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Showing posts from 2006

Legislative Committees Meet This Week

Two legislative committees are meeting this week to gather public testimony as they prepare legislation for the First Regular Session of the 94th Missouri General Assembly, which convenes Jan. 3.
The Joint Committee on Terrorism, Bioterrorism and Homeland Security will meet Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 9:30 a.m. in Senate Committee Room 2 on the first floor of the Capitol Building.
For a list of members, click here.
To review the committee’s charge, click here. The Joint Committee on Terrorism, Bioterrorism and Homeland Security is required to present its report to the General Assembly by Jan. 15.
Also on Wednesday, Dec. 6, the Senate Agriculture, Conservation, Parks and Natural Resources Committee will hold a field hearing in West Plains. The public hearing will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the West Plains Civic Center, 110 St. Louis Street, West Plains. The public is invited to comment relating to future marketing ideas and promoting Missouri livestock. The meeting will be held in the Theater…

Senate Committee on Adoption & Child Support To Hold Hearing

The Senate Interim Committee on Adoption Promotion and Child Support Enforcement will hold a public hearing Tuesday, Nov. 28 in Senate Committee Room 1 beginning at 11 a.m.
The duties of the committee include:
1) To study the recruitment and retention of foster and adoptive parents in Missouri.
2) To examine the use and effectiveness of funding with regard to promoting the adoption of foster children in this state.
3) To examine the practices and outreach efforts this state has undergone in the past and make recommendations to improve their effectiveness.
4) To evaluate the current adoption processes and review them in order to identify obstacles and barriers associated with the adoption process.
5) To review current law relating to adoption and termination of parental rights (TPR) to determine whether modifications could be made to encourage adoptions in Missouri and to make the adoption and TPR processes more efficient and more cost effective.
6) To explore ways to improve customer service…

Pay Panel Seeks Public Input

On November 7, Missouri voters approved Amendment 7 by a five-to-one margin. The amendment requires a two-thirds majority vote of the General Assembly in order to change or disapprove the salary recommendations of the Missouri Citizens’ Commission on Compensation for Elected Officials. The purpose of the amendment, as stated in the ballot language approved by voters, is to prevent the General Assembly from changing the commission’s recommended compensation schedule for elected officials through the appropriations process.
Amendment 7 also prevents statewide elected officials, members of the General Assembly and state judges from receiving a state pension if they are convicted of a felony while in office or if they are removed from office for misconduct or after impeachment.
The Missouri Citizens’ Commission on Compensation for Elected Officials meets today (11/20/06) in the Senate Lounge at the Capitol Building from 10:30 until noon today, although public comment will not be received…

Senators Elect Leadership

Senate Republicans and Democrats have nominated their colleagues for leadership positions for the First Regular Session of the 94th Missouri General Assembly.
Senate Republicans unanimously endorsed Sen. Michael R. Gibbons, R- Kirkwood, to serve as President Pro Tem of the Missouri Senate for the 94th General Assembly beginning Jan. 3, 2007. Gibbons must be elected to the post by the full Senate when they convene. He was elected unanimously as Senate President Pro Tem in 2005.
“When I became pro tem, my goal for the Missouri Senate was to work together with the House and Governor to give every Missourian the opportunity to pursue their dreams, improve their lives and make our state the best place in America to live, work and raise a family,” Gibbons said. “The reforms we accomplished over the past two years have put Missourians on a strong foundation for decades to come and I want to continue that work as president pro tem.”
Others elected to Senate Majority Caucus leadership positions i…

