JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed four more bills into law, but some members of the General Assembly are asking what’s taking so long in regard to the other bills still waiting on his desk.
The governor on Thursday signed SB 8, SB 222, SB 225, and SB 240 into law on Thursday.
SB 8, sponsored by Sen. Brian Munzlinger, decreases government regulations for Missouri loggers and log haulers by giving them the freedom to haul additional forest products outside the 100-mile restriction. This bill also allows Missouri farmers to drive on state highways at night with properly lighted machinery during harvest season.
SB 222, sponsored by Sen. Jeanie Riddle, improves public safety for utility workers by expanding Missouri’s Slow Down/Move Over law to include utility vehicles and also allows for additional superior lighting on utility vehicles that will keep workers safe on the job site.
SB 225, sponsored by Sen. Dave Schatz, closes a loophole in Missouri’s DUI laws and honors veterans by allowing those who have received the Distinguished Service Cross commendation to park at public colleges for free.
SB 240, also sponsored by Sen. Schatz, establishes statewide licensing for electrical contractors in order to promote competition and fairness. This bill maintains strict and high standards to ensure safety and preserve local building code enforcement.
But despite the governor’s recent signatures, members of the legislature are asking how long the Governor’s Office intends to wait before signing the rest of the bills.
A number of legislators show some concern as to whether the Governor will sign off on the budget bills before the start of the fiscal year, a little more than 24 hours away.
Still, others ask when he will sign off on some of the tort reform measures, or whether he will sign or veto the controversial SB 43.
Rep. Becky Ruth wonders if or when the Governor will take action on SB 50, a bill on which she worked to include her newborn screening language
“SB 50 is sitting on the Governor’s desk, along with other bills, awaiting his signature. I know that it has gone through the process, and the Department of Health and Senior Services has recommended that it be signed,” Ruth said. “I just can’t imagine why anyone would be opposed to such a great bipartisan bill. It’s going to save the lives of babies in our state.”
She says she has been in regular contact with the Governor’s Office to check on the status of the bill and says she does not know what the delay is. She says that she has heard that they are looking very closely at the bill, but has also heard that there may be some issues with the bill language.
Greitens’ press secretary Parker Briden says that they still look forward to signing many bills and that the fact that a bill has not been signed yet shouldn’t be taken as an indication that they will not sign it.
Another factor here is that SB 50 did not make it to the Governor’s desk without a number of changes and amendments, and as Briden stated, the Governor’s legislative team is trying to go through each bill very carefully.
The bill passed the Senate with a unanimous 33-0 vote, and also cleared the House with 138 votes to 10 dissenting, so if for some reason the Governor does not sign off on SB 50, then the legislature would still have more than enough votes to override said veto.
As with all of the bills, excluding the budget bills, the Governor has until July 14th to sign them.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.