The Capitol Report | August 30th, 2018

New Transparency Website & New Laws

A new transparency website launched by the Missouri State Treasurer will give Missourians access to important information about government finances. The treasurer’s office says the new website, ShowMeCheckbook.mo.gov, is one of the most comprehensive state government financial data portals in the country.

The website was launched to help provide Missourians with access to state financial data that has been difficult to find and analyze in the past. In April of last year the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) gave Missouri a D+ grade for financial transparency. Show-Me Checkbook is meant to be an important step in increasing transparency.

Also, I will continue to summarize Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed (TAFP) bills from this legislative session. This week, I will continue with Senate bills.

SB 660 (Signed by Governor: 6/1/18) – Current law permits the Department of Social Services to enter into contracts with an entity for the provision of the medical insurance information of certain persons applying for or receiving MO HealthNet benefits. Under this act, the Department of Mental Health may enter into such contracts for the medical insurance information of persons receiving Department of Mental Health services.

SB 683 (Signed by Governor: 6/1/18) – This act provides that the Highways and Transportation Commission shall issue single-use special permits for or upon request of the equipment owner annual permits for the transportation of cranes.

SB 687 (Signed by Governor: 6/1/18) – Under this act, school districts may, by majority vote of the board, allocate less than 1% of formula money but no less than .5% when such district is appropriated less than 25% of the allowable costs of providing pupil transportation under the school foundation formula.

SB 705 (Signed by Governor: 6/1/18) – Allows water corporations with more than 8,000 customers to make an application to the Public Service Commission to approve rate schedules outside of a general rate proceeding to ensure that revenues billed for services equal the revenue requirement for such services due to changes in customer usage.

SB 707 (Signed by Governor: 7/5/18) – Increases, from $25,000 to $50,000, the bond required for licensure as a motor vehicle dealer.

SB 708 (Signed by Governor: 7/5/18) – Increases, from ten thousand dollars to twenty-five thousand dollars, the minimum motor vehicle liability coverage a person must carry for others’ property when operating a motor vehicle under the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law.

SB 718 (Signed by Governor: 7/5/18) – The act designates the month of November as Diabetes Awareness Month.

SB 743 (Signed by Governor: 7/5/18) – Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, this act changes the requirement to a minimum of 1,044 hours of actual pupil attendance with no minimum number of required school days except for kindergarten pupils who shall be provided a minimum of 522 hours of actual pupil attendance with no minimum number of days.

If you ever have questions, comments, or concerns, please call my office at 573-751-1688 or email me at: jason.chipman@house.mo.gov

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

 

 

 

Missouri Takes Action to Provide Farmers with Drought Relief

Missouri Governor Mike Parson has mobilized state resources to help Missourians battling drought conditions throughout the state. Parson recently announced both a program to provide water to family farms and a lottery for farmers to obtain adequate livestock feed.

It was on July 18 that the governor issued an executive order declaring a drought alert for 47 Missouri counties. A month later, every county in Missouri has been impacted by the dry conditions, and the number of counties considered to be in drought alert has risen to 86. In an effort to help with the drought, the departments of Natural Resources, Conservation, and Agriculture and others are working together to provide information and resources to those impacted by the drought conditions.

The relief efforts taken by the governor will provide up to 5,000 gallons of water per family farm per day. The water is not for resale and is for the needs of livestock only. The water will be available at 28 Department of Conservation areas and five Department of Natural Resources state parks, and farmers will need to provide their own pumping and hauling equipment. Anyone interested in making arrangements to pump water can call 573-751-4115, ext. 3209.

To help provide adequate livestock feed for farmers, nearly 900 acres of state park grasslands will be made available to mow and harvest as hay. Anyone who is interested in participating in the drought assistance hay program may apply for access to any of the state park haying locations listed below. A lottery system will be used to randomly select one winner from the list of applicants for each location. The lottery for haying at Missouri State Parks is now open and runs through Saturday, August 25. The Department of Natural Resources will announce lottery results on Monday, August 27. Additional details are available at https://mostateparks.com/.

Further information, along with maps showing locations for the pumping of water and for haying, are available at https://dnr.mo.gov/droughtresources.htm. Missourians can also visit the Department of Natural Resources drought website for information about drought conditions, agriculture and drinking water assistance, and resources at https://dnr.mo.gov/drought.htm.

New Government Transparency Website Goes Live

A new transparency website launched by the Missouri State Treasurer will give Missourians access to important information about government finances. The treasurer’s office says the new website, ShowMeCheckbook.mo.gov, is one of the most comprehensive state government financial data portals in the country.

State Treasurer Eric Schmitt said, “Unfortunately in the past the state has not provided adequate tools for accessing information about state finances. Show-Me Checkbook gives greater access to state finances by creating a one-stop-shop for information on state spending, revenue, payroll, debt and cash flow. Missourians have a right to see how their money is being spent and managed in Jefferson City and Show-Me Checkbook lets them do just that.”

The website was launched to help provide Missourians with access to state financial data that has been difficult to find and analyze in the past. In April of last year the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) gave Missouri a D+ grade for financial transparency. Show-Me Checkbook is meant to be an important step in increasing transparency.

The treasurer’s office said Show-Me Checkbook was designed to be user-friendly while maintaining the unprecedented depth of data exploration available through its interface. Government accounting experts and data analysts contributed to the review of the portal to ensure an accurate reflection of accounting standards.

According to PIRG, websites like Show-Me Checkbook can result in significant cost-savings for states that launch them. Texas saved an estimated $163 million as a result of a similar project, and North Carolina credits their website with leading to a comprehensive reform of their state purchasing laws. Treasurer Schmitt is encouraging citizen watchdogs who find interesting or concerning data trends through Show-Me Checkbook to contact his office through the submission link that appears on the bottom of each page of the website.