Republicans Retain State House, Senate Majorities

Missouri Republicans will maintain majority control of the Missouri House and Senate for the First Regular Session of the 94th Missouri General Assembly, although their margins shrank a bit in Tuesday’s election.
Senate Republicans held a 23-11 advantage heading into the November 7 election, but Democrats picked up the seat held by Republican John Cauthorn in the 18th Senatorial District. Cauthorn, who is vacating the seat due to term limits, will be replaced by Rep. Wes Shoemyer, D-Clarence, who defeated Rep. Bob Behnen, R-Kirksville.
Incumbent Senator Bill Alter, R-High Ridge, was defeated Tuesday night by former Rep. Ryan McKenna, a Democrat from Crystal City who follows in his father’s footsteps in representing Jefferson County in the state senate.
There will be a few other new faces in the Missouri Senate next year. Democrat Jolie Justus is a Kansas City attorney who defeated Republican Jerry Mounts to succeed Charles Wheeler in Missouri’s 10th Senatorial District.
Rep. Brad Lager…

17 Senate Seats on Ballot in Tuesday Election

Polling places open at 6 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7 and remain open until 7 p.m. Typically, voter turnout is low for non-presidential election years, but county clerks across the state are forecasting record turnout tomorrow. For example, Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren predicts 65-percent of voters will cast ballots Tuesday. In non-presidential election years, voter turnout typically runs from 20-30-percent.
The high profile U.S. Senate race between incumbent Republican Jim Talent and Democratic challenger Claire McCaskill and Amendment 2, which would permit embryonic stem cell research in Missouri, are driving voter interest in the elections this year. Voters are also being asked to increase tobacco taxes (Amendment 3) and increase the minimum wage (Proposition B).
In the Missouri State Senate, 17 seats are on the ballot across the state, although two candidates face no formal opposition.
Incumbent Democratic Sen. Rita Heard Days, D-St. Louis, was not challenged in the primary and faces…

Senate Committees Wrapping Up Work

With just two months to go before the start of the First Regular Session of the 94th Missouri General Assembly, lawmakers will be spending a lot of attending committee hearings. The various committees are each tasked with studying a particular issue, gathering public testimony, drafting proposed legislation, and then issuing a report to the General Assembly.
For example, next week the Senate Administration Committee (link) and the Senate Interim Committee on Pandemic Preparedness (link) will meet November 9 in Jefferson City.
The Senate Administration Committee, chaired by Senate President Pro Tem Michael Gibbons (link), is meeting next Thursday in closed session to consider personnel matters.
The Senate Interim Committee on Pandemic Preparedness, chaired by Sen. Rob Mayer (link), is meeting next Thursday to hear a presentation by Dr. R. Gregory Evans, Director of the Institute for Biosecurity, Saint Louis University, School of Public Health. The public hearing begins at 10 a.m. in th…

Missouri Mental Health Task Force Holds Hearing Wednesday

Missouri Mental Health Task Force Holds Hearing Wednesday

The Missouri Mental Health Task Force will hold a public hearing in the Senate Lounge at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25.

(From the Missouri Mental Health Task Force website, click here.)
Mission Statement
“The charge of the Missouri Mental Health Task Force is to develop and propose long-term solutions to prevent abuse and neglect, assure thorough investigation of abuse and neglect allegations, and recommend actions to increase the safe delivery of mental health services for Missourians with disabilities.”
The Missouri Mental Health Task Force was formed at the direction of Governor Matt Blunt to oversee a cross-agency effort to address incidents of abuse and neglect and client deaths at Department of Mental Health facilities and community-based agencies.
The Missouri Mental Health Task Force, co-chaired by Lt. Governor Peter Kinder and Missouri Department of Mental Health Interim Director Ron Dittemore, met on July 11, 2006, at the Stat…

Joint Committee on Tax Policy to Meet Next Week

News & Blog

The Joint Committee on Tax Policy is comprised of five senators and five representatives and is authorized to meet throughout the year. The committee is charged with studying and analyzing current and proposed state tax policy as it relates to fairness and equity, economic impact, the burden on individuals and businesses, etc. To see the complete charge of the joint committee, click here.
The committee will hold its next public hearing Monday, Oct. 30 at the UMKC Conference Center at the Administrative Center on campus. The meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will cover sales/use taxes and tax credits and will include a public comment portion. The UMKC Conference Center is located at 5115 Oak Street, Plaza Room 2nd Floor, Kansas City.
To view the committee’s previous report, click here.
To visit the Joint Committee on Tax Policy website, click here.

