Capitol Report | August 11th, 2016

Ethics, Water Systems, Vehicles, & Workers’ Comp

As promised, over the next few weeks I will continue to provide brief overviews of some of the issues most likely to take center stage during the upcoming Veto Session this September.

HB 1474, sponsored by Rep. Dugger and recently vetoed by the governor, modifies provisions relating to ethics and repeals provisions of law deemed unconstitutional. HB 1474 specifies that certain financial disclosure reports shall be filed in an electronic format and sets the Missouri Ethics Commission as the required body for filing reports under Section 130.026, RSMo, by removing local election authority filing as an option for certain reports.

HB 1713, sponsored by Rep. Remole and also vetoed by the governor, requires the Department of Natural Resources to provide information regarding advanced technologies to upgrade existing lagoon-based wastewater systems to meet any new or existing discharge requirements. Specifically, the bill authorizes any political subdivision to use a design-build contractor for wastewater and water treatment projects.

Another vetoed bill, HB 1733, sponsored by Rep. Davis, modifies several provisions regarding the regulation of vehicles. Currently, a school bus driver endorsement shall not be issued or renewed for an applicant whose driving record shows that his or her privilege to operate a motor vehicle has been suspended, revoked or disqualified, or whose driving record shows a history of moving vehicle violations, to the best of the Director of the Department of Revenue’s knowledge. This bill requires that any driver with a school bus driver endorsement must immediately have his or her endorsement revoked upon a second suspension or revocation of his or her license or driving privilege and shall remain ineligible for any future school bus endorsement. Among other provisions, the bill also specifies that the offense of leaving the scene of an accident is a class D felony in 2016, and a class C felony in 2017, if a death has occurred as a result of the accident.

HB 1763, sponsored by Rep. Shull and also recently vetoed, changes the laws regarding workers’ compensation large deductible policies issued by an insurer. Specifically, the bill requires all workers’ compensation large deductible covered claims of an insolvent insurer to be turned over to the responsible guaranty association, unless otherwise stipulated. In the event an insured pays a deductible claim, no receiver or guaranty association will be obligated to pay or reimburse the insured for such claim.

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

 

As promised, over the next few weeks I will continue to provide brief overviews of some of the issues most likely to take center stage during the upcoming Veto Session this September.

Ethics & Financial Disclosures

HB 1474, sponsored by Rep. Dugger and recently vetoed by the governor, modifies provisions relating to ethics and repeals provisions of law deemed unconstitutional. HB 1474 specifies that certain financial disclosure reports shall be filed in an electronic format and sets the Missouri Ethics Commission as the required body for filing reports under Section 130.026, RSMo, by removing local election authority filing as an option for certain reports. The bill specifies that committee and candidate reports are included in the electronic reporting system maintained by the commission. This bill also makes technical changes and repeals doubly enacted sections so that the current law will accurately reflect the Missouri Supreme Court’s declaration that SB 844 (2010) was unconstitutional.

Water Systems

HB 1713, sponsored by Rep. Remole, requires the Department of Natural Resources to provide information regarding advanced technologies to upgrade existing lagoon-based wastewater systems to meet any new or existing discharge requirements. Specifically, the bill authorizes any political subdivision to use a design-build contractor for wastewater and water treatment projects. The Department of Economic Development is required to consider design-build wastewater or water treatment projects when disbursing grants under the Community Development Block Grant program. The Department of Natural Resources is prohibited from precluding design-build contracts from being considered for funding from the Water and Wastewater Loan Fund.

The bill also requires public water systems and water supply districts to notify the Department of Health and Senior Services, Department of Natural Resources, and its customers, at least 90 days prior to any meeting held at which a vote to modify the fluoridation of water in the system or district will occur. If the water system is an investor-owned water supply, the entity calling for the modifications is responsible for the meeting and the notice requirements. The bill also makes changes to the member requirements of the Clean Water Commission. The Department of Natural Resources must provide any municipality or community currently served by a wastewater treatment system with information regarding options to upgrade the existing lagoon system to meet discharge requirements. The information must include available advanced technologies including biological treatment options. The municipality or community, or a third party it hires, may conduct an analysis, including feasibility and cost, of available options to meet the discharge requirements. If upgrading or expanding the existing system is feasible, cost effective and will meet the discharge requirements, the department must allow the entity to implement the option.

Regulation of Vehicles

HB 1733, sponsored by Rep. Davis, modifies several provisions regarding the regulation of vehicles. Specifically, the bill adds vehicles owned and operated by the Civil Support Team of the Missouri National Guard when used during operations involving hazardous materials to the definition of “emergency vehicle.”

Also, currently, a school bus driver endorsement shall not be issued or renewed for an applicant whose driving record shows that his or her privilege to operate a motor vehicle has been suspended, revoked or disqualified, or whose driving record shows a history of moving vehicle violations, to the best of the Director of the Department of Revenue’s knowledge.

This bill requires that any driver with a school bus driver endorsement must immediately have his or her endorsement revoked upon a second suspension or revocation of his or her license or driving privilege and shall remain ineligible for any future school bus endorsement.

This bill also defines an autocycle as a three wheeled motor vehicle on which drivers and passengers ride in a completely enclosed, tandem seating area that is controlled with a steering wheel and pedals and contains additional safety and equipment requirements. Autocycle operators are exempted from the motorcycle helmet requirement with specific safety equipment requirements. This bill also requires autocycle operators to have a driver’s license without requiring a motorcycle or motortricycle license or endorsement. Furthermore, a bus currently may not exceed 45 feet in length except with safety bumpers. This bill allows articulated buses, or buses having two or more sections connected by a joint, to be up to 60 feet in length not including safety bumpers which may extend one foot in both the front and rear. The bill also permits motor vehicles and equipment owned by the state Highways and Transportation Commission or a contractor or subcontractor performing work for the Department of Transportation to use or display fixed, flashing, or rotating red or blue lights which shall only be used when such vehicle is stationary in a work zone when highway workers are present.

Finally, among other provisions, the bill specifies that the offense of leaving the scene of an accident is a class D felony in 2016, and a class C felony in 2017, if a death has occurred as a result of the accident.

Workers’ Compensation Deductible

HB 1763, sponsored by Rep. Shull, changes the laws regarding workers’ compensation large deductible policies issued by an insurer. Specifically, the bill requires all workers’ compensation large deductible covered claims of an insolvent insurer to be turned over to the responsible guaranty association, unless otherwise stipulated. In the event an insured pays a deductible claim, no receiver or guaranty association will be obligated to pay or reimburse the insured for such claim.

Guaranty associations are entitled to reimbursement from the insured for payment of deductible claims when the insurer would have been entitled to such reimbursement. The receiver is obligated to collect any reimbursements owed promptly. Insolvency of the insurer or its inability to perform its obligations under the policy shall not be a defense to the insured’s failure to reimburse. Only in the case of gross negligence or an allegation of improper handling or payment of a deductible claim by the insurer shall insolvency of the receiver or guaranty association be a defense to the insured’s failure to reimburse such entity. Receivers are required to utilize available collateral to secure the insured’s obligations to fund or reimburse deductible claims or other secured obligations as specified in the bill.

District Visit

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Today I held a flag ceremony at the Steelville Middle School. I was honored to present the new U.S. and Missouri State Flags to Steven Vetter, Steelville H.S. Principal, Curtis Finley, Steelville M.S. Principal, Stephanie Billingsley, Steelville Elem. Principal, and Matt Hammonds, Director of Learning. The flags were certified as having been flown over the Missouri State Capitol and will replace older flags across the school district.

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 115-H, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

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