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 Wednesday, May 12. For live updates on the House, click here.
The Senate adjourns
The Senate adjourned shortly after 1 a.m.
SB 153, Wayfair, refuse to concur
Sen. Andrew Koenig moved the Senate refuse to concur and requests the House recede or grant a conference.
HB 850, ballot summary language, GAFO
The bill would prohibit the modification of summary statements or ballot language by courts.
The Senate substitute includes other election reforms, including requiring runoff primaries for congressional, federal, and statewide offices through 2024 if no one wins the majority of the vote; prohibiting donations to election authorities to conduct their duties; and requiring uniform labels for ballot measures. It was proposed by handler Sen. Bill Eigel.
Sen. Brian Williams requested a provision allowing some donations, such as hand sanitizer, in addition to a grant for larger cities to recruit poll workers. Eigel said he would consider a maximum on donations, and Williams went to work on an amendment.
Sen. Dan Hegeman proposed a measure upgrading voting machines, no-excuse absentee voting with ID, and adding the Space Force to absentee voting policies. Sen. Bob Onder proposed an amendment to it removing the absentee voting portion, saying in-person voting on Election Day was the “gold standard.”
After around an hour, the amendment was withdrawn.
Another from Sen. Karla May quickly followed, requiring candidates running for county office in St. Louis to provide up-to-date tax receipts. May said it would bring county officials in line with other elected positions. The adopted language mirrors regulations adopted by St. Louis County after edits were suggested by Onder.
Another adopted proposal from Sen. Rick Brattin would allow the Division of Motor Vehicle and Drivers Licensing to transfer voter registration information through secure electronic means rather than via manual means. Sen. Mike Moon attached an amendment allowing touch-screen voting machines to be used until they no longer work and then be phased out.
HB 402, lottery winners, truly agreed and finally passed
The bill would prohibit the publishing of names and other information of winners of the state lottery.
Minority Floor Leader John Rizzo noted handler Sen. Angela Mosley was handling legislation from Rep. Jay Mosley, her husband — the first time a couple carried each other’s legislation across chambers in Missouri.
The measure passed 33-0.
SB 64, hypodermic needles,
refuse to concur
Sen. Holly Rehder requested to send the bill to conference: The bill includes an extension of the state’s federal reimbursement allowance (FRA), added in the House Monday.
The Senate discussed the move Monday, with Sens. Bob Onder and Paul Wieland decrying the issue. Wieland had attached amendments to the Senate version that would prohibit the use of tax dollars to pay for abortions while the House altered it without including strict anti-abortion language. Onder proposed an amendment banning the use of Medicaid funds for abortion services as well. The duo encouraged Rehder to go to conference on the bill.
Sen. Lauren Arthur pointed to concerns over jeopardizing the state’s federal compliance and the length of time left in session in her argument against the move, calling it a “political game.”
Democrats held the floor until Rehder returned, and the body voted to approve her motion 22-10 via a standing division.
HB 297, higher education, third read and passed
Sen. Holly Rehder said the Show Me Child Development Account Act — which would have the Treasurer’s Department to place funds for every child born or adopted in Missouri to be used for higher education expenses — was removed from the bill.
It still includes the Students’ Right to Know Act which requires the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development to compile information for students to be more informed about the financial aspects of colleges and universities. It also allows universities to convey, sell, or subdivide land within its campus.
Sen. Jill Schupp decried the Show Me Child Development Account Act being taken out. Sen. Caleb Rowden said members were concerned about the financial aspect of the provision, and it was stripped in order to make the bill palatable for more people, noting it was a new program.
Sen. Paul Wieland said that provision never made it through committee, and he was concerned about how broad the program could be. He promised Schupp a hearing on the legislation next year. Sen. Bob Onder held the floor to decry the program.
Sen. Karla Eslinger proposed an amendment requiring the state Board of Education to establish a statewide plan for career and technical education (CTE) and adding additional programs for school. It was promptly approved by the body.
Another amendment from Sen. Steven Roberts would establish a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) mission statement for Harris-Stowe State University.
Another amendment from Sen. Rick Brattin would require community colleges proposing annexation with urban school districts to present the proposal at a meeting of the district. Voters would weigh in on the annexation, with the ballot clearly indicating the price of the resulting levy. The amendment was adopted after a provision allowing voters to void annexations was removed.
Sen. Mike Moon held the floor for half an hour, reading an account of the War of Jenkins’ Ear and the American Revolution. Moon said he hoped to see a COVID liability bill pass committee, where it is currently stalled: A vote in the House Rules — Legislative Oversight Committee has been delayed three times.
An amendment to the amendment from Sen. Lincoln Hough would push the vote to the November ballot rather than the General Election. The underlying amendment has been adopted with it in tow.
Another from Sen. Jill Schupp would remove provisions on a threshold for AP students to receive undergraduate college credits for exam scores. Rehder spoke against the move, but the amendment was adopted. The bill passed 23-9.