Missouri Supreme Court Rules Portions of SB 1014 (Voter ID Bill) Unconstitutional

The Missouri Supreme Court on Monday ruled the new law requiring voters to show a photo ID before casting a ballot to be unconstitutional, upholding a lower court decision. The photo ID requirement was among the main provisions of Senate Bill 1014 (link) sponsored by Sen. Delbert Scott, R-Lowry City (bio).
Quoting from the Opinion, “The Court en banc holds (1) The trial court properly held that SB 1014’s photo ID requirement violates the equal protection clause of Article I, Section 2 of the state constitution. It also properly held that the photo ID requirement violates the right to vote as guaranteed by Article I, Section 25 of the state constitution, which provides more expansive and concrete protection to the right to vote that the federal constitution...SB 1014’s photo ID requirement fails to pass constitutional scrutiny because it creates a heavy burden on the fundamental right to vote and is not narrowly tailored to meet a compelling state interest.” For the complete Supreme Cou…

Underage Drinking Roundtable Held This Week

News & Blog

Underage Drinking Roundtable Held This Week

In 2005, lawmakers created new tools to combat underage drinking. August 28, 2006 marked the anniversary of new laws that increased and added penalties on underage drinking that are an attempt to help curb this growing epidemic.
Senate Bill 402 changed misdemeanor penalties to address both the possession and consumption of alcohol by minors. Under the act, a minor can be found guilty of a “minor in possession” if he or she is visibly intoxicated or has a blood alcohol content of more than .02. Any minor found guilty of a “minor in possession” now loses their driver’s license for 30 day for a first offense. The measure also prohibits adults from allowing minors to drink on their private property unless they are the minor’s legal guardian.
Senate Bill 402 was drafted with input from students, parents, community advocates, prosecutors and law enforcement officials. In an effort to determine the success of the new law in …

Senators to Promote English as Official Language

Senators to Promote English as Official Language

A group of Missouri Senators will hold news conferences on Friday, Oct. 6 to promote legislation for the 2007 session making English the official state language in Missouri. The draft legislation is identical to House Bill 1814, which was approved by the House and sent to the Senate during the 2006 session. The measure was referred to the Senate Pensions, Veterans’ Affairs and General Laws Committee in early May, but did not receive a hearing in those final two hectic weeks.
The act would require English to be the language of all official proceedings in Missouri, except those occasions where American Sign Language is used for the purpose of communication or education.
Senators Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, and Delbert Scott, R-Lowry City, are scheduled to discuss the proposed legislation at the Joplin Public Library at 11 a.m. October 6. They will be joined by Senators Norma Champion, R-Springfield, Jack Goodman, R-Mt. Vernon, and Dan Clemens,…

Interim Committee to Hold Field Hearing

Interim Committee to Hold Field Hearing

The Missouri Senate Interim Committee on the Cost of a College Education will hold a hearing next month in Joplin. The five-member committee is studying the role of state funding in higher education, considering alternative methods of funding a college education, and looking at the debt load college students are carrying. The panel will meet October 18 at the Billingsly Student Center, Room 310, Missouri Southern State University, 3950 E. Newman Road, Joplin, Missouri. The public hearing will begin at 1 p.m.. The charge of the interim committee and a list of members is posted below:

Missouri State Senate
Senate Interim Committee on the Cost of a College Education


Gary Nodler, 32nd, Chairman
Scott Rupp, 2nd
Charlie Shields, 34th
Frank Barnitz, 16th
Chuck Graham, 19th

Established pursuant to the Missouri Constitution.

