(MISSOURINET) Dozens of bills become law today that were passed during the regular session of the Missouri Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Mike Parson. Lawmakers passed about 100 pieces of legislation during the session. Here is a list of the top measures becoming law today:
Senate Bill 89 loosens Missouri’s vehicle inspection requirements. The wide-ranging bill makes car owners get an inspection for vehicles more than 10 years old or with more than 150,000 miles. The checks are necessary to get a motor vehicle license renewed. State Representative J. Eggleston, R-Maysville, sponsored the original version of the bill.
House Bill 499 aims to keep struggling state license offices open. The measure, sponsored by Rep. Aaron Griesheimer, R-Washington, boosts fees by about $2.50 to $3, depending on the type of service. The fee increases are for vehicle licenses, operators’ licenses and vehicle title transfers, which have not been raised since 1999. The roughly 174 license offices employ about 1,700 Missourians.
Senate Bill 336 fixes a loophole in state law that allows in-home daycare providers to care for four children but watch an unlimited number of relatives. Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, has championed the legislation for 10 years. “Nathan’s Law” limits the number of children to six with no more than three can be under the age of 2. Violators face a misdemeanor and potential fines.
House Bill 192 reduces the number of offenders being locked up in local jails and state prisons. The proposal scraps mandatory minimum sentences for some nonviolent crimes and requires the Missouri parole board to evaluate those currently serving mandatory minimums to decide if they should be released. The measure, sponsored by Rep. Bruce DeGroot, R-Chesterfield, also blocks people from getting thrown back in jail for not paying for their previous jail bills.
After shutting down Senate work for 26 hours during the final week of the session, the Missouri Senate Conservative Caucus budged and let the chamber pass Senate Bill 68 – legislation largely inspired by General Motors. The compromise reached on the incentive package championed by fellow Republican Governor Mike Parson and Sen. Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield, is meant to woo GM for a potential expansion in Wentzville. The plan gives $50 million in tax credits to automakers that invest at least $750 million in plant improvements. It also provides tax credits earlier in a business expansion and financial aid for adults who want to go back to school to fill jobs in a high demand field. GM has not announced a decision yet on the fate of an expansion, but Department of Economic Development Director Rob Dixon tells Missourinet the agency is “in day-to-day conversations” with General Motors.
On the final day of the session, the House passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 14, which is designed to pay for the repairs of 215 Missouri bridges. The measure, sponsored by Sen. Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, lets the Highways and Transportation Commission issue $301 million in bonds and pay the total amount back within seven years. The proposal uses about $50 million in general state revenue annually for seven years with an additional $35 million for a cost-share program for local infrastructure upgrades. The loan will amount to about $22.6 million in interest.
Senate Bill 7 shuts down lawsuits with out-of-state defendants from filing court cases in St. Louis. The measure, sponsored by Sen. Ed Emery, R-Lamar, also adds restrictions on plaintiffs who attempt to join together in the same court case. Passing changes to the state’s tort laws has been a priority for the GOP-controlled legislature.
Senate Bill 1 expands some nonviolent offenses to a list of possible crimes that could be erased from a person’s criminal record. Sen. Kiki Curls, D-Kansas City, is the sponsor of the legislation that adds property damage, fraudulent use of a credit or debit card, and stealing to the list crimes that could be deleted.
The Missouri Legislature approved a roughly $30 billion state budget for the fiscal year that began in July. The financial outline includes:
*$50 million in general revenue for a $301 million bond for bridge repairs and another $35 million for a cost-share program with local municipalities to fund road repairs.
*A 3% pay raise for state employees and another 1% salary boost for Department of Corrections workers. The increase takes effect in January.
*$3.55 billion to fully fund the formula used to finance Missouri’s K-12 public schools – an increase of about $60 million from the current state budget year.
*$108 million to fund K-12 public school bus transportation costs – a $5 million increase from the current fiscal year.
*Core funding increased for all of Missouri’s public universities by $1 million with some, including Missouri State University, receiving as much as a $10 million boost. State Technical College received a $500,000 core increase and $500,000 for deferred maintenance.
*Preventing undocumented immigrants from receiving in-state college tuition
*$5 million for alternatives to jail program for pre-trail electronic ankle bracelets
*$5 million for rural broadband grants
*About $8 million in flood recovery aid
*1.5% rate increases to Medicaid providers