Capitol Report | June 23rd, 2016

Neglect & Education Bills Now Set To Become Law

In recent weeks the governor has signed into law numerous bills that were passed by the General Assembly during the 2016 legislative session. The soon-to-be laws cover a wide array of subject matter ranging from protections against child abuse and neglect to improvements to the state’s system of education. The majority of bills signed by the governor will take effect as law on August 28. The governor has until July 14 to take action on all of the bills sent to him by the legislature. If he does not sign or veto a bill, it will take effect as law without his signature.

HB 1877, sponsored by Rep. David Wood and recently signed by the governor, takes steps to better protect young people from abuse and neglect. It takes steps to ensure anyone who would be a danger to children is listed on the Child Abuse and Neglect Central Registry. Specifically the bill adds the crimes of rape; sodomy; promoting prostitution of a victim younger than 18; sexual exploitation of a minor; using a child in a sexual performance or promoting a sexual performance by a child; and possessing child pornography or giving it to a minor to the registry. In addition, the bill improves the system of notification so that the Children’s Division will be better able to add offenders to the registry.

The governor also recently signed SBs 620 & 582, sponsored by Sen. Gary Romine and Sen. Brian Munzlinger, which are meant to better prepare young people for success after high school. The new laws will require the state Board of Education to establish minimum graduation requirements for a Career and Technical Education certificate that a student can earn in addition to their high school diploma.

SB 711, sponsored by Sen. Dan Brown and just signed by the governor, states that students will have to receive CPR training in order to graduate. With the new law, students will not be able to graduate until they receive 30 minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation instruction and training in the proper performance of the Heimlich maneuver or other first aid for choking.

While many bills have been signed into law, several bills still await action by the governor. Among a few are SB 590, SB 588, and HB 1649.

The Missouri General Assembly gave final approval to SB 590, sponsored by Sen. Bob Dixon, which will provide sentencing options for juvenile offenders who commit first degree murder.

Also, the legislature took action this session to provide a second chance to people with criminal records for minor offenses. With SB 588, sponsored by Sen. Bob Dixon, the wait time for expungement will be lowered to seven years for felony offenders and three years for individuals guilty of misdemeanor crimes. The expungement process would not be available to individuals guilty of serious crimes such as violent sex offenses or kidnapping.

Finally, the Missouri House and Senate approved HB 1649, sponsored by Rep. Elijah Haahr, this session to expand Missouri’s Good Samaritan law to allow conscientious citizens to break into a hot vehicle in order to rescue a forgotten child. Known as the “Rescue the Forgotten” bill, the legislation is similar to law already in place in other states such as Tennessee. In effect, the bill will protect individuals for damages caused while trying to rescue a child in danger.

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

 

In recent weeks the governor has signed into law numerous bills that were passed by the General Assembly during the 2016 legislative session. The soon-to-be laws cover a wide array of subject matter ranging from protections against child abuse and neglect to improvements to the state’s system of education. The majority of bills signed by the governor will take effect as law on August 28. The governor has until July 14 to take action on all of the bills sent to him by the legislature. If he does not sign or veto a bill, it will take effect as law without his signature.

Protecting Children from Abuse and Neglect (HB 1877)

HB 1877, sponsored by Rep. David Wood and recently signed by the governor, takes steps to better protect young people from abuse and neglect. The legislation takes a multi-prong approach to create stronger safeguards for children. It takes steps to ensure anyone who would be a danger to children is listed on the Child Abuse and Neglect Central Registry. Specifically the bill adds the crimes of rape; sodomy; promoting prostitution of a victim younger than 18; sexual exploitation of a minor; using a child in a sexual performance or promoting a sexual performance by a child; and possessing child pornography or giving it to a minor to the registry. In addition, the bill improves the system of notification so that the Children’s Division will be better able to add offenders to the registry.

The bill also requires a medical provider with child abuse expertise to examine any child younger than three when a case of abuse or neglect is reported. The medical provider will then look for any signs of abuse and will recommend any steps necessary to protect the child from danger.Additionally, the bill requires some Children’s Division employees to obtain at least four hours of training each year in medical forensics. The goal is to give these individuals a better ability to recognize the signs of abuse.