The committee shall consist of five members, three Republicans and two Democrats, and will be responsible for reviewing…

Democrats Fail to Convince Colleagues to Hold Special Session

Democratic leaders in the Missouri House and Senate attempted to bring motions to the floors of their respective chambers during the annual Veto Session calling for a special session to partially reinstate the Medical Assistance for the Working Disabled or MAWD program.
In the Senate, Minority Floor Leader Maida Coleman (link), D-St. Louis, rose to speak on a point of personal privilege and tried to introduce a motion allowing lawmakers to call themselves into special session. Senate Majority Floor Leader Charlie Shields (link), R-St. Joseph, cited Article III, Sect. 32 of the Missouri Constitution (link) in arguing that lawmakers convened during the Veto Session could only consider bills vetoed by the governor. Senate President Pro Tem Michael Gibbons (link), R-Kirkwood, then ruled the motion out of order.
In the House, Minority Leader Jeff Harris (link), D-Columbia, tried to introduce a similar motion but was ruled out of order by House Speaker Rod Jetton (link), R-Marble Hill.

Missouri Senate to Honor Retiring Members

The Missouri Senate will convene at noon September 13th for the annual Veto Session. Governor Matt Blunt has vetoed line items in four appropriations bills (veto messages), but lawmakers are not expected to muster the two-thirds majority necessary to override the governor’s vetoes. The Veto Session will mark the final chapter in the Senate careers of four retiring members.
Sen. Patrick Dougherty, D-St. Louis, was elected to the Senate in a special election in 2001 and re-elected to a full term in the Senate in 2002. Dougherty is serving his last term in the legislature due to term limits (link, bio).
Sen. Charles Wheeler, D-Kansas City, the only physician serving in the upper chamber, was elected to the Senate in 2002 (link, bio). He retired from the Senate to pursue other elected office.
Sen. David Klindt, R-Bethany, was elected to the Senate in 2001 (link, bio). A farmer and rancher for over 30 years, Sen. Klindt has been named Vice President of the Association of Missouri Electric Coo…

Senate Hearings Scheduled for Week of Veto Session

Senate Hearings Scheduled for Week of Veto Session:

A number of Senate committees and Joint committees have scheduled hearings next week, when lawmakers will return to the Capitol for the annual Veto Session. If the governor vetoes a bill, it is returned to the house of origin with his objections. A two-thirds vote by members of both houses is required to override a governor's veto. To date, Governor Blunt has vetoed four line items in four appropriations bills, all of which originated in the House. To view the Veto Messages from the governor, click the following link:

Veto Messages

During the week of Sept. 11, the following committees will hold public hearings at the Capitol:

Committee: Senate Interim Committee on the Cost of a College Education
Date: Tuesday, September 12 Time: 10:00 AM Room: Senate Lounge

Committee: Joint Committee on Legislative Research
Date: Tuesday, September 12 Time: 2:00 PM Room: House Hearing Room 6
Quarterly business meeting. Some portions of the meeti…

New Laws Take Effect Today

New Laws Take Effect Today

Most legislation passed by the Missouri General Assembly and signed by the governor becomes effective today. About 130 news laws are on the books this year, including a measure requiring voters to present a photo I.D. before casting a ballot (SB 1014), legislation requiring drivers to move over when approaching emergency vehicles (SB 872), and legislation restricting the use of eminent domain (HB 1944).
The Missouri Constitution designates August 28th as the effective date of legislation signed into law by the governor, unless the measure contains an emergency clause (EC). Those bills become effective upon the governor’s signature, such as Senate Bill 578 restricting protests at funeral services, which took effect February 27th when Acting Governor Michael Gibbons, R-Kirkwood, signed the bill into law (SB 578).
For a complete list of legislation approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor, click the following link: 2006 Legislation.