SB 22, taxes, conference
Sen. Andrew Koenig initially moved for House Amendment 1 from Rep. Derek Grier be adopted to change the title of the bill. The bill was originally related to local tax increment financing (TIF) projects. It was already in the House today. Changes would limit community improvement districts (CIDs) and change the definition of “blighted” to ensure it’s all the same.
But the original version included an exemption for liability of building on flood planes for Cole County. The latest version changed it to Jefferson City only. Sen. Mike Bernskoetter threatened to kill the bill so Koenig moved to go to conference. Koenig promised to go to conference and get both Cole County and Jefferson City included in the final language.
SB 365, personal property tax, refuse to concur
Sen. Paul Wieland said the bill started as a consent bill but grew exponentially in the lower chamber. The Senate refused to concur on the House recommendations and requested a conference.
HB 66, taxation, third read
This bill came out of GAFO already and warranted an immediate vote. Read more about the bill from Tuesday’s blog.
The bill was third read and passed 30-1.
HB 432, related to vulnerable individuals, third read
This bill came out of GAFO already and warranted an immediate vote. Read more about the bill from Monday’s blog.
It was passed 24-8. An emergency clause was also adopted.
SB 72, state designations, third read and passed
This bill includes a provision making the first week of September Fox Trotter Week — a priority for Sen. Karla Eslinger. She said the bill many other designations that have already passed in other capacities that recognize Missourians.
The bill was third read and passed 31-0.
SB 303, workers’ compensation benefits, third read
Sen. Elaine Gannon presented the conference committee workup which was signed unanimously. Sens. Jill Schupp and Steven Roberts worked through some provisions taken off in conference.
The bill passed 32-1.
The Senate reconvened at 4:20 p.m.
The Senate stood in recess at 12:50 p.m. until 2 p.m.
SBs 53 & 60, criminal justice/police reform, third read
The bipartisan measure from Sens. Tony Luetkemeyer and Brian Williams unanimously passed out of the conference committee. It would prohibit certain residency requirements for Kansas City police officers as well as the attorney general and ban the use of chokeholds — among other things like a pay raise for sheriffs, juvenile court reforms, and expungement.
The conference committee agreed to strip a controversial House provision giving the General Assembly subpoena power. While it was a priority for House Speaker Rob Vescovo, Gov. Mike Parson threatened to veto the entire package if it was included.
Luetkemeyer thanked the Senate for the bipartisanship and collaboration to get this bill together. Williams said the process has been “rewarding.”
Sen. Barbara Washington said she couldn’t vote for the bill because of the police residency requirements but praised the rest of the package as good on criminal justice reform, particularly for juveniles.
The bill was third read and passed 31-2. Sens. Mike Moon and Washington voted against the bill. The emergency clause also passed.
SB 226, sales tax, third read
The underlying bill dealt with small businesses filing annual taxes. But it grew to include a provision related to antique airplanes, protections for businesses shut down by government entities when it comes to paying taxes, prevents the Department of Revenue from asking grocery stores for back taxes on spoiled food, and stopping the tax of a medical device that stops cancer.
Wayfair is not included in this bill.
All costs are under $1 million, Sen. Andrew Koenig said. The bill was third read and passed 30-1. An emergency clause was attached.
HB 271, local government, TAFP
Sen. Sandy Crawford said many amendments have been added to the bill but only a few were taking out during conference, including an amendment dealing with judges, one dealing with assessment valuations, one dealing with community colleges, one pertaining to broadband language was taken out in conference committee. Crawford says they did a good job of holding the Senate position in conference.
The package includes a provision prohibiting cities or towns receiving public funds from requiring a so-called vaccine passport to access public transportation or accommodations.
Sen. Jill Schupp noted she did not sign the conference committee report because of one section pertaining to tax increments affecting her county.
The bill was truly agreed to and finally passed 29-3. An emergency clause was adopted.
Sen. Denny Hoskins held court on the floor as session got underway with the journal to decry why the Second Amendment Preservation Act has not yet been brought up and passed in the Senate.
Senate gavels in
The Senate gaveled in shortly after 11 a.m.
Police reform package move forward
The Conference Committee finally came to a consensus for SBs 53 & 60, stripping a controversial House addition that would have given the General Assembly subpoena power as well as an officers bill of rights. The combined Senate bills sponsored by Sens. Tony Luetkemeyer and Brian Williams, has been a labor of love for the two senators this session. It would prohibit certain residency requirements for Kansas City police officers and ban the use of chokeholds — among other things.
Everyone signed the conference committee report.
ICYMI: Gas tax bill successful
The Missouri House TAFP’d Sen. Dave Schatz’s gas tax bill Tuesday night, a victory for the Senate President Pro Tem.
“I did not want to leave this building after 12 years and not see this problem being addressed,” Schatz told us. “We have a glaring problem in front of us and just continuing to ignore it and kicking the can down the road is no longer acceptable.”
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at email@example.com.