The Capitol Report | September 22nd, 2016

Veto Session Results

This week I will finish discussing the bills overrode during last week’s Veto Session. I will also discuss the various dates these new laws will go into effect. SB 656, known as the constitutional carry bill, and discussed in detail last week, will mostly go into effect with the reviser of statutes on October 14th, which is thirty days from the date of veto override. However, because the bill also related to constitutional carry penalty provision changes, it is necessary for the permitless carry provisions to go into effect on Jan 1, 2017 due to coinciding changes to the criminal codes in Missouri. Also, there is an emergency clause related to a section that exempts military returning from deployment from paying late penalties while deployed. That section is effective immediately.

The voter ID bill, HB 1631, also discussed last week, will become effective only upon the passage and approval by the voters of a constitutional amendment regarding the authorization of photo identification requirements by general law. The effective date of the bill will be June 1, 2017 if the constitutional amendment is passed in November.

The House and Senate also voted to override the governor’s veto and enact legislation that will protect taxpayer funds from being wasted on ineffective government employees who are placed on paid administrative leave when they should be fired. The legislation 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. This bill will go into effect with the reviser of statutes on October 14th, 2016.

Legislators also took up and overrode the governor’s veto of SB 844 that was approved to clarify that an animal owner is liable for damages done by the animal to another’s property only if the owner has been negligent. Currently, if horses, cattle, or other livestock break through a fence and cause damages to another’s property, the owner is strictly liable. The change approved by the General Assembly will relieve the animal owner from liability for damages when the animals were released because of the actions or fault of another. This bill will go into effect with the reviser of statutes on October 14th, 2016.

The House and Senate also overrode the governor’s veto of legislation to allow a 100 percent income tax deduction for the amount of any income received as payment from any program that compensates agricultural producers who have suffered a loss as a result of a disaster or emergency. In effect, it will ensure farmers aren’t taxed on any disaster relief assistance they receive. This bill will go into effect with the reviser of statutes on October 14th, 2016. 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

This week I will finish discussing the bills overrode during last week’s Veto Session. I will also discuss the various dates these new laws will go into effect. SB 656, known as the constitutional carry bill, and discussed in detail last week, will mostly go into effect with the reviser of statutes on October 14th, which is thirty days from the date of veto override. However, because the bill also related to constitutional carry penalty provision changes, it is necessary for the permitless carry provisions to go into effect on Jan 1, 2017 due to coinciding changes to the criminal codes in Missouri. Also, there is an emergency clause related to a section that exempts military returning from deployment from paying late penalties while deployed. That section is effective immediately.

The voter ID bill, HB 1631, also discussed last week, will become effective only upon the passage and approval by the voters of a constitutional amendment regarding the authorization of photo identification requirements by general law. The effective date of the bill will be June 1, 2017 if the constitutional amendment is passed in November.

Protecting the Private Information of Missouri Farmers (HB 1414)

The legislature also acted last week to override the governor’s veto of legislation that would protect the information of farmers who voluntarily share their information with state agencies. Specifically, the bill exempts any data collected by any state agency under the Animal Disease Traceability Program, or any data collected for the purpose of animal health or environmental protection, from being disclosed under Missouri’s Sunshine Law. The legislation does allow the director of any state agency or the State Veterinarian to release this information if it is useful in controlling or preventing disease outbreak, or to show that certain animals are not involved in a disease outbreak. This bill will go into effect with the reviser of statutes on October 14th, 2016.

Protecting Taxpayer Dollars (HB 1432)

The House and Senate voted to override the governor’s veto and enact legislation that will protect taxpayer funds from being wasted on ineffective government employees who are placed on paid administrative leave when they should be fired. The legislation 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 that will now become law requires a hearing within 60 days of an employee being placed on administrative leave. The hearing will be utilized to determine if the employee engaged in misconduct. The bill also will require that an employee placed on administrative leave be provided with a written explanation of the specific reason for the placement within seven days. This bill will go into effect with the reviser of statutes on October 14th, 2016.

Protecting Livestock Owners from Excessive Liability (SB 844)

Legislators took up and overrode the governor’s veto of SB 844 that was approved to clarify that an animal owner is liable for damages done by the animal to another’s property only if the owner has been negligent. Currently, if horses, cattle, or other livestock break through a fence and cause damages to another’s property, the owner is strictly liable. Even in cases when the fence is torn down or broken by someone else, the owner of the animals is still liable under current law. The change approved by the General Assembly will relieve the animal owner from liability for damages when the animals were released because of the actions or fault of another. This bill will go into effect with the reviser of statutes on October 14th, 2016.

