The Capitol Report | June 22nd, 2017

Second Special Session Continues

The members of the Missouri House came together Tuesday to amend and strengthen a piece of legislation sent over from the Senate that is intended to better ensure the health and safety of women by putting common sense safety requirements in place for abortion clinics. House members strengthened the version of the bill that was sent over from the Senate by adding several provisions that were originally called for by Governor Greitens but stripped out by the Senate during floor debate.

One of the provisions added back into the bill by the House would prevent abortion clinic staff from requiring emergency responders to alter their normal response procedure by turning off lights or sirens. Another provision would allow the attorney general to prosecute violations of state abortion laws with no obligation to first inform local prosecutors. The Senate version had required notification of local prosecutors. The House also strengthened penalties for abortion clinics that do not comply with the requirements for submitting fetal tissue after an abortion.

Also, 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 292—Among other provisions, this bill modifies provisions relating to banks, trust companies, and other financial institutions. Specifically, the bill modifies the powers of banks and trust companies by allowing a bank or trust company to acquire or convey real property for the purpose of leasing the property to a public entity, including government buildings, municipal buildings, schools, and public hospitals. The bank or trust company must lease the property only to a public entity that has sufficient resources to satisfy all rental payments as they become due. The lease agreement must provide that the public entity will become the owner of the real property and any building or facility upon the expiration of the lease. The purchase of the real estate for this purpose cannot exceed the bank’s or trust company’s lending limit.

HB 336—Currently, life insurance companies can exclude coverage for suicide for one year after the issuance of a policy. This bill adds the exclusion to any additional riders, endorsements, or amendments added.

HB 339—This bill provides that a time-limited demand to settle any claim for personal injury, bodily injury, or wrongful death must be in writing and sent by certified mail to the tortfeasor’s liability insurer, and it must include various material terms specified in the bill. Additional information, as provided in the bill, must accompany the demand including authorizations to allow the party to obtain records from all employers and medical care providers.

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

 

House Strengthens Pro-Life Legislation (SB 5)

The members of the Missouri House came together Tuesday to amend and strengthen a piece of legislation sent over from the Senate that is intended to better ensure the health and safety of women by putting common sense safety requirements in place for abortion clinics. House members strengthened the version of the bill that was sent over from the Senate by adding several provisions that were originally called for by Governor Greitens but stripped out by the Senate during floor debate.

One of the provisions added back into the bill by the House would prevent abortion clinic staff from requiring emergency responders to alter their normal response procedure by turning off lights or sirens. Another provision would allow the attorney general to prosecute violations of state abortion laws with no obligation to first inform local prosecutors. The Senate version had required notification of local prosecutors. The House also strengthened penalties for abortion clinics that do not comply with the requirements for submitting fetal tissue after an abortion.

Some of the main provisions of the bill 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, and ensure any abortion facility requirement is 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; and
  • Require that all tissue removed at the time of abortion be sent to a pathologist within seventy-two hours for examination.

The governor called the legislature in to enact the stronger safety regulations because of a court ruling that struck down Missouri’s previous law that required 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.

Supporters say the regulations were necessary to ensure the safety and health of women using the facilities. They note that the Planned Parenthood facility in St. Louis has had to call an ambulance 58 times in the last seven years with 23 of the calls made to respond to hemorrhages as a complication of abortion. They also point out that the St. Louis facility was cited by the Department of Health and Senior Services more than 100 times from 2009 to 2016 for failure to provide a safe and sanitary environment.

Another provision of the bill addresses a city ordinance the governor says has turned St. Louis into an abortion sanctuary city. The St. Louis ordinance was put in place by the city to prevent employers and landlords from discriminating against women who have had an abortion, use birth control, or are pregnant. The governor has said the ordinance makes 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.

The bill passed by the House acknowledges and protects 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. In effect, the bill would pre-empt the St. Louis ordinance.

The legislation now moves back to the Senate where the other chamber will have the opportunity to pass the bill and send it to the governor’s desk. If the Senate refuses to take the House changes, the two bodies will likely send the bill to a conference committee where selected negotiators from both sides will come together to work toward a compromise.

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 292 – Changes the laws regarding powers of banks

Among other provisions, this bill modifies provisions relating to banks, trust companies, and other financial institutions. Specifically, the bill modifies the powers of banks and trust companies by allowing a bank or trust company to acquire or convey real property for the purpose of leasing the property to a public entity, including government buildings, municipal buildings, schools, and public hospitals.

The bank or trust company must lease the property only to a public entity that has sufficient resources to satisfy all rental payments as they become due. The lease agreement must provide that the public entity will become the owner of the real property and any building or facility upon the expiration of the lease. The purchase of the real estate for this purpose cannot exceed the bank’s or trust company’s lending limit.

HB 336 – Provides that riders, endorsements, and amendments to life insurance policies may contain suicide exclusions or limitations

Currently, life insurance companies can exclude coverage for suicide for one year after the issuance of a policy. This bill adds the exclusion to any additional riders, endorsements, or amendments added.

HB 339 – Modifies provisions relating to tort claims

This bill provides that a time-limited demand to settle any claim for personal injury, bodily injury, or wrongful death must be in writing and sent by certified mail to the tortfeasor’s liability insurer, and it must include various material terms specified in the bill. Additional information, as provided in the bill, must accompany the demand including authorizations to allow the party to obtain records from all employers and medical care providers.

Upon receipt of a time-limited demand, a recipient may ask for clarification of the terms without it being considered a counteroffer or rejection of the demand. After acceptance of the time-limited demand, the defendant may provide payment to the claimant in the form of cash, money order, wire transfer, cashier’s check, draft or bank check, or electronic funds transfer. A claimant may require payment within a specified period of time, but cannot be less than 10 days after written acceptance of the time-limited demand. This bill does not apply to offers made within 90 days of the trial.

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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