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Greitens signs four more bills into law, establishing adult high schools and tort reform

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Governor Eric Greitens continues signing more bills into law following the 4th of July holiday.

The Republican governor signed four more bills on Wednesday while visiting JPI Glass in Kansas City.

Greitens’ pen and signature put four new laws on the books, all of which the Governor says will help grow more jobs in the Show-Me State.

One of the bills, HB 93, would establish four new adult high schools, while the other three pieces of legislation would tighten restrictions on lawsuits against businesses.

Under the new state law, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will be granted the power to authorize a nonprofit to start new schools for residents 21 and older in or near St. Louis, Butler, Greene and Boone counties.

In a statement, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry director Daniel Mehan said the program will be effective.

“With workforce challenges remaining a top concern of Missouri employers, it’s critical that we are doing everything we can to empower our citizens to get themselves ready for work,” Mehan said.

The other bills, SB 31, SB 66, and SS SCS HCS House Bills 339 & 714, all address tort reform.

SB 31 changes provisions relating to the collateral source rule, and allows parties to introduce evidence of the actual cost instead of the value of medical care that has been rendered. SB 66 addressed changes to workers compensation, while the substitute for HB 339 & 714, sponsored by Rep. Bruce DeGroot, R-Chesterfield, addressed tort claims, allowing insurance companies to intervene as well as prohibiting time limit demands without sufficient information.

“I want to thank Governor Greitens for supporting this common-sense reform that will save Missourians millions and ensure companies have their day in court before having to pay a judgment,” DeGroot said. “This legislation will play an important role in improving the business climate in Missouri, and I am grateful that we have a governor who recognizes the importance of such issues.”

“These bills, along with the bills signed last week, are a great start toward reforming Missouri’s legal system that has been labeled as the worst in the nation for business,” Associated Industries of Missouri President and CEO Ray McCarty said. “Governor Greitens has shown strong leadership in signing these bills and we thank him for his leadership and that of the sponsoring legislators.”

Not everyone agrees, however.

“Professional politician Eric Greitens continues to tilt the scales of justice against innocent Missourians who have been injured and in favor of corporate wrongdoers and insurance companies,” Assistant House Minority Leader Gina Mitten, D-St. Louis, said. “Senate Bill 31, in particular, punishes Missourians who take personal responsibility and protect themselves by purchasing insurance. These bills erect barriers to justice and unfairly prevent victims from receiving just compensation.”