The Capitol Report | March 15th, 2018

House Reaches Halfway Point of 2018 Session

This week we cleared the calendar, so to speak, ahead of the legislative spring break by sending several more bills to the Senate for consideration. In fact, in the first two-and-a-half months of session, the House has been able to send more than 160 bills to the Senate.

Among these bills were priority items such as substantive ethics reform; legislation eliminating burdensome regulations that stifle job growth; bills to encourage the development of Missouri’s workforce; and a measure to protect the lives of the innocent unborn. The House and Senate have also worked together to approve legislation that has already been signed into law by the governor to address the growing problem of human trafficking.

House members will now spend time in district during spring break and will return to the State Capitol on March 26. Upon returning, our focus will be on the state operating budget, as well as tax relief legislation. The legislature has a deadline of May 11 to complete the state budget. The bills sent to the Senate by the House have until May 18, when the legislative session officially concludes, to receive approval from both chambers.

In other news, in 2012, Representative Paul Fitzwater and Representative Pat Conway filed and passed legislation to declare March 30th as Missouri Vietnam Veterans Day. To celebrate, the Missouri House holds a recognition day each year to present official resolutions to Vietnam veterans who bravely served their country.

This year the House will hold the Vietnam Veterans Day celebration on Thursday, March 29th at 9 AM in the House Lounge at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City. If you or someone you know is a Vietnam veteran who would like to be honored this year, please contact my office by:

Email: jason.chipman@house.mo.gov
Phone: 573-751-1688

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 Reaches Halfway Point of 2018 Session

As House members concluded their work and headed into their annual spring break, they did so with an impressive list of accomplishments. In the first two-and-a-half months of session, the House has been able to send more than 160 bills to the Senate. Among these are priority items such as substantive ethics reform; legislation eliminating burdensome regulations that stifle job growth; bills to encourage the development of Missouri’s workforce; and a measure to protect the lives of the innocent unborn. The House and Senate have also worked together to approve legislation that has already been signed into law by the governor to address the growing problem of human trafficking.

Some of the Bills Sent to the Senate This Week

HB 1578 would amend the law regarding joinder of parties in civil proceedings by stating that out-of-state injury claims arising out of separate incidents or purchases of the same product or service will not justify joinder of two or more parties in one action. The bill would further change the law regarding the definition of principal place of residence, for individuals, corporations, and insurance companies, for venue purposes in civil actions. Supporters say the bill would correct the problem of out-of-state plaintiffs filing lawsuits in Missouri circuit courts. They say the bill would reduce costs and increase access to the courts for Missouri residents by clarifying the venue and jurisdiction requirements to file a lawsuit in Missouri.

HB 2014 is a supplemental appropriations bill that would allocate more than $700 million in funds for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2018. The bill would appropriate dollars for programs such as Early Childhood Special Education, vocational education, and foster care.

HB 1953 would require the Department of Health and Senior Services to develop and disseminate information regarding the bone marrow registry. Supporters say the bill would allow doctors an easy means to spread information regarding the bone marrow registry to new patients who are not already registered.

HB 2122 would change certain vehicle sales laws. Supporters say the bill would help prevent loss of revenue to the state from individuals who engage in extremely minimal auto sales and are then exempt from all property taxes and other fees on multiple other vehicles. It would also enact a fair system for off premise auto sales so that local dealers are not overwhelmed by extremely large and temporary sales operations.

HB 1344 would require entities providing private probation services for misdemeanor offenses to utilize the cutoff concentrations utilized by the Department of Corrections with regard to drug and alcohol screening for clients assigned to such entity. Supporters say this is about preventing bad things from happening to citizens by putting private probation on the same level as the state’s testing levels. They say there has to be more accountability, especially when companies are profiting from keeping their clients in the system. The cutoff levels should be the same whether it’s felony probation or misdemeanor probation.

HB 1800 would change provisions of law relating to the public service commission’s complaint procedure. Supporters say the bill would narrowly tailor the commission’s complaint process such that the commission will only need to process complaints that it has the authority to hear.

