The Capitol Report | June 8th, 2017

Governor Calls New Special Session

Lawmakers will once again return to Jefferson City to convene for an extraordinary session. Governor Greitens issued the call Wednesday for multiple pro-life issues he said the legislature needs to work to address immediately. The two chambers will now look for legislative solutions to a city ordinance the governor says has turned St. Louis into an abortion sanctuary city, while also working to implement new standards that will better ensure the health and safety of women who visit an abortion clinic. The St. Louis city ordinance was put in place by the city as an anti-discrimination measure for individuals making reproductive health decisions.

Critics of the ordinance say it has the potential to force charitable organizations and community groups that work with pregnant women and new moms to violate their own deeply-held religious beliefs. They say the ordinance could prevent them from refusing to hire individuals who are pro-choice advocates. They say it could also force pro-life organizations to pay for abortions through the health insurance they provide their employees. Organizations like the maternity home Our Lady’s Inn and Archdiocesan Elementary Schools have already filed a federal lawsuit against the ordinance. The governor and many lawmakers agree the situation in St. Louis amounts to an emergency that requires the immediate attention of the legislature. Lawmakers will now work to provide protections for the free speech rights and religious liberties of individuals and organizations in St. Louis.

Legislators will also work to implement new measures that will improve the safety standards at abortion clinics. The new standards are meant to address a court ruling that struck down laws that regulate abortion clinics. The court’s decision threw out a provision that requires abortion providers to abide by the same regulations imposed on ambulatory surgical centers. The court also did away with a law that required a doctor providing an abortion to have privileges at a nearby hospital. Both provisions were originally put into place by lawmakers to ensure the health and safety of women who utilize services provided by organizations like Planned Parenthood.

The extraordinary session is set to begin Monday, June 12. The House and Senate plan to operate as efficiently possible in order to keep the cost to taxpayers to a minimum. Both chambers were able to complete the first extraordinary session, which was called by the governor to bring jobs to Missouri, in an efficient manner that kept costs down. In other news, the Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and I will be holding a local town hall meeting at the Steelville Community Center on Monday, June 12th at 5:30 PM to discuss the new photo voter ID law going into effect this year. This will be an opportunity to learn more about the new law and ensure all eligible Missourians have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote. If you are able, I encourage you to attend! 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

 

Governor Calls New Special Session

Lawmakers will once again return to Jefferson City to convene for an extraordinary session. This time the governor has called the House and Senate back to address several issues meant to “protect the lives of the innocent unborn and protect women’s health.” Governor Greitens issued the call Wednesday for multiple pro-life issues he said the legislature needs to work to address immediately. The two chambers will now look for legislative solutions to a city ordinance the governor says has turned St. Louis into an abortion sanctuary city, while also working to implement new standards that will better ensure the health and safety of women who visit an abortion clinic. The St. Louis city ordinance was put in place by the city as an anti-discrimination measure for individuals making reproductive health decisions.

Critics of the ordinance say it has the potential to force charitable organizations and community groups that work with pregnant women and new moms to violate their own deeply-held religious beliefs. They say the ordinance could prevent them from refusing to hire individuals who are pro-choice advocates. They say it could also force pro-life organizations to pay for abortions through the health insurance they provide their employees. Organizations like the maternity home Our Lady’s Inn and Archdiocesan Elementary Schools have already filed a federal lawsuit against the ordinance. The governor and many lawmakers agree the situation in St. Louis amounts to an emergency that requires the immediate attention of the legislature. Lawmakers will now work to provide protections for the free speech rights and religious liberties of individuals and organizations in St. Louis. Legislators will also work to implement new measures that will improve the safety standards at abortion clinics. The new standards are meant to address a court ruling that struck down laws that regulate abortion clinics. The court’s decision threw out a provision that requires abortion providers to abide by the same regulations imposed on ambulatory surgical centers.

