Capitol Report | July 28th, 2016

When the General Assembly return’s for its annual Veto Session this September, members of the two chambers will have 20 vetoed bills and two line-item vetoes in the state operating budget to consider. As promised, over the next few weeks I will continue to provide brief overviews of some of the bills most likely to take center stage during the upcoming Veto Session.

One such bill that the governor recently vetoed was meant to protect taxpayer funds from being wasted on ineffective government employees who are placed on paid administrative leave when they should be fired. HB 1432, sponsored by Rep. Vescovo, is a response to abuses seen in a Missouri school district where several administrators were not fired but instead kept on extended paid administrative leave. To prevent such abuses from happening, the legislation approved by the General Assembly would require a hearing within 60 days of an employee being placed on administrative leave.

Also, don’t forget! By state law, Missouri’s annual school sales tax holiday begins on the first Friday in August and continues through the following Sunday. This year the three-day holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 5, and runs through Sunday, August 7. Certain back-to-school purchases, such as clothing, school supplies, computers, and other items as defined by the statute, are exempt from sales tax. For more information visit: http://dor.mo.gov/business/sales/taxholiday/school/

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is accepting online applications through Aug. 29 for its next class of conservation agent trainees. To apply — and for more information including salary range, duties and responsibilities, degree requirements, qualifications, and special ability requirements — visit the MDC website at mdc.mo.gov/about-us/ careers

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

 

When the General Assembly return’s for its annual Veto Session this September, members of the two chambers will have 20 vetoed bills and two line-item vetoes in the state operating budget to consider. As promised, over the next few weeks I will continue to provide brief overviews of some of the bills most likely to take center stage during the upcoming Veto Session.

Protecting Taxpayer Dollars (HB 1432)

The governor recently vetoed legislation that was meant to protect taxpayer funds from being wasted on ineffective government employees who are placed on paid administrative leave when they should be fired. HB 1432, sponsored by Rep. Vescovo, is a response to abuses seen in a Missouri school district where several administrators were not fired but instead kept on extended paid administrative leave. To prevent such abuses from happening, the legislation approved by the General Assembly would require a hearing within 60 days of an employee being placed on administrative leave. The hearing would be utilized to determine if the employee engaged in misconduct. The bill also would require that an employee placed on administrative leave be provided with a written explanation of the specific reason for the placement within seven days.

Collateral Source Reform Legislation (SB 847)

Legislation approved by the General Assembly and vetoed by the governor would reform Missouri’s legal system to clarify that an injured person involved in a lawsuit can recover only the actual cost incurred for medical treatment. Specifically, SB 847, sponsored by Sen. Emery, would modify Missouri’s collateral source rule that currently prevents evidence from being admitted to show when a plaintiff’s losses have been compensated from other sources such as insurance or workers’ compensation.

Expert Witness Legislation (SB 591)

Another bill vetoed by the governor was meant to improve the reliability of expert evidence presented to juries in Missouri state courts. SB 591, sponsored by Sen. Parson, would implement an established standard for determining when expert-witness testimony is admissible as evidence at trial. The proposed standard, commonly referred to as the Daubert standard after a 1993 U.S. Supreme Court case, is used in federal courts and more than two-thirds of the states. Under this standard, the trial judge acts as a gatekeeper to ensure that “expert” testimony is based on “sufficient facts or data” and is the product of “reliable principles and methods.” Currently in Missouri, judges admit expert testimony if it is based on facts that are “reasonably relied upon by experts in the field.”

Back to School Sales Tax Holiday

By state law, Missouri’s annual school sales tax holiday begins on the first Friday in August and continues through the following Sunday. This year the three-day holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 5, and runs through Sunday, August 7. Certain back -to-school purchases, such as clothing, school supplies, computers, and other items as defined by the statute, are exempt from sales tax. For more information visit: http:// dor.mo.gov/business/sales/taxholiday/ school/

Want to be a MDC Conservation Agent?

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is accepting online applications through Aug. 29 for its next class of conservation agent trainees. Selected candidates will undergo 26 weeks of intense training in all facets of law enforcement and resource management. Those who make the grade will receive county assignments and become the face of conservation in their assigned communities – enforcing the Wildlife Code of Missouri and helping the public with issues such as nuisance wildlife and land management.

To qualify, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to the natural sciences or criminal justice.

To apply — and for more information including salary range, duties and responsibilities, degree requirements, qualifications, and special ability requirements — visit the MDC website at mdc.mo.gov/about-us/careers.

For more information, contact MDC Protection Programs Specialist Travis McLain at 573-522-4115, ext. 3261 or Travis.McLain@mdc.mo.gov, or MDC Protection Programs Supervisor Cheryl Fey at 573-751-4115, ext. 3819, or Cheryl.Fey@mdc.mo.gov

District Event

St. James Grape & Fall Festival When: September 8th-10th Location: Nelson Hart Community Park in St. James A celebration of the annual grape harvest, St. James comes alive with music and entertainment, great food, a wine-tasting garden, crafts, children’s activities, and the highlight of the festival, the Grape Stomping Contest. You won’t want to miss this wine tasting, grape stomping, juicy good time!

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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