Monday, December 18, 2017

Published:05/16/2016

The 2016 Missouri Legislative Session came to a close on May 13, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. Legislative leaders attempted to reinstitute faith in Missouri's General Assembly by making ethics reform their top priority.

After last session's breakdown with a labor-inspired filibuster in the Senate and an inappropriate texting scandal that disrupted all House business, the new Senate and House leaders started the session quickly with numerous bills that had been vetted in 2015 but fell victim to the shut down that killed nearly all legislation.

While many were hopeful about the passage of legislation intended to improve Missouri's economic stability, highway funding, and healthcare environment, partisan priorities took precedent as the legislature focused its attention on guns, voter identification, and social issues.

Some bills that passed this session and were placed on the Governor's desk include:

  • Six month waiting period for a legislator to become a lobbyist
  • Prohibition of legislators acting as paid consultants for campaigns
  • Restrictions on fines municipalities can charge for ordinance violations
  • Allowing individuals to seal criminal records and arrests

Bills which were priorities of leadership that didn't pass include:

  • Paycheck protection which was passed, vetoed by the Governor and failed on a legislative veto override attempt
  • Gas tax increase for transportation funding
  • Utility regulation reform
  • Lobbyist gift ban for legislators
  • Regulations on ride sharing companies (i.e. Uber)
  • Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

The Governor has until July 14th to sign bills.  The Budget bills for FY 2017 have already been signed.

SB 613 dealing with some workers' compensation provisions had passed the Senate and was on the House Calendar of Senate Bills for Third Reading.  Notice of dispute language had been drafted as an amendment for SB 613.  The bill came up in the House late on Friday afternoon after the Senate had effectively adjourned for the day, so the House did not take any amendments to the bill.  SB 613 was taken up by the House and passed as it came over from the Senate.

Attempts were made to also add the notice of dispute language to several House bills in the Senate.  In one of those instances when the bill was taken up for debate the handler of the amendment was tied up off the floor in another meeting.  In the other case the bill was not taken from the Informal Calendar before session adjourned.

We will work to have the notice of dispute language filed as a standalone bill next session which should increase its opportunity to pass.

HB 2194 had several insurance provisions and workers' compensation pieces added to it in the Senate.  Specific to workers' compensation, language was added which changes the current split point from 10% to 20% of primary excess losses under the uniform experience rating plan.  When premium modifications result due to a schedule rating plan with an underwriter determining individual risk characteristics, then up to an additional 10% credit may be given for a reduction in the insurer's expenses, rather than "an additional 10%" reduction.

HB 1763 dealt with high deductible workers' compensation polices and provisions relating to the Guaranty Association in case of insolvency.  The bill puts in place administrative measures to take place for handling and administration of claims.  The bill was Truly Agreed and Finally Passed and sent to Governor Nixon for consideration.

In an unrelated legislative action Senator Joe Keaveny, the Senate Minority Leader, announced Governor Jay Nixon will be naming him to an Administrative Law Judge position in St. Louis.  It's expected Senator Keaveny will resign by September.

A complete Bill Summary And Status Report is attached.  I have also attached a link to the House website if there are bills you would like to review.

If you have questions regarding any of the legislation, please don't hesitate to contact us.

http://house.mo.gov/billcentral.aspx?pid=26


Files

Title Type Size Last Modified
msia-2016-leg-report_005 pdf 180.3 KB 05/16/2016 open