The deadline for gubernatorial action on legislation passed by the General Assembly has now passed. The governor signed 115 bills (including 16 budget bills), vetoed 23 bills and portions of two budget bills, and allowed three bills to become law without his signature. One of the three bills the governor allowed to become law without his signature was SB 700. The bill modifies numerous provisions relating to workers' compensation including permitting volunteer fire protection associations to apply to the State Fire Marshal for grants for the purpose of funding the workers' compensation insurance premiums for the association's volunteer firefighters. There are several other provisions including an amendment of mine.
My addition to came from HB 2429 and exempts volunteers of qualified tax-exempt veterans' service organizations (VSOs) from workers' compensation laws. The bill also contains a provision amending workers' compensation premium rates, and allows more flexibility in reporting the number of employees within a firm. The purpose of these provisions relates to reducing overall costs.
Another bill recently signed into law is meant to bring businesses that have moved out of the state back home to Missouri, as well as invest in the Missouri Port System. SB 861 creates the Bring Jobs Home Act to authorize a tax deduction for out-of-state businesses that relocate to Missouri. Specifically, the act will provide a tax deduction of up to 50 percent of the eligible expenses associated with eliminating a business located outside of the state and reestablishing it in Missouri.
The bill also includes language to create new investment in Missouri's system of ports. The bill creates advanced industrial manufacturing zones for the purpose of establishing a dedicated funding source for port improvement and development. In addition, it creates tax incentives for entities that utilize Missouri port authorities. One deduction is designed for existing port users who increase their usage of the facility. A second deduction targets new businesses that build within a port authority's district. And the third deduction will be for each new job created at an international trade facility.
Finally, once again I will list the bills that have been Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed. This week continues the list of House Bills. I have added each bill's final status as part of the header.
Truly Agree and Finally Passed Bills (HBs)
--HB 1765 (Signed by Governor) - Creates regulations for commercial receiverships and powers of appointment, exempts firearms from bankruptcy, modifies provisions regarding wills, trusts, and exonerated individuals, and establishes a statute of limitations on suits against mental health professionals
This bill creates the Missouri Uniform Powers of Appointment Act, and unless provided in the terms of an instrument creating a power of appointment the bill must be the law governing powers of appointment. Among several other provisions, this bill also modifies existing law regarding power of attorney by specifying that the authority of an attorney in fact authorized in the power of attorney to disclaim a gift or devise of property to or for the benefit of the principal includes the ability of the attorney in fact to disclaim or release any power of appointment granted to the principal and to disclaim all or part of the principal's interest in appointive property. A power of attorney can also grant an attorney in fact the authority to exercise, revoke or amend the release of, or contract to exercise any power of appointment granted to the principal.
--HB 1816 (Signed by Governor) - Establishes the physical therapists compact and nursing compact and modifies various provisions of law regarding prescriptions, physician licensure, use of restraint in a mental health facility, optometry students, and health care professional boards analyzing workforce data
The bill provides applicants for licensure as a physician or surgeon must provide proof of successful completion of the USMLE or the COMLEX, rather than just proof of completion. The bill repeals the provision authorizing the board to determine the passing score of the USMLE. Currently, an applicant must pass all three steps of the USMLE within seven years with no more than three attempts on any step. This bill adds that an applicant who took the COMLEX must also take all three steps in seven years with no more than three attempts on any step.
--HB 1851 (Signed by Governor) - Designates the "German Heritage Corridor of Missouri"
This bill designates specific counties along the Missouri River that were greatly influenced by early German settlers as the "German Heritage Corridor of Missouri" and authorizes the Department of Transportation to place suitable markings and informational signs in the designated areas. The cost for the designation is paid for by private donations.
--HB 1862 (Signed by Governor) - Modifies procedures in landlord and tenant cases, provides that a landlord must keep security deposits in a depository institution, and allows landlords withhold money for carpet cleaning from the security deposit pursuant to a lease agreement
This bill specifies that for the purpose of restoring possession in a landlord tenant action, judgment must be executed no sooner than 10 days after the judgment. Execution for the purpose of restoring possession must be stayed pending an appeal if the losing party posts an appeal bond. The bill requires that in order to cease and stay an execution for possession, the defendant must satisfy the judgment on any date after the date of any original trial and before the judgment becomes final. The bill specifies that additional conditions of an appeal bond must be to stay waste and to pay all subsequently accruing rent, if any, into court within 10 days after it becomes due. Execution for the purposes of restoring possession must be stayed pending an appeal if the losing party posts a sufficient appeal bond.
--HB 1870 (Vetoed by Governor) - Modifies provisions of the Big Government Get Off My Back Act and provides income tax deductions for small businesses
This bill extends the provisions of the "Big Government Get Off My Back Act," which provides tax relief to certain small businesses for five years beginning August 28, 2016. The bill also specifies that any federal mandate compelling the state to enact, enforce, or administer a federal regulatory program must be subject to authorization through appropriation or statutory enactment; extends the restriction on an increase of any state-imposed user fee and the requirement that any state agency proposing a rule must certify that it does not have an adverse impact on small businesses; that it is necessary to protect the life, health, or safety of the public; or that any small business is exempt from the rule; and specifies the definition of "small business" to include businesses with fewer than 50 employees, among other provisions.
--HB 1877 (Signed by Governor) - Modifies provisions relating to the Children's Division
This bill adds to the list of crimes that make an individual eligible to be listed on the Central Registry. The added crimes include rape, sodomy, and promoting prostitution if the victim is under the age of 18, and sexual exploitation of minor, possession of child pornography, furnishing pornographic materials to minor, child used in sexual performance, and promoting sexual performance by a child.
