuse. The governor’s plan does not put information in the hands of physicians, but rather focuses the data collection effort on those who prescribe and distribute addictive prescription medications. Some opponents have mentioned, as a result, the governor’s program does not prevent “doctor-shopping”, which is the practice of visiting multiple physicians to obtain more than an allotted amount of a medication or prescription. Moreover, opponents have pointed out that regardless of whether one is for or against the actual subject matter of the governor’s program, the executive order could be a form of legislating—a power reserved for the legislative branch not the governor’s office.

The differences in the original program and the governor’s program prompted the House sponsor of the original PDMP legislation to say, “It’s of the utmost importance, in order to treat addiction – which is at the core of this epidemic – for our medical professionals to be able to see this data.  We need to be able to catch addiction on the front end and that’s what the traditional PDMP does.”

Right now more than 26 counties and jurisdictions around the state have a more traditional PDMP system in place. The sponsor of the PDMP legislation says approximately 60 percent of Missourians are already living in an area with a monitoring program. The sponsor said she will also look at filing her PDMP bill again next session to supplement the governor’s plan in order to create a more substantive effort to fight the opioid crisis.

The governor’s program will now be put in place by the Department of Health and Senior Services at a startup cost of approximately $250,000. The department will enter into a contract with Express Scripts to establish the program, and will need to add additional staff to administer it. The money for the program will come from the Department of Social Services under Medicaid.

Also, as promised, below is a brief summary of more bills the legislature has passed this regular session. More passed bill summaries will follow in the weeks to come.

SB 8 (Signed by Governor 6/28) Modifies the law relating to flashing lights on motor vehicles and equipment

SB 16 (Signed by Governor 7/5) Exempts delivery charges from sales and use taxes

SB 19 (Signed by Governor 2/6) – Creates new provisions of law relating to labor organizations

SB 31 (Signed by Governor 7/5) Modifies provisions relating to the collateral source rule and provides that parties may introduce evidence of the actual cost, rather than the value, of the medical care rendered

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

Governor Issues ‘PDMP’ Executive Order

Governor Greitens recently issued an executive order to create a prescription drug monitoring program in Missouri. However, the system put in place by the governor is markedly different from the plan proposed by the legislature earlier this year and other drug monitoring programs across the country. The governor’s plan, though, still asserts to possess the same intent of preventing the over-prescribing and misuse of opioids such as Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percocet. Specifically, the governor’s plan calls for the Department of Health and Senior Services to create a database that will target “pill mills” that pump out prescription drugs at “dangerous and unlawful levels.” The department will work with private sector partners to obtain de-identified data that can be used to target abusers.

The plan adopted earlier this year by the House would have tracked when patients are prescribed opioids and allowed doctors to have access to data so they could look for signs of abuse. The governor’s plan does not put information in the hands of physicians, but rather focuses the data collection effort on those who prescribe and distribute addictive prescription medications. Some opponents have mentioned, as a result, the governor’s program does not prevent “doctor-shopping”, which is the practice of visiting multiple physicians to obtain more than an allotted amount of a medication or prescription. Moreover, opponents have pointed out that regardless of whether one is for or against the actual subject matter of the governor’s program, the executive order could be a form of legislating—a power reserved for the legislative branch not the governor’s office.

The differences in the original program and the governor’s program prompted the House sponsor of the original PDMP legislation to say, “It’s of the utmost importance, in order to treat addiction – which is at the core of this epidemic – for our medical professionals to be able to see this data.  We need to be able to catch addiction on the front end and that’s what the traditional PDMP does.”

Right now more than 26 counties and jurisdictions around the state have a more traditional PDMP system in place. The sponsor of the PDMP legislation says approximately 60 percent of Missourians are already living in an area with a monitoring program. The sponsor said she will also look at filing her PDMP bill again next session to supplement the governor’s plan in order to create a more substantive effort to fight the opioid crisis.

The governor’s program will now be put in place by the Department of Health and Senior Services at a startup cost of approximately $250,000. The department will enter into a contract with Express Scripts to establish the program, and will need to add additional staff to administer it. The money for the program will come from the Department of Social Services under Medicaid.

