The Capitol Report | 1/28/2016

Sponsored Legislation, Ethics, & Small Business

As we wrap up another legislative week, I would like to share a few important updates with you. First, here are a few additional bills that I have sponsored this legislative session:

HB 2093—provides first responders with immunity when they, in good faith, provide emergency care or treatment to a person suffering from an apparent drug or alcohol overdose by use or provision of restraints. This immunity will not apply to any first responder whose use or provision of such restraints was in a willful and wanton or reckless manner.

HB 2094—repeals a provision that requires the state public defender director to contract for legal services with private attorneys on a case-by-case basis, and specifies the director must contract out for legal services with private attorneys for all felony cases, except class A or B felony cases, all misdemeanor cases, all traffic cases, and all probation violation cases.

HB 2095—requires any public institution of higher education to publish on their public website and in writing, at the time of acceptance or prior to registration, the estimated cost for each degree program offered, including required fees or expenses not included in the tuition.

HB 2096—specifies that any student who shows proof of existing health insurance coverage to a public college or university at any time during the student’s enrollment is excused from the payment of any fees, costs, or related expenses imposed for the provision of health care or health insurance.

Also, this week the House gave overwhelming approval to HB 2166 to alleviate the undue influence of lobbyists in Jefferson City by banning gifts and meals provided by lobbyists to elected officials; HB 2203 to limit how long campaign funds can be invested and how they can be used; and HB 2226 to prohibit task force and commission appointees from profiting from the recommendations they make. All three bills now head to the Missouri Senate for discussion.

In other news, the House approved and sent to the Senate a piece of legislation meant to cut the bureaucratic red tape that too often stifles the growth of small businesses in Missouri. House members approved legislation to revive the Big Government Get Off My Back Act for tax years 2016 through 2021. The act gives a $10,000 tax deduction for any small business, with 50 employees or less, that hires additional employees and pays them at least the average county wage. In its final year in 2014, the act provided tax relief to 196 small businesses throughout Missouri. Proponents hope to provide assistance to even more businesses by reviving the program.

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

 

Ethics Reform

On the first day of the legislative session, House Speaker Todd Richardson called on the Missouri House to make substantive ethics reform a top priority for the 2016 legislative session. Just a few weeks later, the House had made good on his promise by approving seven separate bills that take a multitude of steps to improve the culture at the state Capitol.

This week the House gave overwhelming approval to HB 2166 to alleviate the undue influence of lobbyists in Jefferson City by banning gifts and meals provided by lobbyists to elected officials; HB 2203 to limit how long campaign funds can be invested and how they can be used; and HB 2226 to prohibit task force and commission appointees from profiting from the recommendations they make. All three bills now head to the Missouri Senate for discussion.

The bills join four pieces of legislation already moving through the Senate. HB 1452 would require elected officials to file a personal financial disclosure twice each year. Current law requires only a single disclosure each year. HB 1575 would require elected officials to report lodging and travel expenses in a timely fashion.

The bill requires the expenses to be filed within 30 days of the reportable event. HB 1979 would require elected officials to have a one-year “cooling off” period after leaving office before they could become lobbyists. HB 1983 would make it clear that no statewide official or member of the General Assembly can serve as a paid political consultant while in office. All four bills have already received a public hearing in the Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions, and Ethics Committee.

Helping Small Businesses

The House approved and sent to the Senate this week a piece of legislation meant to cut the bureaucratic red tape that too often stifles the growth of small businesses in Missouri. House members approved legislation to revive the Big Government Get Off My Back Act for tax years 2016 through 2021.

The act originally ran from 2009 to 2014 and was instrumental in prohibiting new rules and regulations on small businesses, as well as unnecessary fee increases. The act also gives a $10,000 tax deduction for any small business, with 50 employees or less, that hires additional employees and pays them at least the average county wage. In its final year in 2014, the act provided tax relief to 196 small businesses throughout Missouri. Proponents hope to provide assistance to even more businesses by reviving the program.

Planned Parenthood Report

The Missouri House Committees on Children and Families and Ways and Means released their report and legislative recommendations this week following the investigation into the actions of Planned Parenthood in Missouri.

