This week in the Senate: April 8-April11

the senate chamber

By Collin Reischman:

 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The state Senate passed a handful of bills this week, while a major chunk of the body spent a significant amount of time in committee as the Senate Appropriations Committee considered its fiscal year 2014 budget.

Nonetheless, here are some of the highlights:

HJR 11: The Senate, after long debate, third read and passed this proposed constitutional amendment which would, upon voter approval, prohibit the state from enacting any law that would prohibit the state from infringing on the rights of farmers and ranchers. An amendment, which provided for language allowing Missouri citizens to continue to engage in the democratic process via ballot initiatives was attached, scoring a major victory for animal rights, food safety and environmental concerns. Keep an eye out, as we’re working on a story for this coming issue on this legislation.

SB 252: This bill sponsored by Sen. Will Kraus, R-Kansas City, would prohibit the Department of Revenue from copying and collecting certain documents, a source of much controversy in the legislature the last few weeks. The bill moved through the Rules Committee and, after several amendments were successfully attached on the floor, was referred to the Senate Government Accountability and Fiscal Oversight committee.

SB 87: Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, moved his bill protecting the rights of mothers to breastfeed through the chamber successfully. The bill reinforces that breastfeeding in a public or private place where shall not constitute sexual misconduct or public indecency. The bill also permits that nursing mothers may be excused from jury service with appropriate documentation from her physician.

SB 267: Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, moved his bill through third reading on Thursday. It is, according to Nieves, the 29th version of the bill. The legislation creates the “Civil Liberties Defense Act,” which forbids any court from issuing a ruling based on foreign law which is “inconsistent or repugnant” to the Missouri or United States Constitution.