Final Legislative Report - 2016

    MSPE Weekly Legislative Report


    FINAL DAYS OF SESSION OVERVIEW: The override of the Governor’s veto on the so-called “paycheck protection” bill, legislation that would require public employees to annually agree to have union dues and fees withheld from their checks consumed much of the Senate’s time in the final week of session.  As votes were counted and caucus meetings held, the vote to override finally came to the floor on Thursday evening.  The result, after hours of debate, was that the Republicans failed achieve the 23 votes necessary with two Republicans joining the Democrats in defeating the override attempt.  

    The House, by contrast, was machine-like last Friday and took up and passed 41 House, Senate, conference committee substitutes, and resolutions on the last day of session. In all, the House introduced 1,457 bills of which 81 were Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed. The Senate introduced 583 bills of which 57 were Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed. The House introduced 59 House Joint Resolutions and passed 1 and the Senate introduced 28 Senate Joint Resolutions, none of which passed. 

    Key dates to remember are July 14th, the Governor’s deadline to sign or veto a bill and August 28th, the effective date for bills that do not contain an emergency clause or have a future effective date.  Veto Session will convene September 14th and bill filing opens December 1st


    • Three ethics reform bills that: 1) provide for a cooling off period before a legislator can become a registered lobbyist; 2) prohibit legislators and statewide officeholders from acting as political consultants; 3) mandate that departing legislators dissolve campaign accounts and donate the funds to charity, return funds to contributors or transfer funds to a party committee.

    • Education legislation that reforms the K-12 school foundation funding formula (vetoed by Governor Nixon and overridden by the General Assembly).

    • Voter Identification at the polling place. The legislature passed a constitutional amendment to be voted on in November requiring a government-approved voter ID and passed implementation legislation that is contingent upon passed of the constitutional amendment. The implementing legislation provides that a voter may sign an affidavit affirming that he or she is who they purport to be and be permitted to vote.

    • Two tort reform measures, one that clarifies the definition of expert witnesses and one that provides for collateral source damages. 


    • Legislation that would repeal the earnings tax in Kansas City and St. Louis fizzled after voters in the two cities voted to extend that tax.

    • Ethics legislation banning or restricting gifts from lobbyists to legislators.

    • Legislation that would submit to the voters a ballot issue raising the gas tax by 5.9 cents passed the Senate but died in the House.

    • Comprehensive legislation designed to create a statewide system of 9-1-1 emergency communications with funding options failed to pass the Senate. 

    Bills of Interest to MSPE that Passed this Session 

    SS#2 HCS HB 1717 -- WATER SYSTEMS  

    The bill modifies the term "water resource project" to mean a project containing planning, design, construction, or renovation of public water supply, flood control storage, or treatment or transmission facilities for public water supply. The bill changes the name of the "Multipurpose Water Resource Program Renewable Water Program Fund" to the "Multipurpose Water Resource Program Fund." The Department of Natural Resources is required to establish rules by which water resource project sponsors can remit contributions to the fund. Any plan submitted to the Director of the Department of Natural Resources for the construction of a water resource project must include a schedule, proposed by the sponsor, to remit contributions back to the fund. The contributions are to be used to administer the fund and to provide financial assistance under the Multipurpose Water Resource Program. 

    The bill requires public water systems under Chapter 640, RSMo, and water supply districts under Chapter 247 to notify the Department of Health and Senior Services, Department of Natural Resources, and its customers, at least 90 days prior to any meeting held at which a vote to modify the fluoridation of water in the system or district will occur. If the water system is an investor-owned water supply, the entity calling for the modifications is responsible for the meeting and the notice requirements. 

    The Department of Natural Resources must provide any municipality or community currently served by a wastewater treatment system with information regarding options to upgrade the existing lagoon system to meet discharge requirements. The information must include available advanced technologies including biological treatment options. The municipality or community, or a third party it hires, may conduct an analysis, including feasibility and cost, of available options to meet the discharge requirements. If upgrading or expanding the existing system is feasible, cost effective and will meet the discharge requirements, the department must allow the entity to implement the option. This bill contains an emergency clause.  


    The section within the bill of interest to you is: 


    This bill also adds building officials and building inspectors employed by local governments, who are qualified by training and experience, who have been certified by the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), and who perform their duties under the direction of a licensed architect or engineer to the list of volunteers for the emergency volunteer program to be administered by SEMA in the event of a disaster. Volunteers may offer their services or equipment for up to five consecutive days for in-state deployments. Volunteers will help local jurisdictions determine whether affected structures may remain occupied, must be restricted in use, or must be unoccupied pending demolition. Such volunteers shall be immune from liability for any acts committed in the performance of their official duties unless such acts constituted willful misconduct or gross negligence. 

    Enrolled volunteers shall be provided Workers' Compensation Insurance by SEMA during their official duties, and emergency volunteers who are certified by SEMA shall be considered employees of the state for purposes of the Emergency Mutual Aid Compact and shall be eligible for out-of-state deployments.

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