The investigation began following the mention of St. Louis’ Planned Parenthood facility in a series of videos released last summer exposing the organization’s practices. Committee chairs invited top Planned Parenthood officials from its St. Louis region to testify on the organization’s procedures to no avail. As a result, the committees were unable to confirm whether the practices occurred or did not occur in Missouri, and committee leaders said measures stemming from the investigation would be proactive to make certain practices seen in the videos do not occur in the state.

State Representatives Diane Franklin, Children and Families chair, and Andrew Koenig, Ways and Means chair, outlined the investigation’s findings and steps forward to turn gray areas in the state’s abortion laws and regulations black and white. Franklin has filed four abortion bills stemming from the hearings with at least two more bills to come concerning family planning funding prioritization and legislative oversight. Koenig has introduced legislation regarding the abortion-to-disposal process for tracking and reporting purposes.

The bills filed by Franklin and Koenig include:

HB 2068 that would prohibit a person from knowingly donating or making an anatomical gift of the fetal organs or tissue resulting from an abortion to any person or entity for medical, scientific, experimental, therapeutic, or any other use.

HB 2069 that would provide whistleblower protections for employees who work in facilities that handle aborted fetal remains.

HB 2070 that would change the definition of “remains of a human fetus”.

HB 2071 that would require all tissue removed at an abortion to be sent to a pathologist rather than just a representative sample of tissue.

HB 2371 that would change the law regarding abortions.
“I look forward to moving these and other pieces of legislation to reform the abortion and disposition processes in Missouri,” Franklin said. “The committee hearings were the preliminary steps to taking action to protect and dignify innocent life in Missouri.”

Sponsored Legislation

Here is a list of a few more bills that I have sponsored this legislative session:

HB 2093 House Bill 2093 provides first responders with immunity when they, in good faith, provide emergency care or treatment to a person suffering from an apparent drug or alcohol overdose by use or provision of restraints. This immunity will not apply to any first responder whose use or provision of such restraints was in a willful and wanton or reckless manner.

HB 2094 House Bill 2094 repeals a provision that requires the state public defender director to contract for legal services with private attorneys on a case-by-case basis, and specifies the director must contract out for legal services with private attorneys for all felony cases, except class A or B felony cases, all misdemeanor cases, all traffic cases, and all probation violation cases.

HB 2095 House Bill 2095 requires any public institution of higher education to publish on their public website and in writing, at the time of acceptance or prior to registration, the estimated cost for each degree program offered, including required fees or expenses not included in the tuition.

HB 2096 House Bill 2096 specifies that any student who shows proof of existing health insurance coverage to a public college or university at any time during the student’s enrollment is excused from the payment of any fees, costs, or related expenses imposed for the provision of health care or health insurance.

Women Legislators of Missouri

The Women Legislators of Missouri will once again honor one of the state’s most outstanding female leaders who has made major contributions to equality and social justice for all Missourians. The group is currently accepting nominations for the DeVerne Lee Calloway Award, which is named in honor of the first female African-American member of the Missouri General Assembly.

Calloway was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1962. There she made hard-fought gains for education, for children, and for the blind, the disabled and the elderly. She served nine terms in the legislature and before retiring in November of 1980. The DeVerne Lee Calloway Award is presented each year in honor of Calloway’s life in service to others.

Nominations can be submitted to the office of State Rep. Tila Hubrecht by email at Tila.Hubrecht@house.mo.gov, or by traditional mail to Representative Tila Hubrecht, State Capitol, Room 203-C, 201 West Capitol Avenue, Jefferson City, MO 65101. Nominations must be postmarked by 5 p.m., March 3, 2016. To obtain a copy of the nomination form, please contact Rep. Hubrecht’s office. The award will be presented to the winner during the Women Legislators of Missouri reception the afternoon of Monday, April 18.

Senior Service Awards

The Lieutenant Governor’s Senior Service Awards are intended to promote and highlight the positive accomplishments Missouri’s senior citizens provide their local communities. Individuals should be at least 60 years of age and volunteer a minimum of 25 hours per year to qualify.

To complete an application, please visit http://ltgov.mo.gov/assistance-seniors/senior-service-awards/ or contact my office for assistance: State Representative Jason Chipman 573-751-1688.

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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