--HB 1936 (Signed by Governor) - Allows sheriffs and deputies to assist in other counties throughout the state and modifies provisions relating to access to law enforcement records
This bill establishes that any sheriff, or deputy sheriff sent by a sheriff, responding to a request for assistance in another county is considered an employee of the sending sheriff's office and will be subject to benefits and provisions provided to him or her as an employee of the sending sheriff's office. The bill also establishes that any funds deposited into prisoner detainee security funds shall be used only to supplement the sheriff's funding received from other county, state, or federal funds. The county commission shall not reduce any sheriff's budget as a result of any funds received within the fund.
--HB 1941 (Signed by Governor) - Provides licensing and taxation for daily fantasy sports games
This bill created the Missouri Fantasy Sports Consumer Protection Act and requires the operators of websites engaged in daily fantasy sports games in Missouri to apply for and receive annual licenses from the Gaming Commission prior to operation. Operators will pay an annual application fee of $10,000 or 10% of the applicant's net revenue from the previous calendar year, whichever is lower.
--HB 1976 (Vetoed by Governor) - Modifies provisions relating to motor vehicle services
This bill allows a licensed person to operate an autocycle on highways and streets without a helmet as long as it is equipped with a roof which meets established standards for protective headgear. The bill further clarifies that autocycles are motor vehicles, not motorcycles. Among other provisions, the bill also specifies that a refund of the service contract after the required free look period may be through a service contract provider or its specified designee.
--HB 1983 (Signed by Governor) - Creates new provisions of law relating to elected officials acting as paid political consultants
This bill prohibits statewide elected officials, members of the General Assembly, and candidates for those offices from receiving compensation as political consultants who are paid for profit to engage in specified political activities on behalf of other individuals holding office as statewide elected officials or members of the General Assembly. Compensation for activities on behalf of a candidate committee for another individual holding statewide office or who is a member of the General Assembly is also prohibited as is serving as a paid political consultant for any type of campaign committee or continuing committee. The bill specifically excludes vendors who provide tangible goods and services in the ordinary course of business to candidates or committees from the definition of a paid political consultant.
--HB 2017 (Signed by Governor) - To appropriate money for capital improvement and other purposes for the several departments of state government
--HB 2018 (Signed by Governor) - Appropriates money for capital improvement projects involving the maintenance, repair, replacement, and improvement of state buildings and facilities
--HB 2030 (Vetoed by Governor) - Creates a tax deduction for employee stock ownership plans
Beginning January 1, 2017, this bill authorizes an income tax deduction for 50% of the net capital gain from the sale or exchange of employer securities of a Missouri corporation to a qualified Missouri employee stock ownership plan if, upon completion of the transaction, the qualified Missouri employee stock ownership plan owns at least 30% of all outstanding employer securities issued by the Missouri corporation.
--HB 2125 (Signed by Governor) - Modifies provisions of law relating to savings programs
This bill provides that the assets of the ABLE program shall, at all times, be preserved, invested, expended, and distributed only for the purposes set forth in current law as well as Section 529A of the Internal Revenue Code. Currently, property rights in ABLE assets shall not exist in favor of the state. The bill removes that provision. This bill also authorizes eligible financial institutions to offer and conduct savings promotion programs. A savings promotion program is a contest that offers a participant chances to win prizes if he or she makes a minimum deposit into an eligible account.
--HB 2150 (Signed by Governor) - Creates regulations for the process of identifying deceased insureds and payments of life insurance death benefits for policies
This bill creates the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act. The bill requires life insurance companies to compare policies, annuities, and accounts against the United States Social Security Administration's death master file on at least a semiannual basis to find potential matches on insureds who have passed away. The life insurance company shall then make a good faith effort to find potential beneficiaries and provide them with appropriate claims forms for the purpose of paying any benefits due. In the event such beneficiaries or owners cannot be found the company shall remit the unclaimed benefits to the State Treasurer as unclaimed property
--HB 2194 (Signed by Governor) - Modifies varies provisions regarding insurance
The bill repeals provisions which require individual risk premium modification rating plans used by workers' compensation insurers to be actuarially justified, not result in premiums which are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly justified, and to be applied on a statewide basis. The bill also removes the prohibition on the removal or reduction of premium credits unless there is a change in the insurer, the insurer amends or withdraws the rating plan, or there is a change in the insured employer's operations. When premium modifications result due to a schedule rating plan with an underwriter determining individual risk characteristics, then up to an additional 10 percent credit may be given for a reduction in the insurer's expenses, rather than "an additional 10 percent" reduction.
--HB 2237 (Vetoed by Governor) - Modifies provisions of law regarding University of Missouri extension councils
This bill specifies that it shall not be a conflict of interest for any county commissioner to discuss any matters, including budget matters, of any board or commission on which the commissioner serves, including the University of Missouri Extension Council. In addition, any member of the University of Extension Council may obtain financing in his or her own name for any real or personal property and that such financing shall not be a debt of the university.
--HB 2332 (Signed by Governor) - Modifies various provisions of criminal law
During the 2014 session, the General Assembly passed a large-scale revision of the Missouri Criminal Code, which included the addition of a class E felony and a modification of the terms of imprisonment for class C, D, and E felonies. Currently, the maximum term for a class C felony is seven years and the maximum term for a class D felony is four years. Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, when SB 491 (2014) takes effect, the term of imprisonment for a class C felony will be three to 10 years, the maximum term for a class D felony will be seven years, and the maximum term for a class E felony will be four years. To reflect the change in the authorized terms of imprisonment, this act modifies several crimes once classified as class C felonies to make them class D felonies and crimes once classified as class D felonies have become class E felonies.