Around the State
The Missouri House is going through its annual exercise considering a statewide monitoring program, Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), that supporters say will help combat prescription drug abuse. Missouri is the only state in the nation without a statewide program, though a program started by St. Louis County encompasses roughly 87 percent of the state’s population. House Bill 1693 would replace St. Louis County’s program with one that covers all of Missouri and puts additional protections in place for those whose data would be in the monitoring program.
The bill would create an online database that doctors and pharmacists could use to record and monitor the purchases of pills and visits to pharmacies.
The bill was perfected by a roll call vote of 95-56. One more favorable vote will send it to the Senate. Personally, I voted against it because it did not include the three-year database purge that last year’s bill included.
Bills Sent to the Senate
This week, the House sent several bills to the Senate for their consideration. In total, seven are on their way across the third floor with a variety of topics. These bills include:
HB 1526 would repeal the laws authorizing the Secretary of State to open and maintain an archival facility in the City of St. Louis and the Missouri State Archives - St. Louis Trust Fund. The bill requires that all unobligated funds in the Missouri State Archives - St. Louis Trust Fund on January 1, 2021, shall be transferred to the State Document Preservation Fund. Supporters say the fund is not needed because it did not perform as intended and the last donation was in 2015.
HB 1700 would authorize the city of Springfield to submit to the voters a transient guest tax not to exceed 7.5 percent of the charges per occupied room per night. The tax would be used solely for capital investments that can be demonstrated to increase the number of overnight visitors. Supporters say the bill would create a transient guest tax so that the city of Springfield can use the proceeds to build a new convention center. The new convention center would help attract more visitors and create new jobs for the area.
HB 1330 would authorize the Governor to sell, transfer, grant, convey, remise, release, and forever quitclaim all interest in specific property, described in the bill, along with an easement, located in Cole County, Mo. Supporters say the land would be used to develop a port near Jefferson City. In connection with the new port in New Orleans and the expansion of the Panama Canal, Missouri businesses will now have affordable access to international business markets. Supporters say this land has not been used for 100 years, so this is a beneficial transaction for both sides.
HB 1296 would prohibit prisoners from having cell phones in a prison or jail. Supporters say the bill is necessary to prevent illicit communications between inmates and other individuals. They say cell phones in prison are a problem and are often used for drug deals.
HB 1521 is meant to create better safety and security in the State Capitol building and the state office complex. The bill would establish the Capitol Police Board to provide for public safety at the seat of government and for the safety and security of elected officials, government employees, and their guests.
HB 1934 would ensure greater transparency and accountability for the Public School Retirement System (PSRS). The bill exempts information pertaining to the salaries and benefits of the executive director and employees of the Board of the Public School Retirement System of Missouri from being confidential.
HB 1963 would help make Missouri the first state in the nation to develop a high-speed Hyperloop system. The bill would add the “tube transport system” to the list of projects that are eligible for a public-private partnership.
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.