HB 1364 would modify provisions relating to hazardous waste fees paid to the Missouri Emergency Response Commission. Supporters say a large percentage of the fees collected under the program are returned to the local community, there is no state funding, and they even try to use as much as they can from the 25 percent of the funds that go to the Missouri Emergency Response Commission.

HB 1713 would allow a birth parent or adoptee to request a contact preference form that will accompany the birth certificate of an adopted person. Supporters say the bill would allow adoptees to access their birth certificate or medical history without a court order and unnecessary expenses.

HB 1714 would give an adopted adult, biological parent, adoptive parent, or the lineal descendants of an adopted adult the ability to make a written request to the court to disclose information identifying the adopted adult’s biological parents. Supporters say the bill would allow an adopted adult to obtain information regarding their biological parents and personal items retained by the court, as well as address inconsistencies between counties.

HB 2026 would specify that any individual on probation or parole may be housed in a jail with offenders or persons being held on criminal charges. Supporters say the bill would clear up a legal question about people being held on probation and parole violations. They say the legislation is necessary because, without it, facilities would be forced to house all probation and parole offenders with civil offenders or they would need to significantly increase their budgets to get additional housing to house probation and parole offenders.

HB 2042 would modify provisions relating to sexual offenders. Supporters say the bill would make Missouri fully compliant with federal sexual offender registry law, and it would help bring more clarity to a process that already exists. The legislation would also add a petition process for removal from the State Highway Patrol registry.

HB 1991 would enact the “Uniform Small Wireless Facility Deployment Act” to establish that an authority shall not enter into an exclusive arrangement regarding the use of the right-of-way for the collocation of small wireless facilities or the installation, operation, marketing, modification, maintenance, or replacement of utility poles. Supporters say the bill would streamline the small wireless facility deployment process by overcoming the hurdles involved with multiple and possibly conflicting local ordinances. They say data deployment and access is critical for public safety and health.

HB 1614 would prohibit political subdivisions from adopting or enforcing ordinances or regulations relating to seeds or fertilizers. Supporters say the bill would ensure that all residents of Missouri have the same ability to use fertilizers on their crops and fields. Political subdivisions are already prohibited from adopting ordinances, rules, or regulations relating to pesticides. This would do the same for fertilizers.

HB 1469 would modify provisions of the Missouri military code by changing the name of the “Missouri reserve military force” to the “Missouri state defense force.” Supporters say this change would align with other states across the country. More than half of the states in the United States have changed their statutes to mirror this language.

HB 1517 would require the attorney general and the commissioner of administration to submit to the general assembly a monthly report of all settlements and judgments paid from the state legal expense fund. Supporters say the bill is about transparency and budgeting relating to the lawsuits against the Department of Corrections and other state agencies. The Attorney General’s Office is currently posting this information on its website and has recently released a report detailing the litigation liabilities paid from the Legal Expense Fund.

HB 1573 would allow a school district to use a calendar based on hours of attendance rather than hours and days of attendance, if the minimum number of hours is at least 1,044 hours of actual pupil attendance. Supporters say the bill would grant school districts flexibility in planning their school calendar.

HB 1893 would change the laws regarding the location of public auctions in the City of St. Louis. Supporters say the bill would address what is, or may become, a security issue because potential buyers are carrying a lot of cash. Additionally, allowing the sale to be held inside and away from the front door addresses weather and bottleneck issues.

HB 2243 would provide a method by which distributions from the statutory County Recorder’s Fund will be allocated among counties if collections fall below distributions. Supporters say that economic conditions caused house sales to fall and therefore revenue from document recording fell, too.

HB 1872 would establish a grant program within the Department of Economic Development to expand broadband Internet access to unserved and under-served parts of Missouri. Supporters say the bill is based on a successful rural broadband expansion plan from Minnesota. The bill would create a broadband development grant program to address the 61 percent of rural Missourians, representing more than one million individuals, who do not have access to reliable broadband services.

