The Capitol Report | June 15th, 2017

Second Special Session Begins

The legislature answered the governor’s call to address issues related to women’s health and the lives of the unborn. The governor called for the extra session so lawmakers can focus on “protecting pregnancy resource centers and proposals for common-sense health and safety standards in abortion clinics.”

The House Children and Families Committee met for a hearing Wednesday to discuss four different legislative proposals all called for by Governor Greitens. The measures address various issues meant to promote a culture of life in Missouri. While the committee met to discuss and approve the various bills and provisions, the current plan is for the House to wait for the Senate to send over its versions of the bill. The House then plans to act on the Senate bills with the goal of sending them to the governor to be signed into law. House members will wait to see how the bills change as they are debated on the Senate floor. House members then anticipate acting next week on legislation sent over from the Senate.

As promised, below is a brief summary of more bills the legislature has passed this regular session. More passed bill summaries will follow in the weeks to come.

HB 93—The bill, among other provisions, establishes four adult high schools to be operated by a Missouri nonprofit organization. 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.

HB 115—Among other provisions, the law provides 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.

HB 130—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.

HB 153—This bill specifies that a witness who is qualified as an expert may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if the expert’s specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data, the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.

In other news, to help Missouri meet its goal of preparing all high school graduates for success, the State Board of Education approved requirements this week for a new career and technical education (CTE) certificate that students can earn in addition to a high school diploma. The requirements were developed in consultation with the state’s CTE advisory council. Students must meet all of the requirements in order to earn the certificate. More info can be found at: http://www.goo.gl/3UcYTS

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

 

Extraordinary Session Begins (HB 3, HB 6, HB 7, and HB 9)

The legislature answered the governor’s call to address issues related to women’s health and the lives of the unborn. The governor called for the extra session so lawmakers can focus on “protecting pregnancy resource centers and proposals for common-sense health and safety standards in abortion clinics.”

The House Children and Families Committee met for a hearing Wednesday to discuss four different legislative proposals all called for by Governor Greitens. The measures address various issues meant to promote a culture of life in Missouri.

Some of the key components of the bills heard in the House this week would:

  • Allow the Department of Health and Senior Services to adopt rules governing complication plans to ensure patients undergoing abortions induced by drugs or chemicals have access to safe and reliable care;
  • Require an abortion facility to provide affirmative evidence that each person authorized to perform abortions is a physician currently licensed to practice in Missouri;
  • Allow the health department to adopt separate rules to apply to ambulatory surgical centers and to apply to abortion facilities. Any rule that applies to an abortion facility shall, at minimum, be equal to any physical requirement of an ambulatory surgical center;
  • Permit the health department to make an unannounced on-site inspection of any abortion facility at least annually;
  • Create the offense of interference with medical assistance if an employee of an abortion facility knowingly orders or requests medical personnel to deviate from any applicable standard of care or ordinary practice;
  • Provide the Missouri Attorney General with concurrent original jurisdiction throughout the state for actions for a violation of any state abortion law; state law regarding the use of public funds for an abortion; or state law which regulates an abortion facility or a person who performs an abortion;
  • Require that all organs and tissue removed at the time of an abortion be submitted to a pathologist for examination. The pathologist would file a copy of a report on the sample with the Department of Health and Senior Services and each sample would then receive a unique identification number for tracking;
  • Acknowledge and protect the right of an “alternatives to abortion” agency to operate freely and engage in speech without governmental interference and the right of a person not to be compelled by the government to participate in abortion contrary to his or her religious beliefs or moral convictions.

Governor Greitens called the extraordinary session to address safety requirements for abortion facilities that were struck down by a federal judge, and to correct a city ordinance he says has made St. Louis an “abortion sanctuary city.” 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 St. Louis ordinance was put in place by the city to prevent employers and landlords from discriminating against women who have had abortions, or plan to have one. The governor has said the ordinance is making it so organizations like pregnancy care centers can’t work the way they’re supposed to. As the governor said, local politicians have tried to make it illegal for pro-life organizations to say that they just want to hire pro-life Missourians.