What Missourians Need to Know about REAL ID

Missourians can keep using state licenses at federal facilities and airports through October 10, but it could be up to two years before REAL ID compliant Missouri IDs are available under a law that goes into effect in August.

The federal REAL ID Act was passed after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.Missouri in 2009 adopted a law barring compliance with that Act based on concerns about citizens’ privacy because the act required them to produce source documents to be stored electronically. Because Governor Greitens signed into law last month a bill that would give Missourians who want Real ID compliant licenses the option of getting one, the federal government granted an extension giving the state through October to comply with the REAL ID Act.

The bill’s sponsor said Missouri will continue seeking federal extensions until everything is in place to make compliant IDs available.said in considering further extensions the Department of Homeland Security will look for evidence that Missouri is moving toward compliance, and the implementation ofBill 151provide that. He said the state will be able to show DHS what the Department of Revenue is doing and the steps they are taking to move toward compliance.

Missouri will need to seek another waiver by January, or at that time current Missouri licenses would not be accepted to get through federal security. Eventually Missourians who want or need to be able to get through federal security will have to have Real ID compliant licenses.HB 151 lets those Missourians get such IDs.Those who don’t need them won’t have to go through the act’s more stringent proof-of-identity requirements if they don’t want to.

The sponsor said it’s not clear how soon compliant Missouri licenses will be available. He said the Department of Revenue has indicated it could take up to two years but he is hopeful the department will be able to implement the new IDs within a year. The REAL ID bill sponsor said there’s nothing Missourians need to do or be concerned about right now, but said those with further questions should contact the Department of Revenue.

Truly Agreed To & Finally Passed Bills

Now that both the regular and first special legislative sessions have come to an end, the legislature stands at a little over 75 bills that have been Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed (TAFP). These bills now await the Governor’s approval or veto. These TAFP bills span a variety of topics. Below is a brief summary of a few more TAFP bills. As promised, more TAFP bill summaries will follow in the weeks to come.

SB 8 (Signed by Governor 6/28) – Modifies the law relating to flashing lights on motor vehicles and equipment

This act establishes a five cent per gallon motor fuel tax on propane fuel used to propel motor vehicles, to be increased to seventeen cents per gallon by January 1, 2025. Owners and operators of propane-fueled vehicles may continue to apply for and use alternative fuel decals in lieu of paying the motor fuel tax. This act also changes what entity may designate the roads on which a 14-foot length limit applies; and who shall issue permits for the movement of sludge disposal units, pump trucks, well-driller’s equipment, and utility wires, poles, and equipment; from the chief engineer of MODOT to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission. Additionally, this act provides that agricultural machinery and implements may be operated on state highways between the hours of sunset and sunrise for agricultural purposes provided such vehicles are equipped with lighting meeting the requirements of RSMo 307.115.

Among other provisions, this act also changes lighting regulations for service vehicles. Under current law, motor vehicles and equipment owned by the State Highways and Transportation Commission or a contractor or subcontractor performing work for the Department of Transportation may use or display fixed, flashing, or rotating amber or white lights only when the vehicle is stationary in a work zone and while highway workers are present. This act permits use of such lights at any time. The act also permits such use of amber and white lights, as well as red and blue lights from dusk until dawn, by motor vehicles and equipment which are leased by the commission or a contractor or subcontractor.

SB 16 (Signed by Governor 7/5) – Exempts delivery charges from sales and use taxes

This act provides that usual and customary delivery charges that are stated separately from the sale price shall not be subject to sales and use taxes.

SB 19 (Signed by Governor 2/6) – Creates new provisions of law relating to labor organizations

Under this act, employers are barred from requiring employees to become, remain, or refrain from becoming a member of a labor organization or pay dues or other charges required of labor organization members as a condition of employment. Any person who violates or directs another to violate this act is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor. Moreover, any person injured as a result of violation or threatened violation of this act is entitled to injunctive relief and certain other damages.

SB 31 (Signed by Governor 7/5) – Modifies provisions relating to the collateral source rule and provides that parties may introduce evidence of the actual cost, rather than the value, of the medical care rendered

Under the act, special damages claimed by the plaintiff at trial that have been satisfied by a payment from a defendant, the defendant’s insurer, or authorized representative prior to trial are not recoverable. The defendant is entitled to deduct such payments towards special damages from any judgement as provided in current law.

