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Final Week in the Senate: Thursday, 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 Senate from Thursday, May 13. For live updates on the House, click here.

The Senate recessed at 4 a.m. until 10 a.m Friday. 

SB 43, health care, up for third reading 

The underlying language of the bill allows Medicaid to cover hearing aids for children under 18 years of age. The bill also includes a one-year extension of the state’s federal reimbursement allowances (FRA), a controversial topic in the upper chamber.

Sen. Bob Onder made a motion to go to conference to reinstate language preventing the use of the funds for abortions. Sponsor Sen. Bill White opposed it, crossing swords with critic Sen. Paul Wieland on when life begins.

The conversation got heated after Wieland said White was not pro-life, an accusation he vehemently opposed.

Wieland and Onder are holding the floor, speaking against the attempt to pass the provision.

The motion was adopted 16-14.

HB 850, elections, third read 

The bill passed 22-10.

SB 520, memorial infrastructure, third read and passed

The bill would name several highways, including one in honor of retired Officer David Dorn, who was fatally shot while providing security for a local pawn and jewelry store in the city during the protests brought on by the murder of George Floyd last year. Additional memorials were added in the House.

An amendment from Rep. John Simmons would name part of Interstate 55 after Rush Limbaugh, leading to controversy in the lower chamber.

The bill passed 32-0.

SB 153 and 97, taxation, third read and passed

Sen. Andrew Koenig moved for the conference committee report to be adopted.

The bill would allow the state to impose a sales tax on online purchases made through vendors with a physical presence in the state, known as a Wayfair tax — a practice adopted by most other states. The bill would also phase out video service provider fees, modify the use tax economic nexus, and enact a Voluntary Firefighter Cancer Benefits Trust.

It also includes a .1 percent income tax cut.

The bill passed 25-4. An emergency clause was adopted.

SB 26, public safety, third read

The bill is a pared back version of a large public safety bill covering police funding, creating the offense of unlawful traffic interference, criminalizing the vandalism of monuments, and creating the Law Enforcement Bill of Rights, among a bevy of other public safety measures.

Sen. Steven Roberts said sponsor Sen. Bill Eigel worked with him and other members across the aisle to make compromises.

Sen. Paul Wieland is walking through all of the remaining amendments with the members who drafted them.

The bill passed 23-9. 

HB 661, motor vehicles, third read with emergency clause

The bill was referred to GAFO Thursday before recess. It passed 29-3. An emergency clause was adopted 28-4.

SB 86, elections, third read and passed

The underlying bill deals with the use of public funds by a school district for political purposes, among other provisions. The conference committee substitute changed caps for the state’s educational assistance organizations (ESOs), reducing the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program cap to $25 million from $50 million.

The bill passed the House Tuesday, with Rep. Phil Christofanelli amending his already passed ESA legislation through an amendment.

Sen. Paul Wieland rotated through inquiries of his Republican colleagues, decrying a perceived lack of prioritization of majority issues and settling in to delay “bad stuff.” Wieland specifically pointed to the state’s federal reimbursement allowance (FRA), an issue facing a deadline for renewal and a contentious topic in the upper chamber.

Capitol Briefs: FRA extension passes House as amendment

After 40 minutes on the report, the motion passed 27-5. It was third read and passed by the same vote, with three votes taking place due to Wiemann’s requests for verification.


The Senate went into recess at 10:02 p.m. until 12:01 a.m.

HB 661, commercial vehicles, referred to GAFO

Rep. Becky Ruth‘s sweeping transportation bill was taken up. Sen. Justin Brown offered a Senate substitute for this House bill which includes a myriad of provisions.

Sen. Bob Onder inquired to make sure provisions regarding emissions standards for some counties were included. Brown told him that they were included in the bill, and this version of the bill is a “good compromise”. Brown also emphasized his gratitude to Sen. Lincoln Hough for handling the bill in his absence on Tuesday.

Before the body voted on the bill, Senate Presdient Pro Tem Dave Schatz sent the bill to the Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee.

SB 44, third read and passed

Sen. Paul White’s SB 44, which has a number of utility provisions, was passed by a vote of 23-10.

HBs 85, SAPA, third read and passed, emergency clause

Before the bill was laid over earlier this afternoon, Sen. Lauren Arthur offered an amendment to close the domestic violence gun loophole that exists in Missouri when the state expanded concealed carry in 2016. Reps. Tracy McCreery and Ron Hicks have worked on the issue this year in the House.

Arthur’s amendment would prevent someone convicted of domestic violence from owning a firearm. Conservatives sought to label it a “red flag law” which allows family members or law enforcement to ask a court to take away someone’s firearms if deemed a threat to themselves or others. However, her amendment only deals with stripping someone of a firearms who has been convicted of domestic violence.

Debate over that provision continues. Sen. Greg Razer asked, “Is the body more pro-life or more pro-Second Amendment?”

Arthur’s amendment failed by a voice vote.

The underlying bill passes by a vote of 22-10, with the emergency clause passing by a vote of 24-10 after some procedural confusion.

HB 734, utilities, third read and passed 

Sen. Dan Hegeman invoked Rule 91 to be excused from voting on the bill.

The bill was third read and passed 33-0.

The Senate reconvenes

The Senate came back from recess at 4:20 p.m.

COVID liability bill advances

Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer‘s SB 51, adding COVID liability protections, passed out of a House rules committee today, setting it up to be TAFP’d in the lower chamber.

The Senate is in recess 

HBs 85, SAPA, informal calendar

Sen. Eric Burlison brings up the Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA), decrying “tyrannical government.” He said there is a “trend around the nation” of law enforcement officers not feeling as though they could adequately do their jobs.

Sponsored by Rep. Jered Taylor, the bill would allow state gun laws to supersede federal regulations, including ones enacted after the bill’s effective date. The bill passed the House with an amendment that would also require those who knowingly deprive a Missouri citizen of those rights to be liable for redress for more than $50,000, with police departments liable for the actions of officers violating the act.

The bill was one of the first to progress through the House in February and made it out of the Senate General Laws Committee in April and the Government Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee earlier this month. 

Sen. Lauren Arthur offered an amendment to close the domestic violence gun loophole that exists in Missouri when the state expanded concealed carry in 2016. Reps. Tracy McCreery and Ron Hicks have worked on the issue this year in the House.

Arthur’s amendment would prevent someone convicted of domestic violence from owning a firearm. She notes it is not a so-called “red flag law.”

Missouri House passes ‘Second Amendment Preservation Act’

SB 9, licenses, taken up

Sen. Jeanie Riddle brought the conference committee report, and it was adopted 30-1. The bill was third read and passed 28-2.

SB 153, taxation, refuse to concur

Sen. Andrew Koenig moved the Senate refuse to concur and request a conference.

Senate gavels in

The Senate got underway for the day at 11:15 a.m.