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Final week in the House: Wednesday, May 13


During the last week of the session, The Missouri Times will bring you updates of floor activity for each chamber. Below is all the activity in the House from Wednesday, May 13. For live updates on the Senate, click here.

The House adjourned at 6:56 p.m.

SB 782, vote reconsidered

The bill that was earlier third read and passed is being reconsidered before moving on to the Senate due to a mistake in a House amendment. The measure was agreed to be reconsidered by the body by a vote of 138-7.

The amendment fixing the issue was adopted along with its underlying alternation.

The House once again third read and passed the amended bill by a vote of 118-27.

SB 552, emergency clause taken up

An emergency clause was introduced immediately after passage that would make the new rules allowing for COVID-19 as a reason to vote absentee to be active prior to the August election. The clause was met with contention and heated debate on the floor, with point-of-orders being called twice. It includes a provision citing candidacy filing as a reason to put the bill into practice as quickly as possible, though the deadline for filing was in March. It was pointed out in debate that independent filing has a later deadline, and the clause came to a vote.

The clause was approved by a vote of 132-17.

SB 552,  third read and passed as amended

Discussion on the bill resumed after the brief recess.

The House third read and passed the bill with a vote of 105-45.

At 5:22 p.m., the House recessed. It reconvened at 5:58 p.m.

SB 552, provisions related to elections, sent to Fiscal Review

This bill would make alterations to the preservation of records, provisions on restrictions for state employees, legislative lobbyists, and absentee voting during the pandemic, among other elections issues.

HA 1 from Rep. Dan Shaul, and an amendment to it from Rep. Dan Stacy, were adopted. The underlying amendment added further provisions for clarity. It drew heated debate between the handler and Rep. Deb Lavender, who questioned details on the need to acquire notarization and methods of proof of identification to be allowed to vote.

Two more amendments were adopted, clarifying language and adding provisions to expand access granted in the bill.

The bill was sent to Fiscal Review.

SB 782, transportation, passed as amended

This bill would change provisions on vehicle registration, license renewals, industrial manufacturing zones, and other transportation issues.

HA 1, from Rep. Jeff Knight, dealt with tax credits for wood energy producers. Rep. Becky Ruth’s HA 2 would remove various sections in an effort to cut costs. Both were adopted.

A total of eight amendments further defining terms and adding protections, traffic laws, specialized license plates, and highway names were adopted.

The House third read and passed the bill by a vote of 118-18.

HB 1693, PDMP, third read and passed

Rep. Holly Rehder’s bill, known as the “Narcotics Control Act,” establishes a state-wide prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP). Missouri is the only state not to have a statewide PDMP but has smaller-scale versions in Kansas City and St. Louis. Rehder has advocated for this program in the House for eight sessions.

It was sent to conference by the House during session on Monday after failing to concur with the Senate’s amendments. It was referred to Fiscal Review after conference and has returned to the House floor.

Debate covered concerns over privacy, HIPPA laws, hacking, insurance, and how the information would be used.

The House third read and passed the bill by a vote of 94-59.

SJR 38, legislature influence, TAFP

This joint resolution would modify provisions that regulate the legislature’s influence over partisan or special interests. The resolution would make changes to Clean Missouri and further regulate lawmaker-lobbyist relations by banning lobbyist gifts to legislators altogether and lower campaign contribution limits.

Auditor could have say in Clean Missouri 2.0 ballot language

It currently does not include a fiscal note for the ballot langauge, meaning that if it passes, a fiscal note would be up to State Auditor Nicole Galloway.

Floor debate began with HA 1, from Rep. Curtis Trent, which would allow only citizens of the U.S. to vote in elections to the General Assembly and clarify exclusions to eligible voters. After an hour of debate, the amendment was withdrawn.

Contention surrounding Clean Missouri and additions to the resolution dominated the back-and-forth from representatives on all sides. The bill has been controversial with the public as well as within the body since its introduction, having been filibustered for nearly 12 hours in the Senate earlier in the year.

Debate over the bill was extensive and included passionate discussion covering the legitimacy of the issue in the time of a pandemic, gerrymandering, partisanship in actions meant to be nonpartisan, conflicts along party lines, and racial representation and power in the voting process.

“I’m not gonna sit idly by as Missourians get run over by billionaires and special interests,” said the House handler, Rep. Dean Plocher.

After three hours of debate, the House voted. It was truly agreed to and finally passed with a vote of 98-58.

HB 1768, communications services, third read and passed

This bill would mandate the Department of Economic Development to maintain a record of federal grants to be used for rural broadband expansion.

The House third read and passed the bill by a vote of 143-3.

House gavels in at 10:05 a.m.

The legislative day officially got underway shortly after 10 a.m. with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. The chamber then approved the House journal from May 12, 2020.