Governor Parson completed the signing of bills from the 2020 Regular Session. This week I will continue the House and Senate Truly Agreed and Finally Passed (TAFP’d) bills summaries. These summaries will continue until we have a complete recap for this past session. The list this week continues with Senate bills, and next week will complete the recap. You may also view all TAFP bill summaries at https://house.mo.gov/LegislationSP.aspx.
2020 Truly Agreed and Finally Passed Bills
SB 644 – This legislation is designed to protect the many disabled Missourians who rely on trained service animals. The bill will crack down on the growing problem of fake support animals. The bill updates the definition of service dog and adds a definition for mental health service dog. It also makes it a class C misdemeanor to knowingly misrepresent a dog as a service dog. Subsequent offenses will be a class B misdemeanor.
SB 653 - This act modifies several provisions relating to child protection, including: (1) foster care case management; (2) Children's Division records; (3) temporary alternative placement agreements; (4) risk assessments for child abuse or neglect; (5) foster parents; (6) information exchange for child placement; and (7) the appearance of certain children in courts.
SB 656 – This bill signed into law by the governor seeks to recognize the contributions of the state’s veterans. The bill designates August 19 of each year as Honor Guard Appreciation Day. June 6 of each year will be Ghost Army Recognition Day. The bill also designates the 22nd day of each month as Buddy Check 22 Day to encourage citizens to check in on veterans and to raise awareness of the problem of suicide facing military personnel. Additionally, the bill creates the Meritorious Service Medal special license plate and the Central Missouri Honor Flight special license plate. The bill also exempts Purple Heart special license plates from vehicle registration fees for the first set of plates issued. The bill also requires the Missouri Veterans' Commission to seek out business organizations that are interested in hiring veterans for available job opportunities.
SB 676 - A bill approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor will ensure tax fairness for Missourians.
One provision in the bill will protect Missourians from being blindsided with dramatic property assessment increases. The bill is meant to provide citizens with a reasonable timetable to appeal increases in assessed value. It will clarify deadlines and guarantee that taxpayers will always have at least a month to appeal an assessment increase. The legislation also provides additional protections to homeowners against abusive assessments. The bill requires county assessors to conduct a physical inspection of real estate prior to increasing a property’s assessment more than 15 percent. It also shifts the burden of establishing higher property values to assessors.
Another provision in the bill is meant to protect Missourians’ stimulus payments from state income tax. The stimulus payments are not subject to federal income taxes, and the change that has now been signed by the governor will enact a similar policy for Missouri tax law.
SS/SCS/SB 718 - This act modifies provision relating to military affairs, including state designations, programs implemented by the Attorney General, the merit system, executive departments, teacher licensing, veterans' homes, developmental disability services, child protection, motor vehicle insurance, and the Missouri Works program. Includes Missouri Works eligibility for military related projects.
Governor Vetoes Two Bills
The governor signed almost all bills approved by the General Assembly this year; however, he vetoed two bills that were sent to his desk. Parson vetoed HB 1854, which is a bill meant to improve the laws governing political subdivisions in the state. While Parson said the bill contains many subjects of which he approves, he vetoed the bill because it contains subjects that did not receive a public hearing and that do not relate to the bill’s original purpose as required by the Missouri Constitution. The governor also vetoed SB 718, which would have created a state Department of Military Forces. Parson said a new department can only be created by a constitutional amendment approved by Missourians.
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.