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Final Week in the Senate: Tuesday, May 11

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 Tuesday, May 11. For live updates on the House, click here.

The Senate adjourns 

The Senate adjourned shortly before 1:30 a.m.

HB 661, commercial vehicles, placed on informal calendar

Sen. Lincoln Hough offered a Senate substitute for this House bill which includes a myriad of provisions, including allowing motorcycles to have colored lights, cleaning up “Right to Repair” language, and giving farmers the ability to register a fleet of vehicles at once.

Rep. Karla Eslinger attached an amendment to legally allow Head Start bus drivers to use safety equipment like stop signs on the buses like other school buses. 

Sen. Bill Eigel unsuccessfully attempted to offer an amendment related to emissions testing exemptions in Franklin, Jefferson, and St. Charles counties. Hough spoke against the amendment during an impassioned argument with Eigel. Hough pointed to ambiguity with the language and argued it could be detrimental to highway funds. The language had been attached to SB 40 already; then, Senate President Pro Tem expressed hope the provision would be taken out in the lower chamber given the massive fiscal note.

Sen. Mike Moon offered an amendment prohibiting cities from enacting so-called vaccine passports to utilize public transportation. Sen. Greg Razer put forth an amendment to the amendment prohibiting those same entities from allowing public transit to discriminate against someone based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. Razer’s provision was adopted with some Republicans, including Sens. Dave Schatz and Caleb Rowden, voting for it. Moon then withdrew his provision.

HB 369, land management, third read and finally passed

Handled by Sen. Mike Bernskoetter in the Senate, he said the Senate substitute includes landowner liability, feral hog, and cemetery language to the bill which tackles damage and injury liability for prescribed burns.

The amended legislation was third read and passed 31-2.

SB 520, memorial infrastructure, refuse to concur

Sen. Steven Roberts moved the Senate refuse to concur and requests the House recede or grant a conference.

HB 734, electrical corporations, refuse to concur

Sen. Mike Cierpiot moved the Senate refuse to concur and requests the House recede or grant a conference.

SB 9, psychologists’ licenses, refuse to concur

Sen. Jeanie Riddle moved the Senate refuse to concur and requests the House recede or grant a conference.

SB 333, nonprofit organizations, refuse to concur

Sen. Eric Burlison moved the Senate refuse to concur and requests the House recede or grant a conference.

SB 86, public funds and elections, refuse to concur

Sen. Dan Hegeman moved the Senate refuse to concur and requests the House recede or grant a conference.

Senate gavels back in

The Senate came back at 8:49. Majority Floor Leader Caleb Rowden asks for a point of personal privilege to pay tribute to former Sen. Dan Brown, Sen. Justin Brown‘s dad, who passed away.

Senate recesses 

The Senate stood in recess at 6:47 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

HB 66, property tax assessment of aircraft, sent to GAFO

The underlying bill tackles taxation of antique planes. The Senate substitute distributed by Sen. Andrew Koenig includes provisions from his Wayfair legislation.

Sen. Bill Eigel is proposing an amendment to phase out personal property tax in Missouri over a period of time determined by the county; he requested a roll call vote. His personal property tax reduction was the subject of some contention in the upper chamber earlier this year.

Sen. Doug Beck offered an amendment which would have Eigel’s amendment only apply in “any county with a charter form of government and with more than three hundred thousand but fewer than four hundred fifty thousand inhabitants” — essentially only St. Charles County. After some offline discussion between Beck and Eigel, the amendment was withdrawn and a new one with the same language but including a 50-year sunset was offered by Beck. The amendment was adopted by a voice vote.

After Beck’s amendment to the amendment was adopted, Eigel’s original amendment was adopted by a roll call vote of 34-0.

Sen. Mike Moon attempted to offer an amendment taxing the endowment of any university teaching its medical students how to provide abortion procedures. But after some debate on the floor, he ultimately withdrew the amendment.

Capitol Briefs: Senate reconsiders vote on tax cut bill

Senate reconvenes

The Senate came back into session at 3:21 p.m.

Senate recesses 

The Senate stood in recess at 1:28 and is expected to come back at 2:15 p.m.

HBs 557 & 560, reform school protections, third read and passed 

Sen. Bill White is offering a Senate committee substitute. The bill adds protections for children in unlicensed facilities. White notes the unanimous support the bipartisan bill got in the House and his Senate committee. The bill requires background checks and inspections to ensure safety requirements are met.

“We’re looking at the immediate health and safety concerns of the children,” White said.

Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin said changes were made to convince her not to filibuster and kill the legislation with the Senate substitute, but she is still in opposition. She pointed to a specific boarding school that was reported 19 times to state officials and law enforcement.

“If we make a report to people who should be in authority 19 times and nothing happened, I would contend that we don’t have a lack of enough laws but follow-through,” O’Laughlin said.

She added she’d like to see a report on what happened each of those 19 times that one school was reported and applauded White for working with her.

After some floor conversation — mostly between White and Sen. Denny Hoskins — the bill was third read and passed 23-9.

Notably, television personality Paris Hilton testified in favor of the legislation last month. Hilton came forward last year to describe the “continuous torture” she endured while attending boarding school in Utah as a teenager.

“I believe that no child should have to endure the harmful treatment that I experienced, and I urge Missouri legislators to listen to the survivors who are submitting their testimonies for the hearing,” Hilton said in written testimony provided to the committee. “These stories reveal a pattern of abuse across the state’s many residential facilities and highlight the urgent need for oversight.”

Senators hear testimony, including from Paris Hilton, on reform school protections

SB 37, anhydrous ammonia, to conference

Sen. Mike Bernskoetter called for a conference.

SB 403, health care, refused to concur 

Sen. Bob Onder moved for the Senate to refuse to concur with the House position.

SB 258, military affairs, third read and passed

From Sen. Bill White, this bill would classify the Missouri National Guard members as state employees for the purposes of driving state vehicles and insurance. The Senate approved House amendments expanding the bill to include other military affairs, such as the naming of highways after fallen members.

After some discussion on the floor, the bill was third read and passed 30-1.

The Senate gavels in

The Senate got underway shortly before 11 a.m.

Senate police reform package stonewalled in committee

The Senate and House went to conference over SBs 53 & 60, a massive police reform legislation, Tuesday morning. But negotiations quickly stalled over a controversial House provision. Another conference committee is scheduled for tomorrow morning.

Police reform package stonewalled in conference over House provision