The state budget that went into effect on July 1st could lead to fewer impaired driving checkpoints, but more periods of increased law enforcement presence on Missouri roads. Under language put into the budget by the House, no money controlled by the budget can be used on checkpoints. Specifically, $20-million available for grants that law enforcement agencies have used to fund various efforts now cannot be used for checkpoints.
Instead of checkpoints, law enforcement may now focus on saturation efforts. Data from the Department of Transportation show that periods of having more officers on the roads, often called “saturation efforts,” get more results for the money invested. MoDOT reported that in the year that ended July 1, 2016, saturation efforts resulted in 3,055 arrests at a cost of $704 per arrest, compared to 1,201 arrests at checkpoints at a cost of $1,047 per arrest. Over the three years through July 1, 2016, saturation periods yielded 9,288 arrests at $704 apiece compared to 4,152 arrests at checkpoints costing $919 each. The intent of the change is to increase the effectiveness of the limited law enforcement dollars available.
From now through June 30, 2018, Missouri law enforcement agencies can still conduct checkpoints, but would have to pay for them through means other than grants authorized under the state budget.
Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed Bills
SB 111 (Signed by Governor: 7/11) - Modifies various provisions regarding bonds issued by a political subdivision, qualifications for candidates of public office, limited liability companies who own property in certain cities, public administrators, and guardianships
This act requires political subdivisions with an unenhanced bond rating of AA+ or higher to issue such debts through a competitive process unless such political subdivision employs the services of a municipal advisor, as defined in the act. Such political subdivisions may use a negotiated or competitive process. This requirement shall not apply when the bonds are sold to a government entity, when the principal amount of the bonds issued does not exceed $12,500,000, or to bonds issued for refinance. Any person who is engaged as a municipal advisor by a political corporation or subdivision with respect to a particular issue of securities shall be independent, as defined in the act, of the underwriter of that issue of securities. The State Treasurer shall make relevant information regarding debt issuance and bidding practices available to political subdivisions.
Currently, property tax exemptions for property located in an enhanced enterprise zone may not be granted for a period longer than twenty-five years from the date on which the enhanced enterprise zone was created. This act removes the language that limits the exemption to the date on which the zone is created. This act also requires that no exemption be granted during the final ten years of an enhanced enterprise zone for a period longer than ten years. Moreover, this act, among other provisions, states that a guardian may execute a preneed contract for a ward's funeral services. If a next-of-kin does not exercise his or her right of sepulcher within ten days of the ward's death, then the guardian may consent for the disposition of the body.
SB 112 (Signed by Governor: 7/11) - Modifies provisions relating to political subdivisions
This act authorizes a county commission to combine two or more road districts within the county upon petition request by a majority of the commissioners in each of the road districts seeking to be combined. The county commission shall hold a public hearing after publishing notice for a period of 4 weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. The county may issue an order to consolidate the districts if it finds, after the public hearing, that the consolidation is in the public good. The act also designates the procedure for appointing commissioners to the new consolidated district and transferring of assets, liabilities, and tax levies. The provisions for consolidation do not apply to road districts located in two counties.
Among other provisions, This act requires candidates for the office of public administrator provide the election authority a copy of a signed affidavit from one surety company indicating that the candidate meets the bonding requirements. After being elected to office, a public administrator shall enter into bond to the state in a sum not less than $10,000 with one or more securities, rather than two or more securities.
SB 128 (Vetoed by Governor: 7/14) - Modifies various provisions regarding criminal offenses, the Attorney General, the Department of Revenue, child support and custody, trusts and estates, guardianships, judges, court surcharges, court reporter fees, and victims of crime
This act would have authorized the state auditor or his or her authorized representatives to audit all or part of any government entity, upon request by a prosecuting attorney or law enforcement agency. Violating provisions relating to conflict of interest and lobbying is a Class E felony if the offense involves more than seven hundred and fifty dollars in value, or if the offender has previously been found guilty of official misconduct. A court may enter a judgment of restitution against an offender and may order the offender to pay restitution against the victim, a government entity, or a third-party payer. The act provides for the determination and enforcement of this restitution.
Among other provisions, this bill also creates the "Supporting and Strengthening Families Act". It provides that during a child protective investigation if the child is at risk for possible removal, the Children's Division shall provide information to the parent about community service programs that provide support services for families in crisis. Additionally, a parent or legal custodian of a child may delegate to an attorney-in-fact, without compensation, any powers regarding the care and custody of a child for a period not to exceed one year, unless an exception applies as specified in the act. A parent who intentionally uses a power of attorney to permanently avoid legal responsibility for the care of the child is guilty of violating current law on transferring child custody without a court order. A child subject to the power of attorney shall not be considered placed in foster care and the parties shall not be subject to any licensing regulations for foster care or community care for children. The Governor’s veto letter states he vetoed the bill due to its expansive number of topics and contradiction with the Missouri Constitution.
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.