Senate Interim Committee on Missouri State Public Defender System Adds Hearing

Senate Interim Committee on Missouri State Public Defender System Adds Hearing

The Senate Interim Committee on the Missouri State Public Defender System has scheduled an additional public hearing for Friday, August 25 in the Senate Lounge. The hearing will begin at noon. In testimony presented during the first public hearing on August 10, the acting director of the public defender system told senators the system is in crisis. To review a previous posting about the August 10 hearing, click the link:

The members of the committee and its charge are listed below:

Jack Goodman, 29th, Chairman
Michael Gibbons, 15th
Luann Ridgeway, 17th
Joan Bray, 24th
Chuck Graham, 19th
Established pursuant to the Missouri Constitution.
The committee shall consist of five members, three Republicans and two Democrats, and will be responsible for reviewing the current effectiveness of the Missour…

Senators Discuss Immigration Reform

In the August edition of Capitol Dialogue, two Missouri state senators discuss the impact of illegal immigration on the state and possible legislative solutions. Sen. Bill Alter, R-High Ridge, sponsored Senate Bill 1250 in the 2006 session. The measure would prohibit employers from hiring undocumented workers, prevent illegal immigrants from receiving state or local public assistance (except for state or local public assistance that is mandated by federal law), and it would allow state highway patrol officers to receive training in federal immigration law (Senate Bill 1250). SB 1250 was amended and approved by the Missouri Senate, but died in the House in the last week of session. Sen. Alter discusses immigration reform with Sen. Tim Green, D-Spanish Lake, in this month’s edition of Capitol Dialogue.
Hosted by Missourinet News Director Bob Priddy, Capitol Dialogue is a monthly 30-min. television program about the Missouri General Assembly. The program is broadcast by cable access a…

Missouri Senate Committee Hearings For Week of 080706

Missouri Senate Committee Hearings For Week of 080706
Senate Interim Committee on the Missouri State Public Defender System
Thursday, August 10 Time: 12:00 PM Room: Senate Lounge
The duties of the committee shall be:
1) To study the causes and implications of the significant increase in caseloads and to develop proposals to reduce the number of caseloads.
2) To review the standards and eligibility requirements for those to whom a public defender might be assigned.
3) To study attorney turnover rates, staffing and personnel issues, and compensation practices.
4) To evaluate the Missouri State Public Defender System's organizational practices including, but not limited to: overhead, office location, technology, and distribution of resources.
The committee shall be staffed by counsel from Senate Research and may hold public hearings at locations to be determined by the chairman. Reasonable, actual and necessary expenses of the committee shall be reimbursed by the Missouri Senate.
The commit…

Senate Committee Hearings for the Week of 07/31/06:

Committee: Joint Committee on Gaming and Wagering
Date: Monday, July 31 Time: 11:00 AM Room: Senate Lounge

Subject: Illegal Gaming Devices

The committee shall be responsible for, but not limited to, legislative review of all state authorized gaming and wagering activities including proposed constitutional and statutory changes or other pertinent information that may affect the integrity of these activities. The committee is authorized to meet and act year round, employ the necessary personnel within the limits of appropriations and to report its findings annually to the general assembly.

Committee: Joint Committee on Tax Policy
Date: Tuesday, August 1 Time: 10:30 AM Room: Teleconference Call
Subject: Consideration of FY 2007 JCTP Budget

It shall be the duty of the committee:
(1) To make a continuing study and analysis of the current and proposed tax policy of this state as it relates to:
(a) Fairness and equity;
(b) True economic impact;
(c) Burden on individuals and businesses;
(d) Effecti…

Lawmakers Continue to Work During Interim

A fair number of Missourians probably assume that once the annual legislative session ends in May, lawmakers return to the private sector for the rest of the year. While it is true that many lawmakers return to their “second” jobs as doctors, lawyers, or farmers, the duties and responsibilities of Missouri legislators continue throughout the year.
In the Missouri Senate, most members serve on one or more interim committees, which meet during the summer and fall to gather public input and draft legislation to be considered in the next session. The Senate Interim Committee on the Cost of a College Education, for example, will meet this summer to consider the role of the state in funding a college education for Missouri students. Committee members will examine how higher education is funded in this state and consider alternative funding structures, they will examine the mechanism by which tuition rates are set at Missouri institutions of higher learning, and they will study student inde…