Parties may introduce evidence of the actual cost, rather than the value, of the medical care or treatment to the plaintiff, and the act repeals a provision of law which provides that there is a rebuttable presumption that the value of the medical treatment provided is represented by the dollar amount necessary to satisfy the financial obligation to the health care provider. The actual cost of the medical care or treatment shall not exceed the dollar amounts paid by or on behalf of a patient whose care is at issue plus any remaining amount necessary to satisfy the financial obligation for medical care by a health care provider after adjustment for any contractual discounts or price reduction.

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

The Capitol Report | July 13th, 2017

Governor Signs State Operating Budget

The governor recently signed the state operating budget into law. The budget for the current fiscal year that began on July 1 includes record levels of spending for K-12 public education as it fully funds the School Foundation Formula for the first time. The budget passed by the legislature and signed by the governor also includes $6 million for the rural school broadband program; an additional $12 million for Early Childhood Special Education; more than $10 million to keep children out of dangerous and abusive situations; and over $12 million to combat the opioid crisis.

While the governor signed the budget into law, he also announced more than $250 million in budget restrictions. The restrictions are necessary because actual revenue growth has failed to meet the projections upon which the budget is based. Some of the restrictions include $47 million from the Facilities Maintenance Reserve Fund that is used to maintain government buildings; $24 million from funding for higher education; $15 million from funding for K-12 school transportation; $10 million from funds to promote Missouri tourism; and $30 million from the Department of Social Services, which is working to identify efficiencies in their department.

Also, as promised, below is a brief summary of more bills the legislature has passed this regular session. More passed bill summaries will follow in the weeks to come.

HB 850 – Currently, a member of the National Guard may file a complaint against his or her commanding officer with the Governor or the Adjutant General. This bill the filing of a complaint to the Adjutant General.

HB 1194 – Provides that no political subdivision shall require an employer to provide an employee a minimum or living wage, or employment benefits that exceed state law.

HCB 3 (Vetoed by Governor: 6/30) – Authorizes the Commissioner of Administration to make a one-time fund sweep of all unexpended balances from all fees, funds and moneys from whatsoever source received by any department, board, bureau, commission, institution, official or agency of the state government and deposit funds into Senior Services Protection Fund.

HCR 4 (Signed by Governor 2/15) – Disapproves the salary recommendations of the Missouri Citizens Commission on Compensation for Elected Officials

HCR 19 (Vetoed by Governor 6/29) – Authorizes the issuance of public bonds for half of the financing of a new conservatory building at UMKC

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

Governor Signs State Operating Budget

The governor recently signed the state operating budget into law. The budget for the current fiscal year that began on July 1 includes record levels of spending for K-12 public education as it fully funds the School Foundation Formula for the first time. The budget passed by the legislature and signed by the governor also includes $6 million for the rural school broadband program; an additional $12 million for Early Childhood Special Education; more than $10 million to keep children out of dangerous and abusive situations; and over $12 million to combat the opioid crisis.

While the governor signed the budget into law, he also announced more than $250 million in budget restrictions. The restrictions are necessary because actual revenue growth has failed to meet the projections upon which the budget is based. Some of the restrictions include $47 million from the Facilities Maintenance Reserve Fund that is used to maintain government buildings; $24 million from funding for higher education; $15 million from funding for K-12 school transportation; $10 million from funds to promote Missouri tourism; and $30 million from the Department of Social Services, which is working to identify efficiencies in their department.

Truly Agreed To & Finally Passed Bills

Now that both the regular and first special legislative sessions have come to an end, the legislature stands at a little over 75 bills that have been Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed (TAFP). These bills now await the Governor’s approval or veto. These TAFP bills span a variety of topics. Below is a brief summary of three TAFP bills. As promised, more TAFP bill summaries will follow in the weeks to come.

HB 850 – Changes the law regarding military complaints against a commanding officer in the National Guard

Currently, a member of the National Guard may file a complaint against his or her commanding officer with the Governor or the Adjutant General. This bill limits the filing of a complaint to the Adjutant General.