While the Children and Families Committee met to discuss and approve the various bills and provisions this week, the current plan for the extraordinary session is for the House to wait for the Senate to send over its versions of the bill. The House then plans to act on the Senate bills with the goal of sending them to the governor to be signed into law. A Senate committee met Tuesday to consider and approve similar proposals. During the course of committee activity, some of the provisions called for by the governor were stripped out by the committee. The bills that advanced did not include the provision that would create an offense of interference with medical assistance or the requirement that clinics submit plans for dealing with health complications that arise. House members will now wait to see how the bills change as they are debated on the Senate floor. House members anticipate acting next week on legislation sent over from the Senate.

REAL ID Legislation Signed into Law (HB 151)

Missourians will now have the option to obtain an ID that is compliant with the federal REAL ID Act thanks to legislation signed into law this week by the governor. A bill approved by the General Assembly during the 2017 regular session will make it possible for Missourians to get compliant identification so that they can board an airplane, or enter a military base or federal facility. While the new law officially takes effect August 28, it will take up to two years for the new IDs to be available. However, because the state has acted to comply, supporters say Missouri will now qualify for a waiver from the federal government that will allow Missourians to continue using their current IDs until the new ones are available. The bill’s sponsor said he is confident the state will be successful in receiving an extension from the Department of Homeland Security to avoid the Jan. 22 deadline for Missourians to have compliant IDs.

Under the new law, Missourians will have the option to obtain a federally compliant driver’s license. The bill will also allow individuals with a non-compliant driver’s license to obtain a compliant version at no additional cost. For Missourians who do not want to comply with the REAL ID requirements because of privacy concerns, the legislation will allow them to request the existing style of Missouri identification that is not compliant with the federal act. For those who want or need the federally compliant driver’s license, the bill will establish safeguards so that any additional data gathered is used only for purposes of issuing the identification. One provision would ensure the source documents to obtain an ID are stored on a server that is not connected to the Internet in order to prevent hacking of the database. The bill also includes criminal penalties for misuse or unlawful access of personal data.

Truly Agreed To & Finally Passed Bills

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.

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 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: 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;  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; 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); among other provisions.

HB 130 (Signed by Governor 4/24/17)Enacts 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. 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.

HB 153 (Signed by Governor 3/28/17)  – Modifies provisions relating to expert witnesses

This bill specifies that a witness who is qualified as an expert may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if the expert’s specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data, the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case. An expert may base an opinion on facts or data in the case that the expert has been made aware of or personally observed. If experts in the particular field would reasonably rely on those kinds of facts or data in forming an opinion on the subject, such facts or data need not be admissible for the opinion to be admitted. However, if the facts or data would otherwise be inadmissible, the proponent of the opinion may disclose them to the jury only if their probative value in helping the jury evaluate the opinion substantially outweighs their prejudicial effect. An expert opinion is not objectionable just because it embraces an ultimate issue. In a criminal case, an expert witness must not state an opinion about whether the defendant did or did not have a mental state or condition that constitutes an element of the crime charged or of a defense.

Career and Tech Ed Certificate for Students

To help Missouri meet its goal of preparing all high school graduates for success, the State Board of Education approved requirements this week for a new career and technical education (CTE) certificate that students can earn in addition to a high school diploma. The requirements were developed in consultation with the state’s CTE advisory council. Students must meet all of the requirements in order to earn the certificate.

“The CTE certificate helps recognize the skills our students are gaining in CTE courses that will help them succeed in life,” said Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven. “Students earning this certificate can show Missouri employers that they are prepared for the workplace.”

Students entering high school in 2017-18 or thereafter will be eligible to earn a CTE certificate by meeting the following criteria:

  • Meet all graduation requirements
  • Qualify as a CTE concentrator
  • Maintain a 3.0 grade-point average in the CTE area of concentration
  • Pass an approved Technical Skills Assessment and/or earn an approved Industry Recognized CredentialCertificate
  • Complete at least 50 hours of work-based learning aligned with the CTE area of concentration
  • Maintain at least a 95 percent attendance record overall for grades 9-12
  • Demonstrate soft skills/business skills
  • Achieve a score at or above the state standard on any DESE-approved measure of college and career readiness

Schools can assist students by helping them develop a personal plan of study that includes a focus on CTE courses such as agriculture, health sciences or business. The schools would monitor the plan of study to ensure student success.

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

 

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