JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — This week, the Missouri House of Representatives got down to business, passing 23 bills. The legislation included fairly nonpartisan efforts, a senior’s farmers market program and mutual aid with Oklahoma and Kansas, and hotly debated topics such as Rep. Bruce DeGroot’s “Asbestos Bankruptcy Transparency Act.”
Rep. Jay Barnes’ HB 1618 enables pharmacies to set up controlled substance take-back bins. He argued that there is no good way for people to dispose of unused prescription drugs.
Barnes called this one a “tool in the toolbox to fighting the opioid epidemic.” The measure was passed in a 147-4 vote and an emergency clause was added in a 139-13 vote.
One of the more heavily debated bills was Rep. Nick Schroer’s HB 1265. This measure requires that candidates filing for office use their legal last name or their maiden name.
“This is a common-sense piece of legislation,” Schroer said. “It increases transparency.”
Rep. Deb Lavender argued that there is already a process in place to deal with this and that to use a non-legal name, that person has to provide proof that is the name they are known by in their community. Rep. Rocky Miller disputed the point, pointing out that he recently filed for re-election and didn’t have to prove that’s the name he was known by.
“The name I filed with is completely different than the one on my driver’s license,” Miller said, who supports the legislation.
In a 125-26 vote, the legislation is moving forward.
Rep. Jason Chipman’s HB 1679 enjoyed broad support on both sides of the aisle, passing with a 143-2 vote.
The bill prohibits public colleges from requiring a student with a medically documented food allergy or sensitivity to purchase a meal plan.
“If you got a food allergy and go to college, they aren’t gonna make you buy food you can’t eat,” Chipman said.
Supporters say that it is unfair to force students who can’t eat the food to purchase the meal plan. It was pointed out that some colleges are making accommodations for those with dietary limitations.
The bill that sparked a lot of debate on the floor was DeGroot’s “Asbestos Bankruptcy Transparency Act.” Even with some Republican opening speaking in opposition, the bill passed 96-48.
Other bills passed:
- HB 1250, sponsored by Rep. Dean Plocher, establishes the Missouri Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, which allows fiduciaries to access electronic records of the account holder
- HB 1358, sponsored by Rep. Charlie Davis, prohibits employers, educational institutions, and landlords from requiring personal online account access and information as a condition of employment, enrollment in a college or university, or residency.
- HB 1442, sponsored by Rep. Justin Alferman, sets a 60-day time limit for the Governor to fill a vacancy in the Office of County Commissioner with the advice and consent of the Senate. The vacancies filled by appointment will be held by the appointee for the remainder of the term.
- HB 1456, sponsored by Rep. Jeanie Lauer, changes the laws regarding funding for emergency 911 services, administration of 911 funding, Missouri 911 Service Board, and the cooperation and contracting between emergency services providers.
- HB 1525, sponsored by Rep. Donna Pfautsch, creates an infraction and subsequent class A misdemeanor offense for failure to register with the State Treasurer, prior to entering into an agreement to recover lost property from the treasurer for a third party.
- HB 1613, sponsored by Rep. Mike Kelley, allows Missouri driver’s license applicants to elect to have a medical alert notation placed on the person’s driver’s license
- HB 1623, sponsored by Rep. Travis Fitzwater, establishes a statewide STEM career awareness program and creates new provisions of law related to computer science.
- HB 1625, sponsored by Rep. Lynn Morris, establishes the Missouri Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program to provide low-income seniors with fresh, Missouri-grown produce.
- HB 1646, sponsored by Rep. J. Eggleston, modifies provisions relating to landowners’ obligation to control brush adjacent to county roads
- HB 1797, sponsored by Rep. Travis Fitzwater, establishes the Nuclear Power Plant Security Guard Act
- HB 1868, sponsored by Rep. Mike Kelley, establishes a statewide hearing aid distribution program for low-income individuals.
- HB 1892, sponsored by Rep. Kenneth Wilson, changes residency requirement for an undersheriff or deputy sheriff to a bona fide resident of this state or of an adjoining state.
- HB 1895, sponsored by Rep. Jim Neely, specifies that no investigation is required for a death that occurs under hospice care.
- HB 1947, sponsored by Rep. Justin Alferman, changes the requirement for fourth class cities to sell municipally-owned utility from a two-thirds vote to a simple majority of residents.
- HB 2062, sponsored by Rep. Bill White, allows law enforcement agencies located in the Joplin area to request assistance from agencies in other jurisdictions, including some jurisdictions located in Kansas and Oklahoma.
- HB 2079, sponsored by Rep. Dan Houx, establishes the “Missouri State Coroners’ Training Fund” and creates a $1 fee for all death certificates issued in the state, which will be deposited into the fund.
- HB 2102, sponsored by Rep. Shawn Rhoads, changes the laws regarding property classifications for zoning so that sawmills are classified as agricultural property
- HB 2104, sponsored by Rep. Keith Frederick, restricts the use of cell-site simulator devices. The body failed to adopt an emergency clause.
- HB 2110, sponsored by Rep. Don Rone, increases the reward a county commission may offer for the apprehension of a felon from $500 to $100,000.
- HB 2116, sponsored by Rep. Robert Ross, exempts certain types of vessels from provisions prohibiting passengers from riding in certain areas of a motorboat
HB 2238, sponsored by Rep. Kirk Mathews, establishes the “Social Innovation Grant Program” to find alternative solutions for serving the state’s vulnerable populations.
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at firstname.lastname@example.org.