The abbreviated descriptions below are intended to make the public aware of some of the new legislation enacted by the Missouri General Assembly which is related to crime and public safety.
The listed legislation has been signed into law. Unless otherwise noted, these laws will go into effect August 28, 2022. For a complete description of these newly enacted laws, visit the Missouri House of Representatives or Missouri Senate websites or click on the links provided within this news release.
OFFENSE OF MONEY LAUNDERING (Section 574.105 RSMo)
Currently, the offense of money laundering involves a currency transaction. This bill modifies the offense of money laundering to specify a financial transaction. The bill adds a definition for “cryptocurrency,” which is a digital currency in which transactions are verified and records are maintained by a decentralized system using cryptography. The bill replaces the definitions of “currency” with one for “monetary instruments” and it adds definitions for “financial transaction” and “transaction.” The definition of “financial transaction” involves the movement of funds by wire or other means, including blockchain, and involves the use of a financial institution as defined under federal law.
A political subdivision may allocate up to 25% of the funds it receives from the state through grants for public safety to the creation of homeless outreach teams as specified in the bill. These provisions will not apply to shelters for domestic violence victims. The provisions of this section have an effective date of January 1, 2023.
OPIOID ADDICTION TREATMENT FUND
This bill establishes that the director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, if a licensed physician, may issue a statewide standing order, or contract with a licensed physician to issue such order, for an addiction mitigation medication, defined as properly administered naltrexone hydrochloride. Any licensed pharmacist may sell and dispense an addiction mitigation medication under a physician protocol or statewide standing order. A pharmacist acting in good faith and with reasonable care that sells or dispenses an addiction mitigation medication shall not be subject to any criminal or civil liability or professional disciplinary action for prescribing or dispensing such medication or for any resulting outcome. It shall be permissible for any person to possess an addiction mitigation medication.
This bill provides that, in addition to those departments that currently have access, the Department of Corrections and the Judiciary shall have access to the “Opioid Addiction Treatment and Recovery Fund” to pay for opioid addiction treatment and prevention services and health care and law enforcement costs related to opioid addiction treatment and prevention.
MOTOR VEHICLE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Beginning January 1, 2024, this bill specifies that the Department of Revenue must establish a process for the voluntary suspension of motor vehicle registration for vehicles which are inoperable or being stored and not in operation. The owner or nonresident must not further operate the vehicle until notifying the Department that the vehicle will be in use, and DOR must reinstate the registration upon receipt of proof of financial responsibility. Owners or nonresidents who operate a motor vehicle during a period of inoperability or storage claimed under the bill will be guilty of a class B misdemeanor and may additionally be guilty of a violation of The Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law. The bill also provides that the department may verify motor vehicle financial responsibility as provided by law, but must not otherwise take enforcement action unless the director determines a violation has occurred as described in the bill.
Currently, a first violation of the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law is punishable as a class D misdemeanor, meaning a fine may be imposed of up to $500; a second or subsequent offense is punishable by up to 15 days in jail and/or a fine not to exceed $500. This bill specifies that a second or subsequent offense may be punished by up to 15 days in jail and will be punished by a fine not less than $200, but not to exceed $500. Fines owed to the state for violations of the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law may be eligible for payment in installments. Rules for the application of payment plans will take into account individuals’ ability to pay.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA FACILITY BACKGROUND CHECKS
Currently, all owners, officers, managers, contractors, employees, and other support staff of licensed or certified medical marijuana facilities must submit fingerprints to the Missouri State Highway Patrol for state and federal criminal background checks. This bill limits those individuals that must submit to such fingerprinting to employees, contractors, owners, and volunteers. This bill provides a definition of contractor for purposes of the provisions of the bill.
POLICE DEPARTMENT FUNDING
Under current law, the city of Kansas City is required to provide one-fifth of its general revenue per fiscal year to fund the Kansas City Board of Police. This act increases such funding to one-fourth of the city’s general revenue. Under current law, the General Assembly cannot require a city to increase an activity or service beyond that required by existing law, unless a state appropriation is made to pay the city for any increase costs.
This proposed (Missouri) Constitution amendment, if approved by the voters, provides an exception to allow for a law that increases minimum funding, if increased before December 31, 2026, for a police force established by a state board of police commissioners to ensure they have additional resources to serve their communities.
