First, I would like to thank all of those who took the time to exercise their right to vote in the primary election Tuesday. I appreciate your support, and I am honored to serve the 51st District. Also, congratulations to all of the primary winners!
During the 2016 legislative session the General Assembly filed more than 2200 pieces of legislation. Of those measures, 139 pieces of legislation made it across the finish line. The governor then took action by signing 115 of those bills into law; allowing three bills to take effect without his signature; vetoing 23 measures; and using his line-item vetoes on two budget bills.
Last week I concluded the list of bills that have been Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed (TAFP). Over the next several weeks, I will recap the bills vetoed by the governor. From now until September 14, I will recap all of these bills. This week I have three bills to recap.
Bills for Veto Session
--SB 656 -- The governor vetoed legislation that the Missouri General Assembly approved to strengthen the gun rights of law- abiding Missourians. If the veto is overridden by the legislature in September, the bill would allow Missourians to carry a concealed weapon without the need for a permit. Commonly referred to as constitutional carry, the bill would allow any person to carry a concealed firearm anywhere it is not expressly prohibited by law. The bill is meant to build on the constitutional change made by Missouri citizens in 2014 that allows Missourians the right to permit-less carry.
The bill also would ensure that individuals who do want to obtain a five-year concealed carry permit will not be charged a fee in excess of $100. The bill would specifically prohibit additional fees that may be charged, including any fee for fingerprinting or a criminal background check. Additionally, the bill will allow Missouri citizens to obtain 10-year, 25-year, or lifetime permits for $200, $250, and $500 respectively.
The legislation also contains a provision commonly referred to as the "Stand Your Ground" law. The measure would remove the requirement that a person who is any place they are legally allowed to be can use force without retreating first. The bill would also expand the state's castle doctrine law. Current statute allows individuals to use deadly force to defend themselves and their property against intruders. The bill approved by lawmakers would extend the protection against lawsuits to house guests who use deadly force.
Veto Date: 06/27/16
--SB 847 - Legislation approved by the General Assembly and vetoed by the governor would reform Missouri's legal system to clarify that an injured person involved in a lawsuit can recover only the actual cost incurred for medical treatment. Specifically, SB 847 would modify Missouri's collateral source rule that currently prevents evidence from being admitted to show when a plaintiff's losses have been compensated from other sources such as insurance or workers' compensation.
Veto Date: 06/28/16
--HB 1631 - Another bill that the governor recently vetoed that the General Assembly is likely to consider overriding during the upcoming September veto session is HB 1631 involving voter IDs. While Missouri voters will have the opportunity in November to decide if citizens should be required to show a valid form of photo identification in order to vote, the governor vetoed the bill that would have put such a system in place if the constitutional change is approved.
However, if the constitutional change is approved by voters, and the veto of HB 1631 is overridden during the Veto Session this September, Missouri would then implement a system of voter identification. The bill would require voters to present a specified form of identification in order to vote in a public election. Valid forms of identification would include photo IDs issued by the state, the federal government or the military. The bill also would require the state to pay for individuals to obtain a valid ID if they do not have one, or to obtain documents necessary for an ID. Additionally, the final version of the HB 1631 contains a provision that would allow a voter without a valid photo ID to vote with a regular ballot by showing another form of identification.
Veto Date: 07/07/16
It is an honor to serve the 51st District in the Missouri House of Representatives. Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our state government and the quality of life for all Missourians. My telephone number is 573-751-2204 or you may contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for working with me to make Missouri a great place to live.