HB 1194 – Prohibits political subdivisions from requiring a minimum wage that exceeds the requirements of state law

This bill provides that no political subdivision shall require an employer to provide an employee a minimum or living wage, or employment benefits that exceed state law, rules, or regulations. Sections 290.500 to 290.530, RSMo, preempt and nullify all political subdivision ordinances in effect or later enacted relating to these provisions.

HCB 3 (Vetoed by Governor: 6/30) – Modifies provisions relating to funds for vulnerable senior citizens

This bill requires the State Treasurer to deposit $35.4 million into the Senior Services Protection Fund on or before September 1, 2017. This bill authorizes, by June 30, 2018, the Commissioner of Administration to make a one-time fund sweep of all unexpended balances from all fees, funds and moneys from whatsoever source received by any department, board, bureau, commission, institution, official or agency of the state government by virtue of any law or rule or regulation made in accordance with any law, excluding the Senior Services Protection Fund; all funds received and disbursed by the state on behalf of counties, cities, towns, and villages; any unexpended balance as may remain in any fund authorized, collected and expended by virtue of the provisions of the constitution of this state; all funds for the payment of interest and principal for any bonded indebtedness; funds created in order to receive and disburse federal funds; all funds used to fund elementary and secondary education under the foundation formula; any fund for which at least 70% of moneys is derived from an appropriation of general revenue; any professional or occupational fund created under Chapters 324 to 346; and all hospital, nursing home, pharmacy, and ambulance Federal Reimbursement Allowance (FRA) funds. The provisions of this bill expire on July 1, 2018.

HCR 4 (Signed by Governor 2/15) – Disapproves the salary recommendations of the Missouri Citizens Commission on Compensation for Elected Officials

In accordance with the Missouri Constitution, the Missouri Citizens Commission on Compensation is charged with setting the amounts of compensation paid to statewide elected officials, legislators, and judges. This bill officially rejects the suggested increases proposed by the Commission.

HCR 19 (Vetoed by Governor 6/29) – Authorizes the issuance of public bonds for half of the financing of a new conservatory building at UMKC

Missouri law requires the approval of the General Assembly in instances of certain projects that are to be funded by revenue bonds shall be secured by a pledge of future appropriations to be made by the General Assembly. This bill would have approved the UMKC project to be funded in part by revenue bonds secured by a pledge of future appropriations to be made by the General Assembly.

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

The Capitol Report | July 6th, 2017

Improving Transportation Infrastructure

In an effort to address Missouri’s crumbling roads and bridges, a group of lawmakers and civilians will work together to develop recommendations to repair the state’s aging transportation infrastructure. The 21st Century Missouri Transportation System Task Force, which was created by HCR 47 that was passed during the 2017 legislative session, recently held its first meeting at the State Capitol. The task force is taking on the difficult but important challenge of ensuring Missouri’s transportation system continues to serve the needs of Missourians in the years to come.

The task force will now work to:

  • Evaluate the condition of the state transportation system;
  • Evaluate current funding;
  • Evaluate whether the current funding in Missouri is sufficient to not only maintain the transportation system in its current state, but also to ensure that it continues to serve the needs of Missouri’s citizens moving forward into the 21st century;
  • Make recommendations regarding the conditions of Missouri’s roads and bridges; and
  • Make recommendations regarding transportation funding.

The task force is made up of five members from the House, five from the Senate, nine individuals from the private sector, and representatives from the governor’s office, Missouri Department of Transportation, Missouri Department of Economic Development, and the Missouri Highway Patrol. The task force is scheduled to work throughout the 2017 interim and will report a summary of its activities and any recommendations for legislation to the General Assembly by January 1, 2018.

Also, as promised, below is a brief summary of more bills the legislature has passed this regular session. More passed bill summaries will follow in the weeks to come.

HB 451 – This bill provides that once any city, county, or other political subdivision has come under the terms of a statute requiring a specified population, a subsequent loss of population will not remove the city, county or political subdivision from operation of that law. Currently, this only applies to the City of St. Louis.

HB 452 – This bill creates a definition for the term “employee” and repeals the definition for the term “physician employee” in provisions relating to causes of action for damages against a health care provider for personal injury or death. With certain exceptions, no health care provider shall be liable to any plaintiff for the negligence of another entity or person who is not an employee of the health care provider.