SB681 & SB682 — https://www.senate.mo.gov/22info/pdf-bill/tat/SB681.pdf
Beginning January 1, 2023, the act authorizes substitute teachers that apply for a fingerprint background check the opportunity to submit the results to up to five different school districts for a specified fee.
VEHICLES USED TO TRANSPORT SCHOOL CHILDREN
This act modifies a definition of “school bus” to include only vehicles designed for carrying more than 10 passengers, including the driver. The act also provides that school districts shall have the authority to use vehicles other than school buses, meaning those vehicles designed for carrying 10 or fewer passengers including the driver, to transport school children, specifies that the State Board of Education shall not adopt rules or regulations governing the use of transportation network companies for the transportation of school children, repeals the requirement that drivers of non-school bus vehicles transporting school children have a school bus driver’s license endorsement, and provides that the vehicles other than school buses shall meet any additional requirements of the school district.
The State Board of Education shall not require an individual using a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 12,000 pounds or less for the purpose of providing student transportation services in a vehicle other than a school bus to obtain any license other than a class F license.
This act provides that when a child is located by a law enforcement official and there is reasonable cause to suspect the child may be a victim of sex trafficking, the law enforcement official shall immediately cause a report to be made to the Children’s Division. If the Children’s Division determines that the report merits an investigation, the reporting official and the Children’s Division shall ensure the immediate safety of the child. If the law enforcement official has reasonable cause to believe the child is in imminent danger, he or she may take temporary custody of the child without the consent of the child’s parents.
Additionally, this act establishes the “Statewide Council on Sex Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Children.” The council shall collect data relating to sex trafficking of children and develop best practices regarding the response to sex trafficking of children. The council shall submit a report to the governor and General Assembly on or before December 31, 2023; at which time the council shall expire.
Finally, this act adds that the family courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction in proceedings involving a child who has been a victim of sex trafficking or sexual exploitation.
ORDERS OF PROTECTION
This act provides that if a full order of protection is granted by a court, all temporary orders shall continue in the full order of protection and shall remain in full force and effect unless otherwise ordered by the court. Additionally, this act adds that the court may order a party to pay a reasonable amount for the other party’s attorney fees incurred prior to the proceeding, throughout the proceeding, and after entry of judgment for orders of protection.
NOTICE OF ORDER OF PROTECTION
Under current law, a person is deemed to have notice of an order of protection against him or her if a law enforcement officer responding to a call of domestic violence or violation of the order of protection presented a copy of the order. This act adds that notice is also given by actual communication to the person in a manner reasonably likely to advise him or her.
WITNESSES IN CASES INVOLVING SEXUAL OFFENSES
Under current law, in prosecutions related to sexual offenses a witness’s prior sexual conduct or specific instances of prior sexual conduct is inadmissible, except in certain instances. This act provides that this evidence is inadmissible at any trial, hearing, or court proceeding and not a subject for inquiry during a deposition or during discovery, except in certain instances.
WITNESSES IN DOMESTIC ASSAULT PROCEEDINGS
A court shall not compel a victim or member of the victim’s family in a domestic assault proceeding to disclose a residential address or place of employment on the record in open court unless the court finds that disclosure of the address or place of employment is necessary. Additionally, a person may testify in a domestic assault proceeding if the person testifying is the victim of offense. The circuit court shall develop rules for appearances by video and shall post these rules on their website.
This act adds to the definition of “sexual contact.” Additionally, this act provides that a person commits the offense of sexual contact with a student if he or she has sexual contact with a student and is a coach, director, or other adult with a school-aged team or club.
Under current law, certain offenders shall not knowingly be present in certain areas, such as schools, public parks with playgrounds, public swimming pools, and athletic fields primarily used by children. Additionally, under current law, certain offenders cannot serve as an athletic coach or trainer for a sport team if a child less than 17 years of age is a member of the team. This act adds that any person found guilty of the offense of possession of child pornography shall not knowingly be present in such areas and shall not serve as an athletic coach.
OFFENSE OF PROSTITUTION
This act provides that a person shall not be certified as an adult or adjudicated for the offense of prostitution if the person was under the age of 18 at the time when the offense occurred. Such person shall be classified as a victim of abuse and reported immediately to the Children’s Division and to the juvenile officer for appropriate services.
