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    State Legislative Update

    MSPE Weekly Legislative Report

    5-02-16

    GENERAL WEEKLY OVERVIEW Last week saw over 100 House amendments added to Senate bills being debated on the House floor in a desperate effort to address House bills that are stalled in the Senate and running out of time. With just two weeks left in session, we anticipate that this week will be much the same. The Senate continues in a slower pace to pass House bills and the calendar continues to grow relating to House bills for Third Reading.  As of this report, there are thirty House bills on the Formal Senate Calendar – House Bills for Third Reading and thirty-four bills on the Senate Informal Calendar – House Bills for Third Reading.  Another nineteen bills were second read and assigned to committees on Thursday. As we near the end of session, House and Senate conference committees will be meeting to work out differences between the two chambers’ additions to bills.

    IN THE NEWS 

    • Amid rumors of a deal being cut between Senate Republicans and Democrats, the Senate this week took up and debated the controversial issue of requiring a governmentally-issued photo ID to vote at the polls (SCS/HB 1631). Senate sponsor Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit) encountered a filibuster of different dimension as several Democrats took turns criticizing and attempting to amend the bill. After six hours of debate, the bill was laid over on to the informal calendar and Kraus never introduced the Senate floor substitute that represented the presumed negotiated deal. Expect to hear more about this issue in the next two weeks.

    • SJR 39, the so-called “religious liberty act” was defeated by a tie vote in the House Emerging Issues Committee. The constitutional amendment would provide liability protections to clergy and merchants who do not wish to participate in same-sex marriages. This legislation could have had adverse economic impact to the Missouri economy if it had passed.

    • Governor Jay Nixon signed the Missouri General Assembly’s appropriation bill relating to Missouri’s institutions of higher learning. The bill (HB 2003) provides $37.2 million in increased funding (a 4% increase over 2016 funding) and comes with an understanding the state’s public institutions of higher learning will not increase tuition rates. This is the only appropriation bill approved by the Governor to date. He must act to sign or line-item vetoes all the appropriation bills by May 6.

    HOUSE FLOOR ACTION

    WORKERS’ COMPENSATION:  The House took up HCS SB 700, sponsored by Sen. Dave Schatz (R-Sullivan) and handled by Rep. Dean Dohrman (R-LaMonte). Currently, the uniform experience rating plan of workers' compensation insurance must prohibit an adjustment to the experience modification of an employer if the total medical cost does not exceed $1,000, the employer pays all of the medical costs, there is no lost time from the employment (subject to exceptions), and no claim is filed. This act changes the medical cost amount limit to 20% of the current split point of primary and excess losses under the uniform experience rating plan.  The act further provides that, for purposes of calculating the premium credit under the Missouri contracting classification premium adjustment program, an employer within the construction group of code classifications may submit to the advisory organization the required payroll record information for the first, second, third, or fourth calendar quarter of the year prior to the workers' compensation policy beginning or renewal date, provided the employer clearly indicates for which quarter the payroll information is being submitted.  During debate two amendments were adopted which made the following changes: 

    • Clarifies language regarding architects and engineers worker’s compensation liability when used by SEMA during times of natural disasters and updates language clarifying funds sources for volunteer firefighter associations (MSPE priority legislation)

    • Exempts volunteers for veteran service organizations

    The bill was Third Read and Passed with 114 ayes and 32 noes.  The bill now returns to the Senate for their concurrence or the bill will be sent to conference to negotiate the differences between the chambers.

    EMERGENCY RESPONDERS:  The House took up HCS SS SB 732, sponsored by Sen. Brian Munzlinger (R-Clarence) and handled by Rep. Shawn Rhoads (R-West Plains). This act modifies numerous provisions relating to public safety. During debate almost twenty amendments were adopted. An amendment of particular interest is:

    • Clarifies language regarding architects and engineers worker’s compensation liability when used by SEMA during times of natural disasters and updates language clarifying funds sources for volunteer firefighter associations; (MPSE priority legislation)

    The bill was Third Read and Passed with 100 ayes and 46 noes.  Senator Munzlinger has requested that the bill be sent to a conference committee to work out the differences between the two chambers. 

    For more information on this week's report click here

     

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    MSPE CONVENTION 2016

    REGISTER NOW FOR MSPE'S 2016 ANNUAL CONVENTION !!

     

    Plan to be part of MSPE's 79th Annual Convention on June 12-15, 2016 at The Lodge at Old Kinderhook in Camdenton, Mo.

     "MAKE IT PERSONAL" by participating in all or some of the activities outlined on the Schedule of Events.  (See Page 2 of the Registration Brochure)

    Special Family Events and participatory activities are planned along with the Order of the Engineer ceremony, society business meetings, MSPE's Annual Banquet and 11-hours of PDH opportunities.

    Friday, June 3, 2016 is the deadline to register for the special convention packages.  Registrations after June 3, 2016 will ONLY be accepted for PDH sessions through the a la carte registration.  Click to open:

    2016 Convention Registration Brochure

     

     

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