HB 662 (Signed by Governor: 3/30/17) – The bill authorizes the Department of Agriculture, if it determines that any person has knowingly used a herbicide for a crop for which the herbicide was not labeled for use, to assess a civil penalty of up to $10,000 per violation. This bill contains an emergency clause, so it is in effect now.

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

 

Task Force Set to Look for Solutions to Improve Missouri’s Aging Transportation Infrastructure

In an effort to address Missouri’s crumbling roads and bridges, a group of lawmakers and civilians will work together to develop recommendations to repair the state’s aging transportation infrastructure. The 21st Century Missouri Transportation System Task Force, which was created by HCR 47 that was passed during the 2017 legislative session, recently held its first meeting at the State Capitol. The task force is taking on the difficult but important challenge of ensuring Missouri’s transportation system continues to serve the needs of Missourians in the years to come.

As the chair of the task force noted, Missouri has a robust transportation system with the seventh largest highway system and the sixth highest number of bridges. In total, Missouri has more than 33,000 miles of highway and more than 10,000 bridges. However, despite the robust transportation network, Missouri ranks only 47th in the nation when it comes to the amount of revenue spent per mile. The result is a transportation system that has continued to age and fall into disrepair. As the chair said, “Our roads are crumbling, and our constituents are grumbling.”

The task force will now work to:

  • Evaluate the condition of the state transportation system;
  • Evaluate current funding;
  • Evaluate whether the current funding in Missouri is sufficient to not only maintain the transportation system in its current state, but also to ensure that it continues to serve the needs of Missouri’s citizens moving forward into the 21st century;
  • Make recommendations regarding the conditions of Missouri’s roads and bridges; and
  • Make recommendations regarding transportation funding.

The task force is made up of five members from the House, five from the Senate, nine individuals from the private sector, and representatives from the governor’s office, Missouri Department of Transportation, Missouri Department of Economic Development, and the Missouri Highway Patrol.

During the first hearing on June 28, task force members listened to a presentation from Missouri Department of Transportation Director Patrick McKenna. The task force is scheduled to work throughout the 2017 interim and will report a summary of its activities and any recommendations for legislation to the General Assembly by January 1, 2018.

Truly Agreed To & Finally Passed Bills

Now that both the regular and first special legislative sessions have come to an end, the legislature stands at a little over 75 bills that have been Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed (TAFP). These bills now await the Governor’s approval or veto. These TAFP bills span a variety of topics. Below is a brief summary of three TAFP’d bills. As promised, more TAFP’d bill summaries will follow in the weeks to come.

HB 451 – Specifies that a change in population shall not remove a city, county, or political subdivision from the operation of a law

This bill provides that once any city, county, or other political subdivision has come under the terms of a statute requiring a

specified population, a subsequent loss of population will not remove the city, county or political subdivision from operation of

that law. Currently, this only applies to the City of St. Louis.

HB 452 – Modifies definitions of “employee” and “physician employee” in actions against health care providers for personal injury or death

This bill creates a definition for the term “employee” and repeals the definition for the term “physician employee” in provisions relating to causes of action for damages against a health care provider for personal injury or death. With certain exceptions, no health care provider shall be liable to any plaintiff for the negligence of another entity or person who is not an employee of the health care provider.

HB 662 (Signed by Governor: 3/30/17) – Changes the laws regarding the misuse of herbicides

The bill authorizes the Department of Agriculture, if it determines that any person has knowingly used a herbicide for a crop for which the herbicide was not labeled for use, to assess a civil penalty of up to $10,000 per violation. If a person is a chronic violator, the department has the authority to assess a civil penalty of up to $25,000 per violation. During an active complaint investigation, the department may subpoena witnesses and compel the production of certain records relating to a person’s application of any herbicide.

If the person refuses to submit the records, the department may assess a civil penalty of up to $5,000. Any person who is penalized will be liable to the department for any reasonable costs associated with the department’s investigation. Any penalty collected will be remitted to the school district in which the violation occurred. The department, after inquiry and opportunity for a hearing, may deny, suspend, revoke, or modify the provisions of any license, permit, or certification issued under the Missouri Pesticides Use Act. This bill contains an emergency clause, so it is in effect now.

