With three weeks remaining in the session, the work increases and I found myself in the Capitol until 9:00 each evening this week. What I have included in this report is not a full listing of everything that was accomplished in the House this week and sent to the Senate for consideration. There are 22 bills which are not listed in this report. For a complete list, I encourage everyone to research each bill for more information by going to house.mo.gov and click on “Legislation.” Of particular interest, you might want to view the amendments that were added to the bills, which are too numerous to list. I encourage you to sign up to receive my full Capitol Report by emailing me at Tim.Taylor@house.mo.gov.
House Members Support Bill to Protect Against Federal Overreach (HB 1212)
Lawmakers gave approval this week to legislation meant to protect Missourians against potential overreach by the federal government. The bill would establish the Joint Committee on Federal Government Oversight.
The committee, which would be made up of five state representatives and five state senators, would review any executive orders issued by the President of the United States. It would then make recommendations to the Attorney General and the Governor whether further examination is needed to determine the constitutionality of the executive orders, or whether the state should seek an exemption from the application of the orders.
The bill also states that all state agencies and political subdivisions are prohibited from implementing an executive order that restricts a person's constitutional rights or that is determined by the Attorney General to be unconstitutional if the order relates to specified types of regulation.
House Moves to Expel Member for Ethical Misconduct
For only the second time in its history, the Missouri House of Representatives has expelled a member for misconduct. By a vote of 153-0, the members of the Missouri House accepted the recommendation of the House Ethics Committee to expel state Rep. Rick Roeber.
After four months of gathering evidence and taking testimony, the committee released a report saying it found the children to be credible witnesses and that it found Roeber to be not credible.
The bipartisan committee unanimously found that Roeber’s physical, sexual, and mental abuse of his children constituted ethical misconduct of sufficient severity to warrant expulsion. The report said his conduct makes him “unfit to serve as a representative in the Missouri General Assembly.”
Roeber becomes the second member to be expelled in House history. The first expulsion took place in 1865 when the body voted to expel John Sampson of Callaway County for disloyalty to the Union.
HB 944 changes the provisions related to firearms. Currently, a person commits the crime of unlawful use of a weapon if he or she discharges or shoots a firearm from a motor vehicle. The bill allows the discharge of a firearm from a stationary motor vehicle if the firearm is discharged on private property in an unincorporated area of the state to protect livestock from predatory wildlife or dogs that are killing, wounding, or chasing livestock. Supporters say farmers and ranchers need to have the ability to protect their livestock from predatory animals without the fear of being charged with a felony offense. The bill also preempts the field of firearm business regulation and prohibits the state or its political subdivisions from enacting any law, rule, or regulation that would prohibit, restrict, or reduce the operations of such businesses. The bill allows a concealed carry permit holder to lawfully carry firearms on public transportation, as defined in the bill. The bill also establishes "Blair’s Law" which specifies that a person commits the offense of unlawful discharge of a firearm if, with criminal negligence, he or she discharges a firearm within or into the limits of any municipality.
HB 317 requires that any member of Missouri Task Force One who is called to active duty, will be entitled to reemployment rights when they are relieved from such duty. Supporters say when Task Force One is deployed out of state, members are treated differently than when they are deployed in the state. This bill would require employers to take members of the Task Force back once they return. Currently, employers do not have to take them back once they return from deployment out of state.
HB 352 repeals authorization for a separate commissary account, which is currently used for operational expenses, and retains an “Inmate Canteen Fund” that is used for recreational, religious, educational, and reentry services. The State Treasurer shall be the custodian of the Fund and money in the Fund must be used to collect all revenue and pay operating expenses of the inmate canteens. Supporters say the bill will ensure that funds used for the benefit of inmates are properly audited and managed.
HBs 848, 617 & 822 establishes the "Daylight Saving as New Standard Time Pact" consisting of this state and any other state desiring to abstain from observation of Daylight Saving Time. The bill exempts all areas of the state from the federal Daylight Saving Time provisions. In the year in which a majority of states bordering Missouri have passed legislation entering those states into the Pact, each state will switch clocks to Daylight Saving for the last time and Daylight Saving Time will be eliminated. Supporters say the bill would allow for Missourians to benefit from extra daylight in the evening. It will also promote more outdoor recreational activities.
It is my honor to serve the constituents of District 48. If you ever have questions, concerns, or input, please feel free to contact me at any time at 573-751-0169 or you can reach my Legislator Assistant, June, at June.Cardwell@house.mo.gov.