Last week, my colleagues and I passed a budget. Moreover, we got the $27.8 billion budget to the governor by the constitutional deadline, which was May 5 at 6 p.m.
Leadership of both chambers selected members to serve on conference committees that attempt to address the bicameral differences in hopes of producing a balanced budget proposal that can pass both chambers. Last week, the House passed the committees' bills and, shortly after, the Senate passed those bills with bipartisan support.
Conference committees serve a great purpose and often are popular mechanisms to resolve differences and achieve compromise. Yet some things — some opportunities to do well and to do what is right — are too important to leave to chance. This year, for the first time in more than a decade, the Legislature fully funded the education foundation formula and passed a roughly $3.4 billion budget for our elementary and secondary schools.
Although the deadline to pass a budget was last Friday, the General Assembly has more business to which it needs to attend. One pressing topic is REAL ID. If the state does not pass legislation that would bring state IDs into federal compliance, people may not be able to use their driver’s licenses to prove their identities to board airplanes starting next year. People with regular Missouri state driver’s licenses are currently not allowed to use them to prove identity on military bases.
Also, my bills are currently progressing through the House, and I look forward to their passage and being sent to the governor for his signature. Please use the Bill Tracking Update below to keep informed about the bills’ statuses.
Bill Tracking Update
SB 183 - 04/10/2017 Adopted as amendment to SB 18 and refereed to House Committee (HSCSB)
Extends the Big Government Get Off My Back Act and modifies several provisions relating to the collection of money by public entities
SB 257 - 03/01/2017 Hearing conducted (COMM)
Allows telephone companies to select an alternate method of property tax assessment
SB 280 - 03/16/2017 Placed on Formal Calendar for Perfection (VETS)
Requires the Department of Revenue to issue both REAL ID compliant and noncompliant driver's licenses and identification cards
SB 335 - 02/15/2017 Voted out of Committee (SFCH)
Modifies the definition of a service dog
SB 359 - 04/04/2017 Vote out of committee (SBIN)
Modifies provisions relating to the promotion and sale of alcoholic beverages
SB 360 - 03/14/2017 Bill Combined w/ (SCS/SBs 360, 238 & 36) (EDUC)
Modifies provisions relating to virtual public schools
SB 375 - 04/05/2017 Voted out of Committee (SFCH)
Changes the law regarding consent for a minor to obtain an abortion
SB 376 - 05/03/2017 Referred to Committee (HRLO)
Designates "Old Drum" as the historical dog of the state of Missouri
SB 395 - 05/02/2017 Voted out of Committee (HRLO)
Modifies provisions relating to the practice of public accounting
SB 416 - 04/26/2017 Voted out of Committee (WAME)
Exempts the purchase of utilities for certain food preparation uses from state sales and use taxes
SB 452 - 02/28/2017 Hearing conducted (EDEV)
Creates the Missouri Video Lottery Control Act
SB 454 - 03/27/2017 Hearing conducted (PROF)
Modifies provisions of the Missouri Athletic Trainer Practice Act
SB 472 - 03/27/2017 Placed on Formal Calendar (AGRI)
Modifies the definition of "livestock" to include honey bees for the purposes of the state sales tax law
SB 485 - 03/30/2017 Placed on Informal Calendar (EDUC)
Excludes funds designated by taxpayers in an urban district as early childhood education funds from the local tax revenue calculation used to provide funding to charter schools that declared themselves as a local education agency
SB 531 - 03/09/2017 Second Read and Referred to Committee (SFCH)
Provides for patient due process for persons receiving services from the Division of Developmental Disabilities
SB 532 - 04/05/2017 Placed on Formal Calendar (HPEN)
Modifies provisions relating to Department of Mental Health inspections
SCR 7 - 03/07/2017 Hearing conducted (RJRR)
Expresses support for the people of Israel
SCR 14 - 04/26/2017 Referred to Committee (RAO)
Applies to Congress for the calling of an Article V convention of states to propose an amendment to the United States Constitution regarding term limits for members of Congress
SCR 15 - 02/14/2017 Referred to Committee (RJRR)
Designates August 21, 2017, as "Total Eclipse Day" in the state of Missouri
I urge you to contact my office with any questions or concerns you have about state government so I can better represent you during the 2017 legislative session.
I always appreciate hearing your comments, opinions, and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at 573-751-4302. You may also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.