New Traveling Exhibit Opens at Capitol

The Capitol Commission has recently announced that all Missourians are invited to attend the premiere of a new exhibit, Missouri and the Great War, which will temporarily be on display in the history hall of the Missouri State Museum in the Missouri State Capitol. This 900-square-foot interactive exhibit will complement Here at Home‎: Missouri and the Great War, which opened in May.

The traveling exhibit officially opened on Friday, June 30, and a celebratory opening event is scheduled for Tuesday, July 11 from 3:30-5:30 pm. The exhibit will remain on display in the Missouri State Museum until August 27.

For more information, please visit http://www.missourioverthere.org, which was the origin project for this fantastic exhibit.
I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

 

The Capitol Report | June 29th, 2017

MORx Program Update

During the 2017 legislative session, the House Budget Committee faced a $500 million budget shortfall. As a result, committee members had to make tough choices in regard to where to make necessary cuts. It is a constitutional requirement for Missouri to pass a balanced budget. While the committee did its best to preserve vital services to Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens, there simply wasn’t enough money this fiscal year to keep every program fully intact. One program that received a cut was the MORx Prescription Drug program that serves to help seniors afford their medications by reducing drug costs by 50 percent. It is important to keep in mind that the entire MORx program was set to expire on August 28, 2017.

To keep the program alive, the legislature did pass an extension this year renewing the program until 2022. Therefore, while $12 million had to be cut and people earning between 85 percent and 185 percent of the federal poverty level, which amounts to approximately $22,000 annually, will no longer qualify, the legislature did pass a reauthorize so the program could continue for many Missourians. Currently, the program still has $11.7 million in state funding that will allow more than 142,000 seniors to continue to receive prescription drug assistance. Also, if and when the state sees enough revenues to restore funding completely, the program will once again help all the seniors who need it to afford their medications.

For those who no longer qualify for the MORx program, Rx Outreach is an alternative resource for people struggling to afford medications. Rx Outreach is a nonprofit, mail-order pharmacy that provides free and low-cost generic medications for people in need. Eligibility is based on income. People qualify with annual income of $36,180 or less for a single person, $48,720 or less for family of two, $61,260 or less for a family of three, $73,800 or less for family of four. Link to full list of medications and prices: http://rxoutreach.org/find-your-medications/ Visit http://www.RxOutreach.org or call 1-877-684-1955 for more info or to enroll.

Also, as promised, below is a brief summary of more bills the legislature has passed this regular session. More passed bill summaries will follow in the weeks to come.

HB 190 – Currently, the board of regents or board of governors of any state college or university may establish regulations to control vehicular traffic on any thoroughfare owned or maintained by the state college or university. This bill adds the board of trustees of any community college to the list of entities that may establish such regulations.

HB 292Among other provisions, this bill modifies the powers of banks and trust companies by allowing a bank or trust company to acquire or convey real property for the purpose of leasing the property to a public entity, including government buildings, municipal buildings, schools, and public hospitals.

HB 336 – Currently, life insurance companies can exclude coverage for suicide for one year after the issuance of a policy. This bill adds the exclusion to any additional riders, endorsements, or amendments added.

HB 339 – This bill provides that a time-limited demand to settle any claim for personal injury, bodily injury, or wrongful death must be in writing and sent by certified mail to the liability insurer, and it must include various material terms specified in the bill.

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

MORx Program Update

During the 2017 legislative session, the House Budget Committee faced a $500 million budget shortfall. As a result, committee members had to make tough choices in regard to where to make necessary cuts. It is a constitutional requirement for Missouri to pass a balanced budget. While the committee did its best to preserve vital services to Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens, there simply wasn’t enough money this fiscal year to keep every program fully intact. One program that received a cut was the MORx Prescription Drug program that helps seniors afford their prescription medications. Specifically, the program serves to help seniors better afford their medications by reducing drug costs by 50 percent.

It is important to keep in mind that the entire MORx program was set to expire on August 28, 2017. To keep the program alive, the legislature did pass an extension this year renewing the program until 2022. Therefore, while $12 million had to be cut and people earning between 85 percent and 185 percent of the federal poverty level, which amounts to approximately $22,000 annually, will no longer qualify, the legislature did pass a reauthorize so the program could continue for many Missourians. Currently, the program still has $11.7 million in state funding that will allow more than 142,000 seniors to continue to receive prescription drug assistance. Also, if and when the state sees enough revenues to restore funding completely, the program will once again help all the seniors who need it to afford their medications.

