A Look at Missouri Legislation that Passed or Failed in 2017

Associated Press

The Missouri Legislature wrapped up its annual session Friday. Here’s a look at some of the bills that passed or failed:

PASSED:

BUDGET

Provides $27.7 billion for the fiscal year starting July 1. Fully funds K-12 schools but cuts core funding for public colleges and universities by 6.6 percent. Seeks to avoid cuts to in-home care and nursing services for about 8,300 disabled and seniors by diverting money from other dedicated funds. HBs1-13 and HCB3.

DISCRIMINATION

Makes it harder to prove workplace and housing discrimination in court by requiring proof that race, gender, age or disability was “the motivating factor” instead of merely a contributing factor in decisions. SB43.

HERBICIDES

Increases fines for illegally using herbicides that damage other farmers’ crops. HB662

LAW ENFORCEMENT

Enhances penalties for various crimes against law officers or their family members. Creates a “Blue Alert” system to notify the public about suspects who kill or wound law officers. Creates a crime of illegal re-entry for deported immigrants who return and commit certain crimes. SB34.

LAWSUITS

Tightens courtroom guidelines for expert witness testimony. HB153. Limits medical costs in injury lawsuits to the amount paid by the plaintiff and insurer, not the amount billed by the medical provider. SB31.

MINIMUM WAGE

Prohibits local governments from enacting minimum wages higher than the state’s minimum wage, nullifying St. Louis’ new $10 an hour minimum wage. HB1194.

REAL ID

Allows the option of getting a Missouri driver’s license that complies with the proof-of-identity requirements of the federal Real ID Act. HB151.

RIDE SHARING

Creates statewide regulations for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. HB130.

RETIREMENT

Reduces the time employees must work for Missouri government to qualify for retirement benefits from 10 years to five. SB62.

UMKC

Authorizes up to $48 million of bonds to cover the state’s part of the costs for a new music and dance conservatory at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. HCR19.

UNIONS

Makes Missouri a “right-to-work” state by barring workplace contracts with mandatory union fees. SB19. Prohibits local governments from requiring union working conditions on public construction projects. SB182.

FAILED:

ABORTION

Requires more frequent inspections of abortion clinics, sets stricter requirements for tracking aborted fetal tissues and requires notification of both parents for minors receiving abortions. HB194. Nullifies a St. Louis ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on “reproductive health decisions.” HB174

ETHICS

Limits lobbyist gifts to elected officials. HB60 and SB305.

GAS TAX

Raises gasoline tax by nearly 6 cents a gallon to fund roads. Amendment to HB694.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

Creates a state database to track prescription drug purchases. HB90.

SCHOOLS

Allows tax credits for donations to education savings accounts to fund private school, online classes, tutoring or home schooling for children with disabilities, in foster children or whose parents are in the military. Changes existing laws on how students can transfer from unaccredited districts. SB313.

UNIONS

Requires annual permission from most public employees for union fees to be deducted from paychecks. HB251. Repeals Missouri’s “prevailing wage” law setting minimum pay scales on public construction projects. HB104.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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