Parson vetoes two bills, one resolution


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Governor of Missouri used his veto power on two bills on Friday rejecting the establishment of treatment court divisions and changes to STEM initiatives. The statue of Thomas Hart Benton will also not be replaced with a Harry S. Truman in the Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol.

Gov. Mike Parson vetoed SB 894, HB 2562, and SCR 50 on July 13, 2018. Other than line items in budget bills, these are the first measures from the 2018 legislative session to be rejected.

In a statement, Parson’s office said, “The governor will be reaching out and meeting with House and Senate leadership next week to explore options and discuss efforts to address veto concerns.”

SB 894, sponsored by Sen. Doug Libla, modified multiple provisions relating to education curriculum involving science and technology.

The bill would have created the “STEM Career Awareness Program” to increase STEM career awareness among students in grades six through eight. It would have created a STEM fund for companies that hire STEM students for internships. The measure would also have created a “Career Readiness Course Task Force.”

Also vetoed was Rep. Kevin Austin’s HB 2562. The bill would have establishes treatment court divisions, which include, but are not limited to Adult Treatment Court, Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Court, Family Treatment Court, Juvenile Treatment Court, and Veterans Treatment Court.

The bill included a provision that in a claim against a health care provider for damages for malpractice or negligence when the defendant is served after the statute of limitation has expired, if such service is not made within 180 days of filing the petition, the court shall dismiss the action.
Within the bill was reforms to the private probation system. Private probation entities would have been require to use the cutoff concentrations utilized by the Department of Corrections with regard to drug and alcohol screening.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 50 was also rejected. The legislation would have removed statue of former U.S. Sen. Thomas Hart Benton in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall in order to make room for one of the nation’s 33rd president.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, this veto was because of a paperwork mix-up. The legislation that approved the statue switch wrongly described which Benton would be replaced.

It is unclear how the language of the bill got the two Benton’s confused — Thomas Hart Benton was the great-great uncle of the famed mural painter by the same name. The version the General Assembly voted on in May appeared to have been corrected.

Parson said the bill he vetoed described the painter and not Senator, according to the Post-Dispatch.