HB 1388 would add amateur kickboxing and amateur mixed martial arts to the list of contests the Division of Professional Registration, within the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration has the authority to regulate. Supporters say the purpose of the bill is to protect children that are currently participating in amateur MMA competitions. They say the current sanctioning bodies are not doing enough to protect kids participating in a sport that has the potential to cause serious and permanent injuries.

HB 1719 would prohibit any state board, department, or agency that issues professional licenses from denying a license based on age, to any person 18 years old or older. The bill contains an exception for licenses associated with gaming. Supporters say that age requirements for professional licensure are arbitrary and unnecessary. They say that if a licensure applicant meets all of the education and training requirements imposed by the state there is not a valid reason to deny him or her a license because of age.

HBs 2277 &1983 would exempt those who originally provided a physician statement as proof of a permanent disability from the need to provide additional physician statements to renew license plates or placards. Supporters say that the bill alleviates the need to present paperwork such as physician’s statements multiple times. It is a reasonable effort to be consistent with federal law and accommodate disabled individuals.

HB 1828 would require individuals, or organizations on behalf of a group of individuals, seeking to train peace officers in responding to animal neglect and abuse incident reports to submit all training materials relating to animal care to the State Veterinarian and all training materials relating to offenses involving animals to the Department of Public Safety for review on an annual basis. Supporters say the bill would give clarity and stability to the person who provides training relating to animal care for public officials responding to reports of animal abuse and neglect.

HB 2127 would change the examination requirement for an assistant physician so that an assistant physician needs to complete Step 2 or Step 3 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination within a four-year period before applying for licensure (but in no event more than four years after graduation from a medical college). Supporters say the assistant physician program allows doctors to gain experience while waiting to enter residency and that more physicians means increased access to care.

HB 2208 would add all electronic voting systems produce results from paper ballots marked by hand, or in the case of disabled voters who need assistance, from paper ballots marked by a paper ballot marking device designed to assist such voters. Supporters say the bill would provide an audit trail for any potential contested election and will help prevent election fraud.

HB 2194 would allow qualified entities, under certain circumstances, to receive individuals’ criminal history information from the central repository as part of the “Missouri Rap Back Program” as well as the National Rap Back Program. Supporters say there could be arrests or convictions that occur after a background check has been conducted, so the entity would have no way of knowing about them. The bill would help them get notified right away.

HB 1503 would establish a fund for providing state-guaranteed small business loans to veterans. Supporters say that after World War II, 49 percent of returning veterans started their own businesses because a federal loan guarantee was available. Currently, only 6 percent of returning veterans start their own business. The bill would provide veterans with an opportunity to start their own business and contribute to the state’s economy.

HB 2322 would modify provisions of the retirement system for prosecuting and circuit attorneys. Supporters say the bill would help get funding for the retirement plan back in line. The retirement age for new members would be increased and the bill would modify the provisions for part-time prosecuting attorneys who go full-time.

HB 1635 would modify provisions relating to the reporting of suspected abuse and neglect of a resident of a long-term care facility who is 60 years of age or older or an eligible adult. Supporters say residents of long-term care facilities are particularly vulnerable to abuse and are often unable to report assaults to law enforcement on their own. The bill would ensure that law enforcement officials are notified of any sexual assaults as soon as possible.

Capitol & District Visits

Recently, Mid-East Area Agency on Aging was kind enough to ask me to participate in their March for Meals program. I truly enjoyed spending time with Sullivan City Administrator J.T. Hardy and delivering meals to some home-bound adults in Sullivan.

Last week, Crawford County Presiding Commissioner Leo Sanders and I helped present awards at this year’s 2018 Crawford County Extension Council Banquet.

The awards included:

Norman Souders (Cuba) – Missouri Century Farm Award. The Souders Farm dates back to 1917!

Carol Banta
(Charter member of the Aim High Extension Homemakers Club) – Extension Leaders Honor Roll Award

Karen Cottrell – Extension Leaders Honor Roll Award

This week, Bryan Lambeth, St. James Ambulance District EMS Chief, along with other EMS organizations across the state, visited with legislators in Jefferson City to discuss various legislation directly affecting EMS.

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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