2018 Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed Bills

I will continue to summarize Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed (TAFP) bills from this legislative session. This week, I will continue with Senate bills.

SB 660 (Signed by Governor: 6/1/18) – Modifies the law relating to mental health

Current law permits the Department of Social Services to enter into contracts with an entity for the provision of the medical insurance information of certain persons applying for or receiving MO HealthNet benefits. Such information is limited to those insurance benefits that could have been claimed and paid by an insurance policy or are otherwise covered by MO HealthNet. Under this act, the Department of Mental Health may enter into such contracts for the medical insurance information of persons receiving Department of Mental Health services.

SB 683 (Signed by Governor: 6/1/18) – Modifies provisions relating to the transportation of construction cranes

This act provides that the Highways and Transportation Commission shall issue single-use special permits for or upon request of the equipment owner annual permits for the transportation of cranes. The Commission shall also set parameters for the transportation of cranes under this act.

SB 687 (Signed by Governor: 6/1/18) – Modifies provisions relating to student transportation

Currently, school districts are required to allocate 1% of moneys received under the school foundation formula to the professional development committee of the district. Under this act, school districts may, by majority vote of the board, allocate less than 1% but no less than .5% when such district is appropriated less than 25% of the allowable costs of providing pupil transportation under the school foundation formula. A school district may appropriate money in such manner until the end of fiscal year 2024.

SB 705 (Signed by Governor: 6/1/18) – Modifies provisions relating to rate adjustments outside of general rate proceedings for certain public utilities

This act allows water corporations with more than 8,000 customers to make an application to the Public Service Commission to approve rate schedules outside of a general rate proceeding to ensure that revenues billed for services equal the revenue requirement for such services due to changes in customer usage.

SB 707 (Signed by Governor: 7/5/18) – Modifies provisions relating to vehicle sales

The act increases, from $25,000 to $50,000, the bond required for licensure as a motor vehicle dealer. This act also requires motor vehicle dealer license applicants to submit their regular business hours, and a phone number and email address where the applicant can be contacted during regular business hours.

SB 708 (Signed by Governor: 7/5/18) – Modifies provisions relating to motor vehicle financial responsibility

This act increases, from ten thousand dollars to twenty-five thousand dollars, the minimum motor vehicle liability coverage a person must carry for others’ property when operating a motor vehicle under the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law. The act similarly amends a statute requiring minimum coverage limits for state-controlled motor vehicles, aircraft, and marine vessels.

SB 718 (Signed by Governor: 7/5/18) – Modifies provisions relating to health care

The act designates the month of November as Diabetes Awareness Month.

SB 743 (Signed by Governor: 7/5/18) – Modifies provisions relating to elementary and secondary education

Currently, public schools are required to be in session for a minimum of 174 days and 1,044 hours a year. Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, this act changes the requirement to a minimum of 1,044 hours of actual pupil attendance with no minimum number of required school days except for kindergarten pupils who shall be provided a minimum of 522 hours of actual pupil attendance with no minimum number of days.

SB 768 (Signed by Governor: 6/1/18) – Modifies several provisions relating to the taxation of telecommunications companies

Beginning January 1, 2019, this act allows telephone companies to make a one-time election of whether to have their property assessed in the same manner as railroads, as in current law, or in the same manner as railroads for property consisting of land and buildings and under a depreciation schedule for all other forms of property, as described in the act.

SB 769 (Signed by Governor: 7/5/18) – Modifies provisions relating to financial transactions by public entities

Under current law, the State Treasurer and the Treasurer of the City of St. Louis are limited in the types of securities they may require as collateral from banks or financial institutions selected and approved for the safekeeping and payment of deposits. This act adds brokered or negotiable certificates of deposit that are fully insured by the FDIC or the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund to the collateral list.

SB 773 (Signed by Governor: 7/5/18) – Modifies provisions relating to taxation

This act extends the date by which a local taxing jurisdiction shall place a question on the ballot regarding the repeal of a local sales tax on certain motor vehicles purchased from out-of-state dealers from November 2018 to November 2022.

SB 775 (Signed by Governor: 6/1/18) – Extends the sunset on certain healthcare provider reimbursement allowance taxes and modifies the hospital reimbursement allowance tax

This act extends the sunsets from September 30, 2018, to September 30, 2019, for the Ground Ambulance, Nursing Facility, Medicaid Managed Care Organization, Hospital, Pharmacy, and Intermediate Care Facility for the Intellectually Disabled Reimbursement Allowance Taxes.

SB 782 (Signed by Governor: 6/22/18) – Modifies provisions relating to the Department of Natural Resources

This act requires the Division of State Parks within the Department of Natural Resources to maintain the fence coinciding with the boundary between individual landowner property and the historic Missouri Rock Island railroad corridor, with costs being paid by the State Park Earnings Fund. Nothing in this act shall be construed to require an individual landowner to locate a fence on his or her own property.

SB 793 (Signed by Governor: 6/1/18) – Modifies provisions relating to court proceedings

Under current law, children who are 17 years of age are prosecuted for criminal offenses in courts of general jurisdiction. This act provides that, unless the child is certified as an adult or is being prosecuted for a traffic or curfew violation, children who are 17 years of age must be prosecuted in the juvenile court system. The expanded service of the juvenile court system shall not be effective until sufficient funds are appropriated.

SB 800 (Signed by Governor: 6/1/18) – Modifies provisions relating to juvenile court proceedings

Under current law, any order or judgment entered by a court concerning child protection takes precedence over any previous court order concerning the status or custody of a child for as long as the new court order remains in effect. This act adds orders of guardianships to the list of prior orders concerning the status or custody of a child over which a new court order shall take precedence.

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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