Finally, the bill creates the Task Force on the Prevention of Infant Abuse and Neglect. The task force will study and make recommendations concerning the prevention of infant abuse and neglect in Missouri. The task force will hold its first meeting in October and have a report prepared for the General Assembly by December 31.

Career and Technical Education (SBs 620 & 582)

The governor recently signed SBs 620 & 582, sponsored by Sen. Gary Romine and Sen. Brian Munzlinger, which are meant to better prepare young people for success after high school. The new laws will require the state Board of Education to establish minimum graduation requirements for a Career and Technical Education certificate that a student can earn in addition to their high school diploma.

With the statutory change, the State Board of Education and the Career and Technical Education Advisory Council will establish minimum requirements for a CTE certificate. Each local school district will determine the curriculum, programs of study, and course offerings based on the needs and interests of students in the district, and the state education department will develop a process for recognition of a school district’s CTE certificate program. Students entering high school in the 2017-2018 academic year and thereafter will be eligible for a CTE certificate.

CPR Instruction (SB 711)

Also, SB 711, sponsored by Sen. Dan Brown, and just signed by the governor, states that students will have to receive CPR training in order to graduate. With the new law, students will not be able to graduate until they receive 30 minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation instruction and training in the proper performance of the Heimlich maneuver or other first aid for choking. The requirement will begin for health and physical education classes in the 2017-2018 school year. The goal of the legislation is to help save lives and give parents greater peace of mind with the knowledge that their child’s peers are trained to deal with an emergency situation.

Also, I will continue to summarize bills that were Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed by the General Assembly this legislative session but still await executive action.

Juvenile Offender Sentencing (SB 590)

The Missouri General Assembly gave final approval to SB 590, sponsored by Sen. Bob Dixon, which will provide sentencing options for juvenile offenders who commit first degree murder. Under current law, offenders who were under the age of 18 at the time they committed first degree murder must be sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for probation, parole, or conditional release. In June 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court in Miller v. Alabama held that mandatory life sentences without parole for juvenile criminal offenders are unconstitutional. As a result, there is no punishment for first degree murder under current law in Missouri that is enforceable against those who committed murder before they turned 18.

The bill approved by the legislature repeals the mandatory life sentence found to be unconstitutional in Miller v. Alabama. Under bill, a person who was 16 or 17 years old at the time of the crime may be sentenced to either imprisonment for at least 50 years or life imprisonment without parole. A person who was under the age of 16 may be sentenced to imprisonment for at least 35 years or life without parole. A person who was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole prior to June 25, 2012, is eligible for a parole hearing after serving 50 years if the person was 16 or 17 years old at the time of the offense, or after serving 35 years if the person was under the age of 16 at the time of the offense.

Expungement (SB 588)

The legislature took action this session to provide a second chance to people with criminal records for minor offenses. Current law requires an individual to wait 20 years after completing their sentence for a felony offense before they can petition a judge to have their record expunged. Those who commit misdemeanor offenses have to wait 10 years before their records can be sealed. With SB 588, sponsored by Sen. Bob Dixon, now set to become law, the wait time for expungement will be lowered to seven years for felony offenders and three years for individuals guilty of misdemeanor crimes. The expungement process would not be available to individuals guilty of serious crimes such as violent sex offenses or kidnapping. Supporters of the proposal say it will give individuals who are reformed an opportunity to obtain a job. They also note that prosecutors and law enforcement will still be able to access the sealed records of those who have utilized the expungement process.

Rescuing the Forgotten (HB 1649)

The Missouri House and Senate approved HB 1649, sponsored by Rep. Elijah Haahr, this session to expand Missouri’s Good Samaritan law to allow conscientious citizens to break into a hot vehicle in order to rescue a forgotten child. Known as the “Rescue the Forgotten” bill, the legislation is similar to law already in place in other states such as Tennessee. In effect, the bill will protect individuals for damages caused while trying to rescue a child in danger.

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

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s