Moreover, there are alternatives to getting help with important medications for those who no longer qualify for the MORx program. Rx Outreach is a resource for people struggling to afford medications. Rx Outreach is a nonprofit, mail-order pharmacy that provides free and low-cost generic medications for people in need. Over 66,000 people in all 50 states received their prescriptions from Rx Outreach last year. Headquartered in Maryland Heights, Missouri, the organization provides access to over 800 medications. Eligibility is based on income. People qualify with annual income of $36,180 or less for a single person, $48,720 or less for family of two, $61,260 or less for a family of three, $73,800 or less for family of four. Link to full list of medications and prices: http://rxoutreach.org/find-your-medications/

Visit http://www.RxOutreach.org to enroll online or call Rx Outreach at 1-877-684-1955 to enroll by phone. Once enrolled, people can easily have their prescriptions transferred to Rx Outreach to fill and mail directly to their homes. Prices for medications are listed online and are available by phone. There are no hidden charges, enrollment fees, or mailing charges.

Truly Agreed To & Finally Passed Bills

Now that both the regular and first special legislative sessions have come to an end, the legislature stands at a little over 75 bills that have been Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed (TAFP). These bills now await the Governor’s approval or veto. These TAFP bills span a variety of topics. Below is a brief summary of three TAFP’d bills. As promised, more TAFP’d bill summaries will follow in the weeks to come.

HB 190Allows community college police officers to establish regulations to control vehicular traffic on any thoroughfare owned or maintained by the college

Currently, the board of regents or board of governors of any state college or university may establish regulations to control vehicular traffic on any thoroughfare owned or maintained by the state college or university. This bill adds the board of trustees of any community college to the list of entities that may establish such regulations. The bill requires college police officers, before appointment, to satisfy the requirements of Chapter 590, RSMo, either by completing training for peace officers or by virtue of previous experience or other training.

HB 292 – Changes the laws regarding powers of banks

Among other provisions, this bill modifies provisions relating to banks, trust companies, and other financial institutions. Specifically, the bill modifies the powers of banks and trust companies by allowing a bank or trust company to acquire or convey real property for the purpose of leasing the property to a public entity, including government buildings, municipal buildings, schools, and public hospitals. The bank or trust company must lease the property only to a public entity that has sufficient resources to satisfy all rental payments as they become due. The lease agreement must provide that the public entity will become the owner of the real property and any building or facility upon the expiration of the lease. The purchase of the real estate for this purpose cannot exceed the bank’s or trust company’s lending limit.

HB 336 Provides that riders, endorsements, and amendments to life insurance policies may contain suicide exclusions or limitations

Currently, life insurance companies can exclude coverage for suicide for one year after the issuance of a policy. This bill adds the exclusion to any additional riders, endorsements, or amendments added.

HB 339 – Modifies provisions relating to tort claims

This bill provides that a time-limited demand to settle any claim for personal injury, bodily injury, or wrongful death must be in writing and sent by certified mail to the liability insurer, and it must include various material terms specified in the bill. Additional information, as provided in the bill, must accompany the demand including authorizations to allow the party to obtain records from all employers and medical care providers.

Upon receipt of a time-limited demand, a recipient may ask for clarification of the terms without it being considered a counteroffer or rejection of the demand. After acceptance of the time-limited demand, the defendant may provide payment to the claimant in the form of cash, money order, wire transfer, cashier’s check, draft or bank check, or electronic funds transfer. A claimant may require payment within a specified period of time, but cannot be less than 10 days after written acceptance of the time-limited demand. This bill does not apply to offers made within 90 days of the trial.

Missouri Disaster Survivors—FEMA/SBA

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) plays a major role in helping disaster survivors recover.

Missouri survivors of the April 28 to May 11, 2017, flooding and severe storms who live in one of the 27 Missouri counties included in the presidential disaster declaration and have applied for help with FEMA may be referred to SBA.