Latest Senate Bills Signed by Governor Blunt

Latest Senate Bills Signed by Governor Blunt

7/12 SB 618 Provides that electronic access cards may be issued to custodial parents for disbursement of child support payments Koster
7/12 SB 641 Requires all contributions to the Missouri Higher Education Savings Program be held for twelve months Scott
7/12 SB 778 Raises fees for registration of boats, vessels Ridgeway
7/12 SB 834 Alters various provisions of the state's special education policy Nodler
7/12 SB 1146 Modifies the process for review of an administrative agency's decisions Ridgeway
7/10 SB 616 Prescribes requirements for assisted living facilities Stouffer
7/10 SB 840 Modifies the highway and bridge naming process Stouffer
7/10 SB 892 Modifies law relating to financial institutions Scott
7/10 SB 894 Renders multiple alterations to the state's education policy Nodler
7/10 SB 900 Modifies provisions on the Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Fund Shields
7/10 SB 1002 Allows the…

Latest Legislative News

A bill drafted and advanced by Sen. Pat Dougherty, D-St. Louis, expanding healthcare insurance coverage for Missourians has been signed into law by the governor.
Sen. Dougherty’s healthcare accessibility initiative makes insurance coverage more available and affordable for patients and employers by requiring health insurance companies to provide coverage for routine patient-care costs incurred as the result of phase II clinical trials undertaken to treat cancer. The law as it stood required coverage for clinical phases III or IV. Clinical trials help identify the best care for cancer patients and often lead to cures.
The bill represents the final piece of legislation Sen. Dougherty will handle over his 28-year legislative career due to term limits, which prevent him from serving longer.
The legislation also requires health insurers to charge only one co-payment on a prescription if the required single dosage is not available and a combination of dosage amounts must be dispensed to fill t…

Latest Senate Bills Signed by Governor Blunt

Latest Senate Bills Signed by Governor Blunt

6/30 SB 583 Emissions inspection program Griesheimer
6/30 SB 1023 Modifies the laws relating to DNA Profiling Analysis and resulting restitution Gibbons
6/30 SB 1189 Creates the Holocaust Education and Awareness Commission Gibbons
6/29 SB 667 Memorial Highways Engler
6/29 SB 701 Modifies educational assistance benefits for Missouri National Guard members Crowell
6/29 SB 749 Modifies minimum experience requirements for interior designer registration Engler
6/29 SB 756 Modifies requirements for licensing and registration of certain professionals Clemens
6/29 SB 819 Modifies licensure requirements for professional engineers and land surveyors Scott
6/29 SB 825 Investment District Koster
6/29 SB 828 Repeals the sunset provision for dental hygienists Scott
6/29 SB 830 Military Leave Ridgeway
6/29 SB 871 St. Louis City Retirement System Coleman
6/29 SB 872 "Move Over" Law Gibbons
6/29 SB…

More signed legislation by Gov. Blunt

Senate Bills Signed by Gov. Blunt

6/21 SB 612 Land conveyance Engler
6/21 SB 747 Car dealers Klindt
6/21 SB 845 Corporations Kennedy
6/21 SB 870 Appropriations payments Mayer
6/21 SB 893 Tax: corporate Scott
6/21 SB 964 Modifies provisions regarding the appointment and duties of assistant adjutant general Crowell
6/21 SB 1086 Police Officers Kennedy
6/21 SB 1122 Land conveyance Shields
6/21 SB 1165 Water pollution Klindt

Senate Bills signed by Governor Blunt

6/12 SB 580 - Shields - Creates a more effective education system
6/12 SB 614 - Stouffer - Income tax credit for contributions to residential treatment agencies
6/12 SB 645 - Griesheimer - Modifies the Missouri Business Use Incentive for large-Scale Development Act (BUILD)
6/12 SB 650 - Champion - Revises requirements for terms of government board of MO State University
6/12 SB 678 - Gross - Repeals the quarterly tax collections report requirement for temporary tax collection
6/12 SB 718 - Crowell - Revises the loan requirements be contingent on a borrower’s reliable means of repayment
6/12 SB 765 - Dougherty - Enacts provisions relating to emergency medical treatment
6/12 SB 822 -Gross - Nursing facility reimbursement allowance, and Medicaid managed care reimbursement allowance sunsets
6/12 SB 912 - Goodman - Authorizes establishment of virtual school
6/12 SB 919 - Scott - Rep…