Lawmakers Vote to End Tax on Yoga and Other Instructional Classes (SB 1025)

The House and Senate voted to override the governor’s veto of legislation that ends a tax on yoga and fitness classes. The bill protects Missouri taxpayers and small businesses by narrowing what had been an overly-broad interpretation of the state’s entertainment tax. With the passage of the legislation, activities such as gym memberships and dance and yoga classes will no longer be subjected to the tax that was intended for items such as tickets for sporting events and amusement parks.

The change in law was necessary because of Missouri Supreme Court rulings that determined fitness clubs are places of amusement or entertainment. These decisions led to the collection of state sales taxes on the fees received by yoga and dance classes. The Missouri Department of Revenue then began auditing these small businesses and collecting years of back taxes.

With the override of the governor’s veto, the bill will now go into effect as law and clarify once and for all that fitness classes will not be subjected to the entertainment tax. Supporters say it is a common sense solution that will put a stop to the bureaucratic overreach made by the revenue department, and ease the tax burden on small businesses and all Missourians who have a gym membership or a child taking a dance class. This bill will go into effect with the reviser of statutes on October 14th, 2016.

Reducing the Tax Burden on Farmers Recovering from Disaster (SB 641)

The House and Senate also overrode the governor’s veto of legislation to allow a 100 percent income tax deduction for the amount of any income received as payment from any program that compensates agricultural producers who have suffered a loss as a result of a disaster or emergency. In effect, it will ensure farmers aren’t taxed on any disaster relief assistance they receive. Supporters said the change is necessary to protect the state’s number one industry by allowing farmers to benefit fully from the financial assistance they receive after an emergency or disaster. This bill will go into effect with the reviser of statutes on October 14th, 2016.

Other bills that will now become law:

HB 1713 – Changes the makeup of the Clean Water Commission that is responsible for enforcing water quality standards in Missouri. The bill will allow the commission to have additional representation from the agriculture and mining industries. Most provisions of this bill will go into effect with the reviser of statutes on October 14th, 2016. However, section 644.200 is subject to an emergency clause, which states that the Department of Natural Resources shall provide any municipality currently served by a wastewater treatment system with information regarding options to upgrade the existing system to meet new or existing standards. Therefore, this provision takes effect immediately.

HB 1763 – Changes the laws regarding workers’ compensation large deductible policies issued by an insurer. The bill is meant to help taxpayers, save money in the state budget, and ensure that the insurance guarantee association gets the funds they have the right to receive. Most provisions of this bill will go into effect with the reviser of statutes on October 14th, 2016. However, Because of the immediate need for the state to ensure that insurance guaranty associations have adequate resources to pay the covered claims of insolvent insurance carriers, the enactment of section 375.1605 of this act is deemed necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health, welfare, peace, and safety, and the enactment of section 375.1605 of this act is hereby declared to be an emergency act within the meaning of the constitution, and the enactment of section 375.1605 of this act shall be in full force and effect immediately.

HB 1976 – Specifies that a refund of a motor vehicle extended service contract will be paid to the person that paid the premium for the contract whether that be the consumer or a third party. The bill also enacts various consumer protection requirements to combat predatory practices from renegade towing companies. This bill will go into effect with the reviser of statutes on October 14th, 2016.

SB 608 – Modifies several provisions relating to health care. The bill requires an $8 copay fee for Missouri HeathNet participants who use a hospital emergency room for nonemergency situations. It also would charge HealthNet participants a small fee for missing an appointment. This bill will go into effect with the reviser of statutes on October 14th, 2016.

SB 994 – Allows the Missouri Wine and Grape Board to oversee and provide any professional or legal services on the distribution of wine to effectuate the Board’s marketing goals. Also makes various changes to liquor laws in Missouri, including a provision to allow an individual to obtain a license to sell liquor on a boat licensed to carry 30 or more passengers. This bill will go into effect with the reviser of statutes on October 14th, 2016.

Special Visit

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I was honored yesterday to be one of the mentors for the Constitution Revolution Kick-off Day at the Capitol. This event featured St. James and Rolla High School students, among other Missouri schools, in a debate competition on the House Floor. It was great to see many enthusiastic young adults engaged in civics and in the process of lawmaking!

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. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

 

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