The court also did away with a law that required a doctor providing an abortion to have privileges at a nearby hospital. Both provisions were originally put into place by lawmakers to ensure the health and safety of women who utilize services provided by organizations like Planned Parenthood. The governor has asked lawmakers to implement “basic, common-sense standards to keep Missourians safe.” Specifically, he has asked the legislature to look at requiring abortion clinics to have an annual safety inspection. He also has asked lawmakers to consider a provision that would require abortion providers to have a plan in place in the event health complications arise. The governor also wants a legislative fix that will prevent abortion clinics from interfering with emergency responders. The extraordinary session is set to begin Monday, June 12. The House and Senate plan to operate as efficiently possible in order to keep the cost to taxpayers to a minimum. Both chambers were able to complete the first extraordinary session, which was called by the governor to bring jobs to Missouri, in an efficient manner that kept costs down.

Missouri’s Voter ID Requirements Now Law

It was in November of 2016 that Missouri voters overwhelmingly supported a system of photo Voter ID meant to protect the integrity of the elections process. The legislation approved by the General Assembly, which serves as a companion piece to the voter-approved constitutional change, officially went into effect June 1. Now, the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office is traveling the state to educate voters so they are prepared for the new law and its impact. As part of the ShowIt2Vote educational campaign, the Secretary of State’s Office is holding a series of informational meetings around the state to ensure that all eligible voters know the various ways they will be legally allowed to cast a ballot.Ashcroft has said the meetings are also meant to reassure Missourians that “if you’re registered to vote, you can vote.”

Under the new law, if a voter does not have a government-issued photo ID, such as a Missouri driver license, non-driver license, U.S. Passport, or U.S. Military ID, the voter can provide other documents, such as a Voter Registration Card, and sign a statement that affirms his or her identity. If the voter has no documents available, he or she may cast a provisional ballot. That ballot counts if the voter brings an acceptable photo ID back to the polling place that day, or if the signature matches the signature on file with local election officials. The new photo voter ID law also requires the state to assist voters who do not have a photo ID with obtaining a free Missouri non-driver for the purpose of voting. Individuals who need a photo ID to vote and don’t have one, can complete an online form to get started. The form is located at https://s1.sos.mo.gov/voteridhelp. The Secretary of State’s office will receive your information and help in obtaining any necessary documents.

For more information about the new Voter ID law, interested parties can access ShowIt2Vote.com or call the ShowIt2Vote hotline at 866-868-3245.

Truly Agreed To & Finally Passed Bills

Currently, before the next special session, and now that both the regular and first special legislative sessions have come to an end, the legislature stands at a little over 75 bills that have been Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed (TAFP). These bills now await the Governor’s approval or veto. These TAFP bills span a variety of topics. Below is a brief summary of three TAFP’d bills. As promised, more TAFP’d bill summaries will follow in the weeks to come. Finally, before Veto Session in September, the governor’s actions on all bills will be reviewed.

HB 93 Changes the laws regarding job training.

The bill, among other provisions, establishes four adult high schools to be operated by a Missouri nonprofit organization. An “adult high school” is defined as a school for an individual who is at least 21 years old without a high school diploma, offers industry certification programs that include a high school diploma and provides on-site child care for students. This bill requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to grant a license to a Missouri-based nonprofit organization before January 1, 2018, to establish and operate four adult high schools with locations as specified in the bill.

This bill also modifies the definition of “new capital investment” by allowing costs incurred by a qualified company at the project facility prior to acceptance of the proposal for benefits to be considered new capital investment. The bill allows the Department of Economic Development to contract with other entities for the purpose of advertising, marketing, and promoting the Missouri Works Training program. Such marketing shall not exceed $50,000 annually.

This bill also allows the department to provide assistance through the Missouri Works Job Development Fund to a consortium of companies if a majority of the consortium are qualified companies. Currently, Missouri Works Training projects are funded by redirecting withholding taxes remitted by a qualified company for new or retained jobs created by the company. Subject to appropriation, the bill allows the department to provide up-front funding from appropriations from the General Revenue Fund. For projects that utilize such funding, the amount of withholding taxes redirected for the project shall be reduced by the amount of funds received through the general revenue appropriation.

HB 115 Modifies provisions relating to the sale of intoxicating liquor in airports.