If survivors are contacted by SBA regarding a low-interest disaster loan application, it is important to complete and submit the application as soon as possible. This will ensure that the federal disaster recovery process continues and options are kept open. Even if survivors do not believe they need a loan, they should complete and submit the application. If SBA determines they are eligible for a loan, they are under no obligation to accept it.

Homeowners and renters who submit an SBA application and are not approved for a loan may be referred to FEMA and considered for other FEMA grants and programs that could include assistance for disaster-related car repairs, clothing, household items and other expenses. Next to insurance, SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters.

A homeowner may be eligible for a disaster loan up to $200,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners or renters may be eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed personal property.

SBA may be able to help homeowners and renters replace important personal items such as personal property – including automobiles – damaged or destroyed in the disaster. SBA also offers low-interest working capital loans (called Economic Injury Disaster Loans) to small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations having difficulty meeting obligations as a result of the disaster.

To apply for an SBA low-interest disaster loan, survivors may visit a FEMA disaster recovery center and meet with an SBA representative in person. SBA has staff at all recovery centers to help with survivors’ applications. To locate the nearest center, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362, use the FEMA app for smart phones or go online to https://recovery.mo.gov/ or http://www.fema.gov/DRC.

Survivors may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. For additional details on the locations of recovery centers and the loan application process survivors may call the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (or 800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or send an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Survivors may be eligible for additional funds to cover the cost of improvements that will protect their property against future damage. Examples of improvements include retaining walls, seawalls, sump pumps, etc. SBA mitigation loan money would be in addition to the amount of the approved disaster loan, but may not exceed 20 percent of the total amount of physical damage to real property and personal property as verified by SBA. SBA approval of the mitigating measures will be required before any loan increase.

Survivors should not wait for an insurance settlement before submitting an SBA loan application. They can begin their recovery immediately with a low-interest SBA disaster loan. The loan balance will be reduced by any insurance settlement. SBA loans may be available for losses not covered by insurance or other sources. SBA can help businesses and private nonprofit organizations with up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and other business assets. Eligible small businesses and nonprofits may apply for economic injury disaster loans to help meet working capital needs such as business losses caused by the disaster.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Aug. 1, 2017.The deadline to return economic injury applications is March 2, 2018.

The Missouri disaster declaration covers eligible losses caused by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding between April 28 and May 11, 2017 in these counties: Bollinger, Butler, Carter, Douglas, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Howell, Jasper, Jefferson, Madison, Maries, McDonald, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Ozark, Pemiscot, Phelps, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, St. Louis, Stone, Taney, and Texas.

SBA’s economic injury loans are also available in counties contiguous to disaster-designated counties, even if those contiguous counties are in another state. For economic injury only in the contiguous Missouri counties of Barry, Barton, Callaway, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Christian, Cole, Crawford, Dade, Dent, Iron, Laclede, Lawrence, Miller, Montgomery, New Madrid, Perry, St. Charles, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wright and the City of St. Louis;

For economic injury only in the contiguous Arkansas counties of Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clay, Craighead, Fulton, Greene, Marion, Mississippi, Randolph and Sharp; For economic injury only in the contiguous Illinois counties of Madison, Monroe and Saint Clair; For economic injury only in the contiguous Kansas counties of Cherokee and Crawford; For economic injury only in the contiguous Oklahoma counties of Delaware and Ottawa; and for economic injury only in the contiguous Tennessee counties of Dyer and Lake.

District Visits

2017teacheroftheyearnominee.jpg

Yesterday, the South Central Regional Professional Development Center honored twenty-six exemplary teachers from our region that have been nominated and have completed applications for the South Central Teacher of the Year.Two finalists were selected, and will now go one to apply for the Missouri Teacher of the Year Award. I was honored to present Emily Joseph, Heather Sturdevant, and Amy Martin with House certificates commemorating their tremendous success as educators in the 120th District.

MeramecLogoI also had the opportunity yesterday to present Nick and Carolyn Sanazaro from Meramec Instrument Transformer Co. with a House Resolution. The resolution commended the company on being chosen as a recipient of the Heroes of American Manufacturing Award—a most impressive accolade bestowed by the United States Commerce Department, National Institute of Standard and Technology, Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Congratulations!
I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov