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Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017
Capitol Report for July 7Posted Thursday, July 7, 2016, at 3:16 PM
Recently Governor Nixon has taken action on several bills, as the deadline (July 14) approaches for gubernatorial action on legislation passed by the General Assembly. One recent piece of legislation the governor signed is designed to promote American history and civics education in Missouri classrooms. SB 638 creates the Missouri Civics Education Initiative to require students in public, charter, and private high schools to receive a passing grade on a standardized civics test in order to graduate. Exams will consist of the same 100 questions used on the civics portion of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services' U.S. Naturalization test that is taken by immigrants attempting to gain American citizenship. All students entering ninth grade after July 1, 2017, will be required to receive a passing grade on the civics test. I am pleased to say that I co- sponsored this initiative throughout the process.
SB 572, also signed by the governor, will lower the maximum fine for minor traffic violations from $300 to $225. The bill also expands the law to include limits on fines from ordinance violations. The new law will cap fines for first offenses for violations of nuisance, building, and zoning ordinances at $200. It also will make it clear that defendants will not be jailed for non-payment.
HB 1562, also recently signed by the governor, is a piece of legislation designed to help stop the multi-billion dollar criminal industry of human trafficking. The new law expands the crime of sexual trafficking of a child to include the advertisement of a child participating in a commercial sexual act. This is similar to the federal SAVE Act that is already law. In 2004, Missouri became one of the first states in the nation to put sex trafficking laws in place.
Finally, once again I will list the bills that have been Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed. This week continues with House Bills.
Truly Agree and Finally Passed Bills (HBs)
--HB 1593 - Modifies provisions relating to proceedings against defaulting collectors
--HB 1599 - Establishes procedures for an adopted person to obtain a copy of his or her original birth certificate
--HB 1631 - Modifies provisions of law relating to voter identification
This bill changes the laws regarding elections by requiring persons wishing to vote in a public election to present specified personal identification to establish their identity and eligibility to vote. Satisfactory forms of identification include a non-expired Missouri driver's license, non-expired or non-expiring Missouri non-driver's license, a document issued by the United States or the State of Missouri containing the name of the individual that shows a photograph of the individual, or any armed services identification containing a photograph that is not expired or does not have an expiration date.
Any persons without such photographic identification may vote a regular ballot upon executing a statement under penalty of perjury that they are qualified to vote and presenting specified forms of identification including school identifications, utility bills, bank statements, paychecks, and government documents. The Secretary of State may approve non-photographic means of
identification by rule. Persons signing a statement shall be required to have their photograph retained by election authorities for future identification purposes. Provisional ballots will be used only for those who refuse to sign a statement of eligibility and will require returning to the polling place with photographic identification and signature matching in order to vote.
The state will provide one free non-driver's license for purposes of voting and will pay the cost of specified documents, including birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, adoption certificates, name change court documents, social security cards, and naturalization documents, that are necessary to receive a non-driver's license in order to vote. All election authority costs associated with the implementation of the photo identification requirements of these provisions must be reimbursed from the General Revenue Fund by an appropriation for that purpose. If there is no appropriation, then the identification requirements of the bill are void and must not be enforced.
--HB 1646 - Establishes the Missouri Civics Education Initiative
--HB 1649 - Provides that a person who removes an unattended child from a locked car shall not be held liable for damages
--HB 1681 - Exempts yoga training courses, programs, or schools from provisions of law regulating proprietary schools
--HB 1682 - Modifies various provisions relating to health care providers
--HB 1684 - Allows certain cities, towns, or villages located in first, second, or third class counties to consolidate if they meet certain conditions
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Rep. Dean Dohrman, a Republican, represents Johnson, Pettis, and Saline counties (District 51). He was elected to his first two-year term in November 2012. In addition to his legislative duties, Rep. Dohrman is an online professor. Rep. Dohrman is a member of Warrensburg and Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce, and Sedalia Lions Club. He attends Wesley United Methodist Church. A graduate of LaMonte High, Rep. Dohrman earned his PhD from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2004. Born in Warrensburg, Rep. Dohrman currently lives in LaMonte.