District 120 Capitol Report | June 18, 2015

Veteran Homes, Seniors, & Consumer Protection
Missouri’s seven veteran homes, as well as college campuses around the state, will now have additional funding to pay for vital repairs and renovations thanks to legislation signed into law recently. The General Assembly passed three pieces of legislation during the 2015 legislative session to provide more than $300 million in bonding for much-needed repairs and upgrades for state-owned buildings. Also, legislation approved by the General Assembly this year was recently signed into law to provide additional protections to prevent Missouri seniors from being defrauded. Known as the Senior Savings Protection Act, the legislation is designed to prevent the financial exploitation of seniors and adults with disabilities. In addition, over the next several weeks, I will continue to summarize some of the bills that have been “Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed” during the First Regular Session of the 98th General Assembly.

The increasing popularity of e-cigarettes led the legislature to approve a bill to put new safety standards in place to protect young people from the dangers of liquid nicotine. HB 531 is meant to ensure child safety and prevent accidental nicotine poisoning by requiring child resistant packaging. Individuals who engage in retail sales of liquid nicotine containers in Missouri in violation of these provisions will be assessed a fine of $250 for the first violation and $500 for each subsequent violation. The legislature took action this session to ensure Missourians will continue to have the choice of paper or plastic bags at the grocery store. Legislation now on the governor’s desk specifies that all merchants, itinerant vendors, and peddlers doing business in this state must have the option to provide customers with a paper or plastic bag for any item or good purchased. The bill also makes it clear that a political subdivision cannot impose any ban, fee, or tax upon the use of paper or plastic bags. HB 722 also prohibits municipalities from mandating a “living wage” above the state minimum wage and other rules related to employee benefits.

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

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

-Jason

Veteran Homes & Higher Education
Missouri’s seven veteran homes, as well as college campuses around the state, will now have additional funding to pay for vital repairs and renovations thanks to legislation signed into law recently. The General Assembly passed three pieces of legislation during the 2015 legislative session to provide more than $300 million in bonding for much-needed repairs and upgrades for state-owned buildings. Included in the funding is more than $33 million for the state’s seven veterans’ homes in Cameron, Cape Girardeau, Mexico, Mount Vernon, St. James, St. Louis and Warrensburg. The homes provide care to many of the state’s more than 494,000 military veterans and have a long list of needed capital improvement projects. The funding will be used for projects such as the installation of new sprinkler and fire alarm systems; renovation of nurses’ stations; electrical upgrades; and replacement of air handlers, water heaters, and other essential equipment. The funding bills also provide approximately $700,000 for improvements to state veterans’ cemeteries in Jacksonville, St. James and Springfield. Also included in the spending plan is more than $160 million for delayed maintenance and repairs on the campuses of Missouri’s public colleges and universities. Approximately $56 million will go to the University of Missouri system, which has a backlog of nearly $1.3 billion in important renovation projects that had been put on hold. In addition, the bills appropriate $40 million to pay for repair work to the state Capitol; $35 million for the Missouri Department of Transportation building to provide for new office space for legislative and executive branch employees; and $35 million for a new headquarters for the State Historical Society of Missouri.

Senior Savings Protection Act
Legislation approved by the General Assembly this year was recently signed into law to provide additional protections to prevent Missouri seniors from being defrauded. Known as the Senior Savings Protection Act, the legislation is designed to prevent the financial exploitation of seniors and adults with disabilities.

To better protect seniors, the new law will let a financial agent refuse to disburse funds in the event they suspect a senior or disabled adult client is being defrauded. The agent would then have time to notify the family of the client and the proper authorities. Current law does not allow a financial agent to raise concerns to anyone not named on the account.

With the governor’s signature, the Senior Savings Protection Act will take effect as law on Aug. 28.

Consumer Protection
The increasing popularity of e-cigarettes led the legislature to approve a bill to put new safety standards in place to protect young people from the dangers of liquid nicotine. HB 531 is meant to ensure child safety and prevent accidental nicotine poisoning by requiring child resistant packaging. Individuals who engage in retail sales of liquid nicotine containers in Missouri in violation of these provisions will be assessed a fine of $250 for the first violation and $500 for each subsequent violation.

The legislature took action this session to ensure Missourians will continue to have the choice of paper or plastic bags at the grocery store. Legislation now on the governor’s desk specifies that all merchants, itinerant vendors, and peddlers doing business in this state must have the option to provide customers with a paper or plastic bag for any item or good purchased. The bill also makes it clear that a political subdivision cannot impose any ban, fee, or tax upon the use of paper or plastic bags.

HB 722 also prohibits municipalities from mandating a “living wage” above the state minimum wage and other rules related to employee benefits.

Administrative Rule Review
Review of the rules of multiple state agencies will open to the public a few short weeks, as set forth in Section 536.175 of Missouri state statute. Rules relating to the Office of Administration, Department of Agriculture, Department of Conservation, Department of Economic Development, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Department of Higher Education will begin the review process on July 1, 2015. The public comment period is open for 60 days. To view all of the details visit: http://themissouritimes.com/18751/administrative-rules-review-approaches/

National Time Out Day
The National Time Out Day was practiced in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers around the country on June 10, 2015. Taking a “time out” before operative and other invasive procedures is a requirement of the Joint Commission Universal Protocol to prevent wrong site, wrong procedure surgery. Despite this requirement, the Joint Commission estimates that wrong site surgeries occur up to 40 times per week. To support the protocol and build greater awareness among surgical team members, the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) launched the National Time Out Day initiative. The initiative’s goal is to prevent errors by ensuring that all members of the surgical team pause before all invasive procedures so they can communicate as a group and confirm key information about the patient and the procedure. This is a great idea for all of us to practice in our day-to-day lives. When things get hectic, take a moment, think about what you are doing, and organize your thoughts before acting. You’ll be glad you did!

Special Events
Missouri State Capitol Time Capsule Unveiling—July 3, 2015 at 1 PM. South Lawn, Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO A 100-year-old time capsule was removed June 9, 2015 from the cornerstone of the Missouri State Capitol Building. Gov. Jay Nixon will unveil the original time capsule and announce the contents of the new time capsule at a ceremony Friday, July 3, 2015 commemorating the 100th anniversary of the laying of the Missouri State Capitol’s cornerstone.

Hummingbird Banding at Onondaga Cave State Park—July 4, 2015 10 AM, Onondaga Visitor Center
Researcher Lanny Chambers will visit Onondaga Cave State Park throughout the season to capture, band and study Missouri’s smallest flying machine, the ruby-throated hummingbird. Sponsored by Missouri State Parks, the event is scheduled for July 4, Aug. 8, and Sept. 5 and will take place at the park’s visitor center between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Onondaga Cave State Park is located seven miles southeast of the Leasburg exit off of Interstate 44 on Highway H. For more on the event, contact the park at 573-245-6576. For more information about Missouri state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com

Missouri Mission of Mercy Free Dental Services — July 31-Aug 1, Doors Open at 5 AM. Hearnes Center Field House, 600 E Stadium Blvd., Columbia, MO
MOMOM is a large scale dental clinic to provide free oral healthcare to patients of all ages who cannot otherwise afford care. Cleanings, fillings, and extractions are covered, but not crowns, bridges or dentures.. Arrive early as the clinic is first come first serve until we reach capacity. Please read the Patient FAQs available online at http://www.momom.org.

Facts & Figures
Each week you can find an interesting fact or figure here on how Missouri measures up to other states and the U.S. government:

State and local cell phone tax rates range from 1.76% in Oregon, and 14.58% here in Missouri, to 18.60% in Washington.

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 115H, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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