Governor Signs Education Legislation

Governor Signs Education Legislation
June 06, 2006

Governor Matt Blunt today signed two bills that originated in the Missouri Senate which will enhance educational opportunities for Missouri students and achieve a more efficient and effective educational system.
Senate Bill 912, sponsored by Sen. Jack Goodman, R-Mount Vernon, requires the State Board of Education to establish a virtual public school by July 1, 2007. Any student in kindergarten through grade 12 may enroll in the virtual school, regardless of where that student lives. Supporters say the Internet-based school could be used by a variety of students — the sick, the disabled, home-schooled students, students who are failing in a traditional classroom or those who need a more challenging curriculum. Students will be allowed to enroll full time in the virtual school or take just a course or two.
Governor Blunt also signed Senate Bill 580, sponsored by Sen. Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, which requires collaboration among variou…

Selected Key Dates

Following are selected dates leading up to the next legislative session.

For more information on these dates, or on any legislative matter, call Senate Communications at: (800) 877-5982.

Or visit Senate Communications online at:

30 Constitutional Adjournment of the Year’s Regular Session.

30 2006 Fiscal Year Ends.

01 Secretary of the Senate Begins Accepting Bills.
01 2007 Fiscal Year Begins.
14 Last Day for the Governor to Veto Bills.

08 Primary Elections. (6 for Senate Seats)
28 Effective Date for (Most) Enacted Bills.

12 Veto Session Convenes, if one or more vetoes exist.

07 General Elections. (17 for Senate Seats)

01 Secretary of the Senate Begins Numbering Prefiled Bills.

January, 2007
03 First Regular Session of the 94th General Assembly Convenes.

Lawmakers Approve Voter ID, Ethanol Standard in Final Week

Campaign-finance reform, sex-offender legislation also passes

Jefferson City — In the final week of the legislative session, lawmakers worked late into the night on several occasions to compromise on and pass legislation before the 6 p.m. Friday deadline. One particularly contentious bill makes changes to state laws affecting voters.

The General Assembly gave final passage to Senate legislation requiring Missourians to submit a government-issued photographic identification card in order to vote. SB 1014 prohibits individuals from using paychecks, utility bills or bank statements as valid identification. The bill also requires the state to issue photo IDs to all citizens who cannot afford them.

SB 1014 contains several exemptions to the photo-ID requirement for the 2006 elections. Under the latest version, elderly and mentally and physically disabled Missourians, those with a “sincerely held” religious opposition to photo IDs, and individuals 65 or older can still vote in this year’s elec…

Lawmakers Agree on Bill Limiting Use of Eminent Domain

Legislation sets requirements for fair compensation

Jefferson City — Lawmakers from the Senate and House agreed to legislation modifying state laws on eminent domain.

The House bill tightens state law concerning the use of eminent domain. HB 1944 prohibits eminent domain from being used solely for economic development. The legislation also prohibits farmland from being considered “blighted.”

HB 1944 also requires factors such as fair market value and heritage value to be considered when deciding fair compensation for property taken through eminent domain. Those who have had their homes taken by a condemning authority are required to receive 25 percent more than the home’s value. Under the heritage value provision, homes, farms or businesses that have been in the same extended family for at least 50 years will automatically receive an additional 50 percent of the land’s value. The bill is on its way to the governor.

The General Assembly gave final approval to the budget for the fiscal year…

Senators Approve 10 percent Ethanol Requirement

House measure requires ethanol blend for gasoline by 2008

Jefferson City — Senators this week approved legislation requiring most gasoline sold in Missouri to contain a fuel additive derived from agricultural products.

