Around the State
(Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019) — The Missouri State Fair opens today. The opening ceremonies begin in the morning, and the annual parade begins at 6 p.m. This year’s theme is Come Home, and events run through Aug. 18. For a full schedule of entertainment and events, please see http://www.mostatefair.com/schedules/ .
During the 2019 legislative session the Missouri General Assembly worked with Gov. Mike Parson to approve several key proposals that will improve Missouri’s aging transportation network. Legislators approved both a $50 million appropriation in the state budget and a $301 million bonding plan that will result in the state being able to repair or replace 250 bridges across the state. We also approved an additional $50 million in funding to create the Governor’s Transportation Cost-Share Program.
The cost-share program represents an effort to build partnerships between the state and local communities. Together they can pool efforts and resources to ensure much-needed road and bridge projects are completed. In an important step forward for this effort to improve Missouri’s roads and bridges, Gov. Parson recently announced that guidelines and applications for the cost-share program are now available online. They can be accessed at https://www.modot.org/governors-transportation-cost-share-program. Applications for this program are due by October 1,2019.
In other news, I will continue with a summary of Truly Agreed and Finally Passed (TAFP’d) bills. This week begins Senate bills and includes court and legal issues. I will once again proceed by number.
Bills Truly Agreed and Finally Passed (TAFP’d)
CCS HCS SB 133 -- Agriculture This bill changes the laws relating to agriculture.
ZONING CLASSIFICATIONS FOR SAW MILLS This bill requires that for purposes of property zoning classifications, sawmills must be classified as agricultural property (Sections 64.002, 65.702, and 89.020, RSMo).
INDUSTRIAL HEMP This bill modifies the requirements relating to the production of industrial hemp. In its main provisions, the bill:
(1) Modifies the permit requirements to include anyone who sells or distributes industrial hemp seed or propagules and requires a producer of industrial hemp to obtain a registration from the Department of Agriculture;
(2) Specifies that each individual parcel of ground or indoor cultivation facility with a separate legal description must obtain a separate registration unless the parcels are contiguous and owned by the same person;
(3) Prohibits the department from issuing a registration or permit to a person who has been found guilty of or pled guilty to a felony in the last 10 years;
(4) Modifies the fines for any person violating the requirements of an industrial hemp registration or industrial hemp propagule or seed permit;
(5) Removes any acreage requirements for the growth of industrial hemp. Currently, under the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, the Department of Agriculture can only issue a permit to a single registrant or permittee for a plot of no less than 10 acres and no more than 40 acres and a total of 2,000 acres statewide. The department can only issue a permit to an institute of higher education for a plot of less than 10 acres and a total of 20 acres statewide;
(6) Specifies that if a crop of industrial hemp exceeds the allowed THC concentration during the required testing, the crop must be retested. If when retested, the crop exceeds the allowed THC concentration, the department may order the producer to destroy the crop;
(7) Prohibits the department from regulating certain activities related to industrial hemp unless required by federal law; and
(8) Specifies that an institution of higher education may engage in the research and study of industrial hemp as authorized under the Agricultural Act of 2014 or any successor law without being required to obtain a registration.
SALE OF EGGS This bill specifies that if the Director of the Department of Agriculture determines, after inquiry and opportunity for a hearing, that an individual has violated any of the laws relating to the sale of eggs, the director has the authority to assess a penalty of not more than $500 per violation and not more than $500 for each day the violation continues.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FEES This bill requires the Department of Agriculture to convene a work group every five years to review all fees charged by the department and submit a report to the General Assembly on any recommended changes to the fees. The bill also increases the fees for several programs and licenses within the department's Plant Industries Division. In addition, every pesticide which is distributed or sold in Missouri must be registered with the Department of Agriculture and pay an annual fee product registered. The department director would be allowed to deposit up to 7% of the fee into the Pesticide Education Fund to be used for pesticide applicator certification programs, pesticide education programs, and pesticide waste and container disposal programs.
TREATED TIMBER LAW This bill repeals the Missouri Treated Timber Law (Sections 280.005 - 280.140). This bill contains an emergency clause for the section relating to the ability for institutions of higher education to grow and study industrial hemp.
HCS SB 134 – Solid Waste Currently, the Director of the Department of Natural Resources may institute a civil penalty for violations concerning a solid waste disposal area, and the assessment of a penalty shall not exceed $1,000 per day for each day the violation occurred or continues to occur. This bill repeals this authority. The bill also extends from Jan. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2025, the expiration of the fee collected from retailers for the disposal of old tires.
SB 138 – Reports from the State Auditor This bill requires the State Auditor to make suggestions or recommendations, to the extent allowed under governmental auditing standards, to any auditee that requests it following the issuance of a report on an audit that deemed a practice of the auditee inadequate. Also, the Auditor is required to make a summary of any report on an audit and such summary shall contain a summary of any recommendations provided.
CCS#2 HCS SCS SB 147 – Motor Vehicles This bill makes changes to laws regarding motor vehicles.
CORRECTION OFFICER CONFIDENTIALITY The bill includes anyone employed by the Department of Corrections, corrections officers, and jailers in the list of persons whose home address and vehicle information is to be kept confidential by the Department of Revenue (Section 32.056).
