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Veto session: hourly updates of the Missouri House

As veto session begins at noon, we will update this post with information about what is happening each hour of veto session.

To see the Senate, click here.

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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.
5-6 p.m. update

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

The House began late as the result of a long-running majority caucus meeting.
SB9This bill, which modifies several agricultural provisions. A major point of debate dealt with provisions relating to ownership of agricultural land by foreign businesses.
  • 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.
            – The bill passed by 111-50.
10-11 p.m. update

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. 

            -Supporters say the measure gives employers better ability to hire qualified, quality workers who will not commit fraud.
            -Detractors expressed concerns about the creation of such a large database and the need for such information to be held by a government entity.
The bill was defeated 90-71.
 SB110: A bill dealing with child custody and visitation rights was debated at length. The main area of debate surrounded the creation of a provision requiring 3 sets of fingerprints to be submitted. One set of fingerprints would be retained by the Department of Social Services, creating a new database.
            -Democrat Chris Kelly of Columbia called the bill the “worst override of the day,” and said that it created unnecessary government oversight for a problem that was being worked out outside of the legislative process.
            -Those supporting the bill said it would add additional security to the process of foster children monitoring, and would give greater accountability over foster parents.
The measure passed by a vote of 109-52.
SB129: The bill allows for an individual healthcare provider to provide free healthcare in certain circumstances outside of their own licensed practice. The bill removes penalties for doctors and other professionals from being fined for practicing medicine outside of their licensed facility, and it also forbids civil action to be taken against a healthcare provider engaged in the process of providing volunteer health services.
            -Supporters argued that in Joplin-like disaster, doctors need to be able to arrive on the scene and provide care without worrying about ramifications through the legal system, or regulatory backlash.
            -Detractors say the bill allows for unlicensed or negligent physicians to come to Missouri from other states, provide care and have protection from any legal actions.
            The bill is still before the body.
11 p.m-12 a.m. update
SB170: This bill would allow for elected officials to cast roll call votes via teleconference.
            It passed by a vote of 125-32-4
SB265: According to bill language, the legislation would “prohibit the state and any political subdivision from implementing any policy recommendations that infringe on private property rights without due process and are traceable to Agenda 21 adopted in 1992 by the United Nations or any other international law or ancillary plan of action that contravenes the federal or state constitutions.
-Detractors note that Agenda 21 is a non-binding resolution to develop sustainable energy and does not threaten individual property rights.
-Supporters say that government entities could, under the resolution, have private property seized in certain circumstances for sustainable energy development.
SB267: This bill would mandate that no court, arbitration, tribunal or administrative agency ruling shall be enforceable if it is based on foreign law which is repugnant or inconsistent with the Missouri and United States constitutions.
            Rep. Diehl immediately called the previous question, prohibiting debate on the measure.
            The measure was defeated 108-53
A motion was made to reconsider SB129. 
A point of order was raised on the motion.
The point of order was not well taken, and the body is now reconsidering SB129.
SB 129: Passed by a 109-52 vote after a motion to reconsider.
The House stood adjourned Sine Die pursuant to the Constitution. 10 Total vetoes we overridden.