As veto session begins at noon, we will update this post with information about what is happening each hour of veto session.
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12-1 p.m. update
– Prayer, Pledge of Allegiance.
-Nomination of Speaker Pro Tem Candidate: Rep. Denny Hoskins was officially elected Speaker Pro Tem of the Missouri House of Representatives. Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Russell administered the oath of office, and Hoskins briefly addressed the body.
- “Sometimes a good leader has to think outside the box,” Hoskins said. “I look forward to working with all members of this body to grow Missouri jobs, and provide funding for education and other social services.”
– House Resolution 1: A formal resolution informing the Governor and the Senate that the House has convened for veto session.
- – The measure was adopted with no opposition.
– House Bill 19 — Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, proposed overriding the Governor’s line-item veto of funding for the burned-down Pike-Lincoln Technical Center, a vocational educational program. Kelly argued that the veto, which said the funds used for the school could only be used by the foundation formula, was another example of “abuse” by Gov. Nixon with regard to the appropriations process.
- The measure passed by a vote of 112-47 with 1 “present” vote.
– At the end of the hour, House Bill 253 came before the body. It is currently being debated.
1-2 p.m. update
– House Bill 253 — The sweeping tax cut bill, which has been the central focus of much of the political news of the state since Gov. Nixon vetoed it in July, has been debated for nearly an hour, with Democrats and Republicans trading shots in equal measure on the validity, or lack thereof, of the bill.
- The legislation is aimed at reducing corporate income taxes by 50 percent as well as reducing tax rates for individuals and business income reported on individual tax returns. Republicans regularly argue the bill makes Missouri more attractive to business and gives money back to average Missourians. Democrats say the bill unfairly slashes taxes for the wealthiest Missourians while leaving lower income individuals virtually unchanged and drastically reduces the state’s ability to fund social services.
- After growing opposition within the conservative ranks, groups supporting the bill, like Grow Missouri, to override the Governor or risk a primary challenge, have urged Republicans opposing the issue.
The bill is still being debated on the floor.
2-3 p.m. update
– House Bill 253 — After almost 2 hours of debate, the House finally voted on the tax cut bill which swallowed up much of the legislative news over the summer. The measure was defeated 97-64 with a single member absent.
- – Republicans who voted against the measure (that groups like GrowMissouri threatened with primary challenges) are as follows: Representatives: Sue Entlicher, Paul Fitzwater, Dennis Fowler, Lyndall Fraker, Elaine Gannon, Kent Hampton, Jeffery Messenger, Lynn Morris, Donna Pfautsch, Don Phillips, Craig Redmon, Lyle Rowland, Mike Thomson, Nate Walker, David Wood.
– House Bill 278 — This bill prohibits local or state government entities from banning the “practice, mention, celebration or discussion of any federal holiday.” Democrats, including Gov. Nixon in his veto letter, supported the bill in theory but said it was too broadly written and would prevent cities from utilizing their basic licensing practices for parades and other public events.
- – Republican sponsor Rep. Rick Brattin said the bill was perfectly reasonable drawn and would not prevent local municipalities from using their authority as distributor of parade and public event licenses.
- – The override vote was successful by a vote of 114-45.
3-4 p.m. update
HB 301: Sponsor Kevin Engler withdrew his motion to override Gov. Nixon’s veto of a bill that would have changed how sexual offenders are listed in the state’s sex offender registry. Engler said on the floor he’d spoken with the Governor’s office about a possible compromise, and that we will offer a newer version of the bill next year.
– House Bill 329 — A bill changing the way several financial institutions, including credit unions, are regulated, passed by a party-line vote and brief debate.
- – The measure passed by a vote of 109-51.
– House Bill 339 — A bill that changes what damages a motorist may collect if they are uninsured and are involved in an accident. The bill modifies existing law that provides a non-insured driver from collecting non-economic damages. The bill only applies to drivers who have been uninsured and driving for more than six months.
- – Provides that drivers of MV violating mandatory insurance law for more than six months may only recover their actual damages.
- – The board stayed open for longer than any other vote so far, and is still open as of 4 p.m.
* At 4:04 p.m., the House closed the board. By a 109-51 vote, the House voted to override the veto.
4-5 p.m. update
– House Bill 436 — Bill sponsor, Rep. Doug Funderburk, R-St. Peters, brought up the bill, introducing it and discuss the concerns that have been raised against it and offering a legal analysis of his bill to all members of the House.
- The bill was one of the most contentious issues before the body. The bill as written would make it a misdemeanor crime for federal agents to enforce federal gun regulations in Missouri. The bill also makes it a crime of publishing the name of any gun owner or applicant for gun ownership by newspapers or other entities.
- Democrats argued the gun criminalizes law enforcement officials and violates free speech. Republicans largely supported the measure and argued it was a necessary step to prevent overreaching federal laws from violating their 2nd Amendment Rights.
- The bill is still before the body.
– House Bill 436 — Passed by a vote of 109-49. Two Republicans voted against the measure, 3 Democrats supported it, and 3 Democrats voted “present.”
– House Bill 611 — A bill modifying eligibility for unemployment benefits had a long vote, but ultimately failed by two votes, in a 107-54 vote. The bill would have made it easier for employers to deny certain employees eligibility for unemployment insurance.
6-7 p.m. update
– House Bill 650 — This bill would cap punitive damages at 2.5 million as they relate to certain environmental practices for the Doe Run Mining Company. The bill was chided by detractors as allowing for a single company to avoid paying for criminal behavior. Supporters argued that Doe Run was largely being held liable for previous companies transgressions in the area, and that punitive damages would be so excessive it would drive the company and its 1,600 employees out of business.
- After a protracted debate, the measure passed 110-50.
– Shortly after 7 p.m., the House recessed until 8:45 p.m.
9-10 p.m. update
- Current law does not allow foreign business to own land for agricultural land in Missouri. The new law would permit less than 1 percent of all Missouri agricultural land to be owned by foreign companies, pending approval of that ownership by the Director of Agricultural.
SB 34: This bill would require the Department of Labor to establish a database to allow employers to go online and obtain the number of workers compensation claims a prospective employee has filed.
The measure passed by a vote of 109-52.
-Supporters say that government entities could, under the resolution, have private property seized in certain circumstances for sustainable energy development.
The point of order was not well taken, and the body is now reconsidering SB129.
Collin Reischman was the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.