Rep. Jim Neely Capitol Report
Greetings, friends of the 8th District!
Bills Headed to the Senate
HB 1486 would require any individual participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to comply with the work requirements described in federal statute and regulations. Any nonexempt participant who refuses or fails without good cause to comply with the work requirements would be ineligible to participate in the program for three months for the first occurrence of noncompliance; six months for the second occurrence; and two years for the third occurrence of noncompliance. Supporters say the change could help encourage people to move away from dependency on government help and back to work. They also note the bill would not take away children’s benefits.
HB 2101 would specify that guardian ad litem fees shall not be automatically waived in certain civil actions. Supporters say that, currently, any time you have a party involved with legal aid, costs and expenses can be waived upon certification that the party is indigent. This sets out an exception for guardian ad litem fees. Any party, once a trial has ended, can file a motion to have the fees addressed. Judges cannot currently apportion any fees to the guardian ad litem.
HB 2192 would authorize the treasurer of a seven-director school district, when entering into a bond to the State of Missouri, to use one or more sureties instead of the two or more sureties required by current law. Supporters say the current law is archaic and a single insurance company can cover these sureties now.
HB 2221 would remove the requirement that the experience requirements for registered interior designers be verified by at least two client references, business or employment verification, and three industry references. Supporters say the references are unnecessary. Only two other states currently require letters of reference in order to register.
HB 2339 would create the "Missouri Military Community Reinvestment Program" within the Department of Economic Development to assist military communities in supporting and sustaining their installations, to encourage communities to initiate coordinated response programs and action plans in advance of federal government realignment and closure decisions, and to support community efforts to attract new or expanded military missions and specifies that the appropriation for the program may not exceed $300,000. Supporters say the bill would help fund programs for communities to promote their community and the military installation within it when federal base realignment and closures are discussed or when the Department of Defense is expanding missions. Supporters note the state’s military installations are economic drivers in their communities and it is important for the state's economy to protect and expand the missions of these bases.
HB 1633 would specify that a court shall be obligated to charge the jury with respect to an included offense only if it is established by proof of the same or less than all the elements required to establish the commission of the offense charged, there is a rational basis in the evidence for a verdict acquitting the person of the offense charged and convicting the person of the included offense, and either party requests the court to charge the jury with respect to a specific included offense. Supporters say the Supreme Court held that lesser included offenses should be instructed if there is a rational basis to acquit the defendant of the charged offense but to convict of the lesser offense. They say a rational basis makes more sense than there just having to be a basis to charge for the lesser offense.
HB 1973 would remove a temperature change from the definition of a water contaminant for the purposes of the Missouri Clean Water Law and specify that agricultural storm water discharges and return flows from irrigated agriculture are exempt from permitting requirements under the Missouri Clean Water Law and should not be considered unlawful unless the discharges have entered the waters of the state and rendered the waters harmful, detrimental, or injurious to public health, safety, or welfare, to industrial or agricultural uses, or to wild animals, birds, or fish. Supporters say the bill would align Missouri law with federal water laws. Currently, only point sources of pollution need to obtain a permit, but under the current statute a nonpoint source could be required to obtain a permit at the state level. The bill would clarify that nonpoint sources do not need to obtain a permit.
HB 1574 would allow a physician to enter into collaborative practice arrangements or supervision agreements with a total of six fulltime equivalent advanced practice registered nurses (APRN), assistant physicians, or physician assistants. Supporters say the bill would expand access to health care. Currently, 109 out of the 114 counties in Missouri have health care shortages. Proponents say the bill would enable more APRNs to practice in areas that badly need more health care professionals.
HB 1832 would change merchandising practices and credit user protection law and create the offenses of defacing a credit card reader and illegal use of a card scanner. Supporters say the offense was not addressed in the criminal code revision in 2014, and the Attorney General should have the authority to investigate the offense because it spans many counties and sometimes even many states. They note that offenders are becoming emboldened by technology, and are getting better at stealing people's credit card information.
HB 1667 would establish a rebuttable presumption that child custody arrangements that award equal parenting time are in the best interest of the child. Supporters say it is only fair for equal parenting time for both parents to be considered in the best interest of the child, unless there is some evidence showing that one parent is not fit. Oftentimes, courts will still automatically presume that mothers are the best parents and that fathers are not as fit to parent. Proponents say fathers should not have to spend endless hours in court and spend tons of money just to prove that they are equally fit to care for their children.
HB 1368 would modify the Missouri Returning Heroes Education Act to require any institution of higher education that receives state funds to limit the amount of tuition it charges to combat veterans enrolled in a program leading to a graduate degree to no more than 30% of the cost of tuition and fees. Supporters say the bill would allow servicemen and women who fought for their country to stretch their benefits a little further and to receive a graduate education at a reduced cost.
HB 2183 would modify provisions relating to hospital licensure and regulations. Supporters say the bill would give more clarity and consistency with federal requirements to the state’s hospital regulations.
HB 2039 would create the Missouri Route 66 Centennial Commission composed of 18 members who reflect the interests, history and importance of the communities along Route 66 in Missouri. Supporters say the bill would create a commission to help celebrate the centennial and the importance of Route 66 to Missouri and the nation.
HB 1257 would allow private businesses to give hiring preference for veterans. Supporters note that the federal and state government can give preferential treatment to veterans. The bill simply makes it clear that private businesses can do the same. Supporters say some businesses want to give a hiring preference to veterans, but are worried about violating employment laws. This bill does not require private businesses to do anything. The legislation simply clarifies that they can legally give a preference to veterans should they want to.
HB 1516 would specify that licensed chiropractic physicians may treat and be reimbursed for conditions currently reimbursed under MO HealthNet. Supporters say the bill would allow Medicaid patients to have more choices in getting health care and at cheaper prices. They say it is generally about 40 percent cheaper to go to a chiropractor on the first visit.
HRB 1 would repeal obsolete, expired, sunset, and terminated statutory sections and portions of sections. The bill would repeal various obsolete statutes that have been endorsed by the Joint Committee on Legislative Research.
Firefighters and First Responders Honored at State Capitol
Lawmakers welcomed first responders from around the state to the State Capitol building on Wednesday as part of the state’s annual Firefighters Day. Hundreds of firefighters and first responders were on hand to participate in the event that is meant to recognize the importance of the work they do to keep Missouri families and communities safe.
Attendees were welcomed with an enormous American flag at the east entrance of the Capitol building. The flag was displayed between two ladder trucks provided by the Jefferson City Fire Department. First responders in attendance were thanked for their efforts by Department of Public Safety Director Drew Juden and Missouri Fire Marshal Tim Bean.
Missouri’s fire service includes more than 24,000 career and volunteer responders working across more than 850 departments. Members of Missouri’s fire service not only respond to fires and medical emergencies, but also play key roles in other emergencies, including complex technical rescues, hazardous materials incidents, natural disasters and homeland security special details. Firefighters also perform many other critical tasks, including fire safety inspections and working to educate the public about fire safety and prevention.
Yours in service,
Representative Jim Neely
Proudly Serving the 8th House District
Clinton, Caldwell, Ray, & Clay Counties
Missouri House of Representatives