This bill regulates intoxicating liquor. Its main provisions include:

(1) Exemptions for ignition interlock device requirements shall not be granted to individuals who are self-employed or who wholly or partially own or control an entity that owns an employer-owned vehicle;

(2) Allows distillers under Section 331.070 to offer for the promotion of tourism liquor drink sales from 6:00 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Monday to Saturday and 9:00 a.m. to midnight on Sundays;

(3) Creates an exception to current law requiring liquor sold by the drink to be purchased from licensed wholesalers. The exception is for retailers near recreational resorts. Retail establishment employees may hold specified financial interests in a distillery near a resort. Sales from those licensed as resort distilleries to wholesalers are also allowed so long as the resort license holder has no financial interest in the wholesaler (Section 311.075);

(4) Enables retail establishments selling liquor by the drink within the St. Louis Lambert International Airport or the Kansas City International Airport to apply for a permit which allows patrons to leave the licensed establishment with an alcoholic beverage and carry it into other designated areas within the airport. All such retail establishments in the airport are required to serve their alcoholic beverages in containers displaying the retailer’s name or logo;

(5) Provides a five-day time limit for the Supervisor of Liquor Control inspections involving intoxicating liquor, as specified in the bill. Exceptions to inspection are allowed in certain cases where certificates are provided from federal agencies to the Supervisor of Liquor Control’s office. The supervisor is granted sole authority over certain products

HB 130Enacts provisions relating to transportation network companies.

The bill provides that Transportation Network Companies, TNCs, and TNC drivers are not common carriers, contract carriers, motor carriers, taxicab services or associations, or for-hire vehicle services. TNC drivers need not register their vehicles as commercial or for-hire. This bill further provides that, beginning April 28, 2018, a TNC must apply for an annual license from the Department of Revenue to do business within the State of Missouri, and maintain the insurance coverage requirements. The bill allows TNCs to charge fares, but the TNC must disclose the fare or fare structure on its website or digital network. If the fare is based on actual time and distance traveled, the TNC on its website shall also provide riders the applicable rates being charged and the option to receive an estimated fare before the rider enters the vehicle.

TNCs are required to notify drivers they may have a contractual obligation to include the TNC as a loss payee on their insurance policy, and drivers are required to take any steps necessary to satisfy the requirements of their insurance contracts. This bill prescribes driver eligibility requirements, including background checks and registration with the TNC. Vehicles used by TNC drivers must meet Missouri’s motor vehicle safety inspection requirements. TNC drivers, taxicab drivers, and persons performing food delivery services shall not be required to obtain a class of Missouri driver’s license other than class F. TNCs shall remove drivers from their platform if they are determined to have committed certain crimes or if their insurance policy is no longer in effect. TNC drivers shall not solicit or accept street hails. TNCs shall adopt nondiscrimination policies with respect to riders, shall notify drivers of such policy, and may not discriminate against TNC drivers in a way prohibited by the Missouri or United States Constitutions.

This bill authorizes Kansas City and the Saint Louis Regional Taxicab Commission to audit a TNC, no more than twice a year, to ensure compliance with the provisions of this bill. Each licensed TNC may be charged for the costs of the audit, not to exceed $5,000 per year. If any violations are discovered, the TNC can be fined up to $500 per violation by the appropriate entity. If a TNC learns that a TNC driver has been convicted of an offense that would preclude the driver from being eligible as a TNC driver under this bill, the TNC shall immediately revoke the driver’s ability to accept trip requests and notify the Department of Revenue. A TNC shall also report to the department any TNC driver involved in a traffic accident or incident that resulted in serious bodily injury or fatality. The department shall implement a process to provide such information to all other TNCs in this state.

New Voter ID Law Town Hall Meeting

In other news, the Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and I will be holding a local town hall meeting at the Steelville Community Center on Monday, June 12th at 5:30 PM to discuss the new photo voter ID law going into effect this year. This will be an opportunity to learn more about the new law and ensure all eligible Missourians have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote. If you are able, I encourage you to attend! 

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 415-B, 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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