SECURE DIGITAL DRIVER’S LICENSE The department is authorized to design a secure digital driver's license program that allows applicants applying for a driver's license under Chapter 302 to obtain a secure digital driver's license in addition to the physical card-based driver's license, which will be acceptable for all purposes for which a license is used (Section 32.303).
MOTOR VEHICLE LICENSE OFFICES Motor vehicle license office fees are increased from $3.50 to $6 for annual motor vehicle and trailer registrations, from $7 to $12 for biennial registrations, from $2.50 to $6 for applications or transfers of title, from $2.50 to $6 for operator licenses and permits issued for periods of three years or less, from $5 to $12 for operator licenses and permits issued for more than three years, and from $2.50 to $6 for each notice of lien. A fee of $2 per processing for notary services or electronic transmission is established. The process for awarding motor vehicle license office contracts must consider the distance between the individual's home and the license office, as specified in the bill (Section 136.055).
MOTOR VEHICLES This bill requires any person, company, or corporation engaged in the business of renting or leasing motor vehicles, trailers, boats, or outboard motors, which are to be used exclusively for rental or lease purposes, and not for resale, to apply to the Director of the Department of Revenue for authority to operate as a leasing or rental company and pay an annual fee of $250 for such authority. Additionally, applicants must furnish with the application a corporate surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit issued by any state or federal financial institution in the penal sum of $100,000. Conditions and requirements for the bonds or irrevocable letters of credit are set out in the bill. Any person, company, or corporation engaged in the business of renting or leasing 3,500 or more motor vehicles which are to be used exclusively for rental or leasing purposes and not for resale, and that has applied to the Director of the Department of Revenue for authority to operate as a leasing company may also operate as a registered fleet owner (Section 144.070). Requirements for and other provisions regulating registered fleet owners are set out in detail in the bill (Section 301.032).
LEFT TURN ON RED ON ONE-WAY STREET This bill allows that when following certain criteria drivers may turn left after stopping at a red light for one-way streets (Sections 300.155 and 304.281).
AUTOCYCLES This bill changes the definition of auto-cycle to include more types of three-wheeled motor vehicles, and adds a definition for “recreational trailer” (Section 301.010).
LICENSE PLATE RENEWALS This bill specifies that fees for the renewal of noncommercial motor vehicle registrations shall be payable no later than the last day of the month that follows the final month of the expired registration period. No renewal penalty shall be assessed, and no violation for expired registration shall be issued, until the second month that follows the expired registration period (Section 301.030).
HELMET RULES This bill allows qualified motorcycle and motor-tricycle operators, 18 years or older, to operate without a helmet if they have both medical insurance and proof of financial responsibility under Chapter 303, RSMo. Proof of coverage may be shown using a copy of the operator's insurance card.
VEHICLE INSPECTION FEES This bill modifies the inspection requirement for non-commercial motor vehicles which is currently required in order to renew a motor vehicle license. After being sold, new motor vehicles will not have to have an inspection until they are more than 10 years old and have more than 150,000 miles. Currently, an untitled, homemade trailer that is 16 feet or more in length must have a certificate of inspection. This bill requires all homemade trailers to have a certificate of inspection and increases the inspection fee from $10 to $25.
RECREATIONAL TRAILER LICENSES This bill changes the due date for a payable annual registration fee for recreational trailers from December 2019 to May 2020 and defers any fee due in December 2019 to May 2020. Recreational trailers are defined in the bill.
COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSES This bill modifies the storage and record requirements for test score documents issued by third-party commercial testers and documents submitted by military service members by adding them to existing exemptions. Currently, a commercial driver's instruction permit is valid for six months and may be renewed once for an additional six months. The bill changes the permit to a one-year nonrenewable instruction permit and increases the fee from $5 to $10. The fee for a duplicate permit is $5. This bill requires an applicant for a commercial driver's license to take an entry-level driver training program that is currently established by regulation. The bill also allows the Director of the Department of Revenue to waive specified written test requirements for current or former military service members.
LAW ENFORCEMENT Currently, if a Missouri resident fails to dispose of charges or fails to appear in court, if required, for a moving traffic violation, a court is required to notify the Director of The Department of Revenue of the failures and is required to order the director to suspend the defendant’s driving privileges if the charges are not disposed of and paid within 30 days. This section makes it discretionary for the court to notify the department and order license suspension. The City of St. Louis and St. Louis County are excluded from this section (Section 302.341).
TOWING TASK FORCE This bill creates the "Towing Task Force" consisting of ten members, including two members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker and two members of the Senate appointed by the President Pro Tem, as specified in the bill. The task force will make recommendations on overcharges, customer complaints, and the process for nonconsensual towing used by law enforcement. A report to the General Assembly must be submitted January 1, 2020, and the task force will expire on May 31, 2020. Sections 301.020, 301.191, 307.350 of this bill have an effective date of Jan. 1, 2020.
For more complete information on each bill, please see: https://house.mo.gov/LegislationSP.aspx
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.