End of Session Report 2019
Ingrid Burnett, Legislative District 19
To my fellow Missourians and residents of the 19th Legislative District,
I send greetings of goodwill, and hope that you will find this report informative and helpful.
This was an historic year in your State Capitol with the convening of the 100th General Assembly and a major construction project to renovate our magnificent capitol building.
Elections in the House and Senate resulted in a record large number of freshmen members and impacted the restructuring of leadership in the House and Senate. Prior to the end of the 2018 session, Governor Greitens resigned, and Lt. Governor, Mike Parson, stepped in to complete the term that Eric Greitens was elected to. Then, the elected Attorney General, Josh Hawley, vacated his seat to run for the U.S. Senate. Governor Parson then appointed three of our statewide office holders by moving around those who were elected to fill one position to complete the terms of other positions, and just like that, four of our six statewide elected officials were replaced with appointments by the Governor.
All of this significantly changed the political landscape of the previous two years. A summary of bills that were sent to the Governor can be found on the House website by going to www.house.mo.gov, and searching for TAFP (Truly Agreed and Finally Passed) in the bill search box. Governor Parson has until August 28 to sign or veto, however, I am including in this report a brief summary of some of the bills you may be interested in.
HOUSE & SENATE LEGISLATION
HB 245 – Allows victims of certain domestic violence crimes to be released from binding lease agreements when appropriate documentation is provided to the landlord.
HB 604 – An omnibus bill relating to elementary and secondary public and charter schools. Topics include, transportation, tuition for out-of-district students, A+ Program, and schools in need of improvement.
HB 126 – Establishes the “Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act” that places new limits on abortion, and has already been signed by Governor Parson.
SB 30 – Allows evidence of failure to wear a seatbelt to prove comparative negligence, causation, absence of defects, and failure to mitigate damages.
SJR 14 – Proposes a constitutional amendment to be approved by voters to set term limits for State-wide officials to 2 terms.
SCR 4 – Designates the KC Chiefs as the official pro football team of the state of Missouri
SB 282 – Carries an amendment I offered to restore benefits for state employees who are widows of active military killed in action.
BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS include
Increased funding for Independent Living Centers and Independent Living Waivers for elderly and disabled individuals, community health workers, video pull tab machines, repairs of flood related damage to roads and bridges
New funding for Computer Science Education and Adult Education Grants, the Medical Marijuana Program, Juvenile Advocacy Units in the Public Defender’s Office, and Truman Presidential Library
A new approach for road & bridge repair involves $50M General Revenue funds, and then bonds to be repaid with up to $49.6M, and another $35M for road repair cost sharing with counties and municipalities
School Safety grant funding will remain the same In spite of our efforts to increase it to include funds for additional school counselors.
In spite of strong opposition, resident students who are also DACA recipients will still be required to pay international tuition rates at all state funded higher ed institutions. This includes community colleges. DACA students are also restricted from receiving any state funded tuition assistance.
I look forward to seeing you out in the community over the interim, and wish you all a productive and satisfying summer!