After lengthy debate, which pitted members of the same party against each other, senators this week approved a House measure implementing a 10 percent ethanol standard for unleaded gasoline. House Bill 1270 requires the ethanol standard to be in place by Jan. 1, 2008. Jet fuel and premium gasoline are exempt from the measure, and the mandate would be suspended if ethanol blends cost more than regular unleaded gasoline. Ethanol is a motor fuel derived from agricultural products, most often corn.

Supporters of the bill say it will create new markets for farmers, temper increases in the cost of gasoline, reduce Missouri’s dependence on foreign sources of fuel and protect the environment. Opponents say the market, not state government, should decide whether the fuel additive i…

Missouri Senate Approves 10 percent Ethanol Standard

Measure requires regular gasoline to contain corn-based fuel additive

JEFFERSON CITY — Senators on Tuesday, April 25, approved legislation requiring most gasoline sold in Missouri to contain a renewable fuel derived from agricultural products.

After considerable debate between members of the same party, senators this week approved a House measure implementing a 10 percent ethanol standard for unleaded gasoline sold in Missouri. House Bill 1270 requires the ethanol standard to be in place by Jan. 1, 2008.

Ethanol is a motor fuel derived from certain agricultural products, such as corn. All motor vehicles manufactured since the 1970s can run on a 10 percent ethanol blend. Jet fuel and premium gasoline are exempt under HB 1270, and the mandate would be temporarily halted if ethanol blends cost more than regular unleaded gasoline.

Supporters of the bill say it will create new markets for farmers, temper increases in the cost of gasoline, reduce Missouri’s dependence on foreign sources of fuel…

Senate Advances Budget for 2007 Fiscal Year

Thirteen budget bills make up $20.8 billion spending plan

Jefferson City — The Senate this week approved the state budget after receiving the budget bills from the Senate Appropriations Committee. The budget, made up of House Bills 1001-1013, represents Missouri’s expected appropriations and revenues for the 2007 fiscal year, which begins July 1 of this year.

Lawmakers dedicated much of the latter half of the week to passing the approximately $20.8 billion budget, which is marked by a 4 percent pay raise for state employees and the return of some state health-care services compromised last year. Services that had been subject to appropriations last year, such as funding for eyeglasses and wheelchair accessories for adult Medicaid recipients, are now guaranteed.

Under the budget plan approved by the Senate, the Department of Social Services receives the most funding with an approximately $6.2 billion appropriation. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is due to get $5 bill…

Senate Approves Medicaid, Development Reforms

Bills target Medicaid providers and limit use of TIF

Jefferson City — The Missouri Senate this week approved bills to reduce Medicaid fraud at the provider level and tighten tax breaks for developers.

Senate Bill 1210, which received final approval, enhances penalties against health-care providers who commit Medicaid fraud and offers financial incentives to whistleblowers. Under the legislation, penalties for first-time and repeat offenders are increased, those who defraud the system are prohibited from participating in the system and offenders must serve at least 85 percent of their prison sentence. The bill also implements felony penalties against those who willfully obstruct Medicaid-fraud investigations. Further, individuals who come forward to identify instances of Medicaid fraud are allowed to keep a portion of the money recovered from any subsequent investigations. The legislation is on its way to the House for similar consideration.

Senators this week gave initial approval to leg…

Senate Reforms Medical Malpractice, Expands No-Call List

Controversial cable bill is withdrawn by sponsor

Jefferson City — In a week marked by the withdrawal of one of this year’s most controversial bills, the Missouri Senate took to work on several bills that have not seen many headlines. The sponsor of Senate Bill 816 pulled the legislation, which would have affected how cable and telephone companies compete in cable markets, after lawmakers this week failed to come to a compromise on specific provisions. The Senate went on to pass bills modifying medical malpractice and telemarketing laws.

SB 905, which received final passage from the Senate this week, requires companies that provide medical malpractice insurance to receive state approval for rates. Under the bill, insurers must report rate information to the state insurance director so the Department of Insurance can publish a rate comparison. SB 905 states that rates are not allowed be excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory. The legislation also strengthens penalties against co…