Representative JIm Neely's Capitol Report
Greetings, friends of the 8th Legislative District!
Governor Calls for Extraordinary Session of the General Assembly
As lawmakers prepared to return to Jefferson City for the annual Veto Session, they received news that they will have additional work when they make their way back to the State Capitol building. Gov. Mike Parson recently announced that he is calling the legislature in for an extraordinary session that is set to begin Monday, Sept. 10. The legislature’s annual Veto Session is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 12, which means the two sessions will run concurrently.
The governor called the extraordinary session to address two issues that were previously approved by the General Assembly during the regular session, but vetoed because of issues the governor had with language in each bill. Legislators will return to craft new bills dealing with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education and the expansion of drug treatment courts.
The STEM education bill the legislature will work to pass will require the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to establish an online program to educate students about STEM careers, and allow for multiple companies to bid to provide the program. Passing the bill during an extraordinary session is necessary to allow DESE to start the process of implementing it for the 2019-2020 school year. The language was originally contained in SBs 894 & 921, which the governor vetoed because the criteria for bidders for the program were too narrowly tailored.
The other bill lawmakers will work to pass will focus solely on reforms to treatment courts throughout the state. The bill is meant to improve the quality and consistency of treatment courts throughout Missouri by establishing treatment court divisions and giving local courts the authority and flexibility to set their own policies for treatment courts. The expansion of treatment courts in Missouri will allow for more individuals to get treatment rather than be incarcerated in an already overcrowded prison system. The treatment court language was originally passed by the legislature in HB 2562. The governor vetoed the bill because of other language it contained.
In reaction to the call for the extraordinary session, House Speaker Todd Richardson said, “I appreciate the governor’s willingness to work closely with us to resolve these pressing issues that will have a positive impact on thousands of Missourians all across our state. My colleagues and I are ready to have an efficient session that will improve our system of education to better prepare our young people for the jobs of the future, and give Missourians battling substance abuse access to treatment that will allow them to become healthy, productive citizens.”
Yours in service,
Representative Jim Neely
Proudly Serving the 8th House District
Clinton, Caldwell, Ray, & Clay Counties
Missouri House of Representatives