SEXUAL PERFORMANCE BY A CHILD
Under current law, sexual performance includes sexual conduct by a child who is less than 17 years old. This act changes the age to 18 years old. Additionally, this act creates the offense of patronizing a sexual performance by a child if such person obtains, solicits, or participates in a sexual performance by a child under the age of 18. This offense is a class C felony.
OFFENSE OF ENABLING SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF A MINOR
This act creates the offense of enabling sexual exploitation of a minor which shall be if a person acting with criminal negligence permits or allows certain sexual or pornography offenses. Such offense is a class E felony for the first offense and a class C felony for any subsequent offenses. Additionally, if the person found guilty of the offense is an owner of a business that provided the location for such exploitation, the business shall be required to close for up to one year for the first offense and shall permanently close after a subsequent offense.
OFFENSE OF PROVIDING EXPLICIT SEXUAL MATERIAL TO A STUDENT
This act provides that a person commits the offense of providing explicit sexual material to a student if such person is affiliated with a public or private elementary or secondary school in an official capacity and, knowing of its content and character, such person provides, assigns, supplies, distributes, loans, or coerces acceptance of or the approval of the providing of explicit sexual material to a student or possesses with the purpose of providing, assigning, supplying, distributing, loaning, or coercing acceptance of or the approval of the providing of explicit sexual material to a student. This offense is a class A misdemeanor.
This act modifies the definitions of “sexual conduct” and “sexual contact.”
SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVORS BILL OF RIGHTS
Under current law, sexual assault survivors have rights relating to how a criminal investigation regarding a sexual assault must be conducted. This act provides that sexual assault survivors retain these rights regardless of whether a criminal investigation or prosecution results or regardless of if he or she has previously waived any of these rights. A sexual assault survivor, for purposes of this act, is any person who is 14 years of age or older and who may be a victim of a sexual offense who presents themselves to an appropriate medical provider, law enforcement officer, prosecuting attorney, or court. Under this act, a sexual assault survivor has the right to:
• Consult with an employee or volunteer of a rape crisis center;
• A sexual assault forensic examination;
• A shower and change of clothing;
• Request to be examined by an appropriate medical provider or interviewed by a law enforcement officer of the gender of the survivor’s choosing, when available;
• An interpreter who can communicate in the language of the sexual assault survivor’s choice, as reasonably available;
• Notification and basic overview of the options of choosing a reported evidentiary collection kit, unreported evidentiary collection kit, and anonymous evidentiary collection kit;
• Notification about the evidence tracking system;
• Notification about the right to certain information considered a closed record, such as a complete incident report; and
• Be free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse in any related criminal or civil proceeding and the right to reasonable protection from the offender.
Additionally, this act provides that a survivor must be informed of the survivor’s rights by a medical provider, law enforcement officer, and a prosecuting attorney in a timely manner. A document shall be developed by the Department of Public Safety, in collaboration with certain Missouri-based stakeholders, which shall be provided to a sexual assault survivor explaining the survivor’s rights. The document shall include:
• A description of the rights of the sexual assault survivor pursuant to this act; and
• Telephone and internet means for contacting a local rape crisis center.
This act repeals duplicate rights found in other provisions of current law. Additionally, this act repeals the requirement that a law enforcement officer shall upon written request provide a free, complete, and unaltered copy of all law enforcement reports concerning the sexual assault within 14 days to the survivor.
CLOSED RECORDS OF VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
Under current law, certain identifiable information of victims of domestic assault or stalking shall be closed and redacted from public record. This act adds that such identifiable information shall also include, but shall not be limited to, the victim’s personal email address, birth date, health status, or any information from a forensic testing report. This act also repeals provisions relating to when a court may disclose such identifying information of a victim and provides that any person who is requesting identifying information of a victim and who has a legitimate interest in obtaining such information, may petition the court for an in-camera inspection of the records. If the court determines the person is entitled to all or any part of such records, the court may order production and disclosure of the records, but only if the court determines that the disclosure to the person or entity would not compromise the welfare or safety of the victim.
CUSTODY OF OFFENDERS
This act adds to the offense of escape from custody any person who is being held in custody after arrest for any probation or parole violation who escapes or attempts to escape from custody. This offense shall be a class A misdemeanor unless the person was under arrest for a felony, in which case it is a class E felony; or the offense is committed by means of a deadly weapon or holding a person hostage, in which case it is a class A felony.