Legislative Update - Jan. 14, 2022
GENERAL ASSEMBLY COMPLETES FIRST FULL WEEK OF LEGISLATIVE SESSION
The General Assembly has concluded its first full week of session (1/10 – 1/14/2022), with preliminary action in several areas. As a reminder, to review bills of interest, organized by subject or practice area, visit The Missouri Bar’s Legislative Engagement Center. These bills of interest feeds are automatically updated with the latest status of the bills listed and provide links to individual bill webpages. If you have any questions or comments about specific legislation, please contact Government Relations Counsel at 573-659-2280 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Bar-Initiated Legislative Proposals (2022 Introduced Legislation)
Redistricting. On Wednesday, January 12, 2022, the House Special Committee on Redistricting adopted a House committee substitute for legislation redrawing the boundaries of Missouri’s eight Congressional districts. With the substitute, the committee approved some adjustments to the resulting map, moving Ray, Carroll, and Chariton counties into the proposed Sixth Congressional District. To compensate, a portion of eastern Jackson County was drawn into the Fourth Congressional District. Next, HCS HB 2117 will be heard in the House Rules – Administrative Oversight Committee, with floor debate likely to occur next week. The St. Charles legislative delegation has advocated for St. Charles County to be located wholly within one district, rather than being split between the First and Second Congressional Districts. Other Republican legislators have called for a Republican-leaning “7-1” map, rather than the status quo 6-2 tilt of the current proposed map. Responsibility for state legislative boundaries is entrusted to separate Senate and House bipartisan citizens commissions. If those bodies fail to complete their duties by certain constitutional deadlines, the Supreme Court of Missouri appoints a commission of six appellate judges to perform the task. The Senate commission failed to meet its initial deadline for a tentative map in December, but the House commission continues to work toward its deadline of January 23, 2022, for a final plan and map. Legislators and commissioners also face practical time limits for their work, since the statutory deadline for candidate filing for the 2022 election cycle will be March 29, 2022.
Senate Procedures and Internal Disagreements. Floor debate in the Senate this week has been dominated by proposed changes to the Senate’s procedural rules, including a change approved by the body to increase the number of senators’ signatures required to initiate a previous question motion (a procedural move to end debate and proceed to a vote) from five to ten. Throughout the week, additional changes to the Senate rules have been proposed, spurred in part by ongoing tension between Senate leadership and the Senate Conservative Caucus. These divisions within the majority party have been on public display in debate and social media since last session and only grew during an extraordinary session and September veto session. The ongoing tension holds the potential to significantly impact the pace and content of legislative work.
Public Education. Public education will remain a central issue this year, with bills filed on a wide range of topics (charter school funding, education savings accounts, curriculum, parental rights, workforce development, etc.). For example, on Tuesday, a House Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education hearing on two bills drew a record amount of public testimony: HB 1995, relating to parental rights in public schools, introduced by Rep. Doug Richey (R – Excelsior Springs), and HB 1474, relating to requirements for public schools, introduced by Rep. Nick Schroer (R – O’Fallon).
COVID-19. Numerous bills relating to vaccine requirements (employers, elementary and secondary schools, institutions of higher learning, etc.) have been introduced in both chambers (see House Judiciary below).
Public Safety and Criminal Justice. A number of public safety measures will receive consideration. The first bill heard in a Senate committee this year was SB 678, introduced by Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer (R – Parkville), which would increase the amount of general revenue that Kansas City must allocate to its police department. In addition, legislation relating to gun ownership and domestic violence has been introduced, and bills to amend the state expungement laws have once again been filed.
Elections. House leadership has highlighted changes to the state’s initiative petition process as a high priority, and sixteen bills relating to the matter have been referred to the House Committee on Elections and Elected Officials, which will likely begin public hearings next week.
State Budget. Governor Parson has submitted to the General Assembly his supplemental appropriations recommendations for the current fiscal year (Fiscal Year 2022), and the House Budget Committee conducted its initial hearings on the supplemental appropriation bill (HB 3014) this week. The recommendations include, among other items:
- Funding for a supplemental pay plan for state employees;
- Education funding (including appropriations of federal emergency relief and assistance funds for elementary and secondary schools (CRRSA ESSER II, ARPA ESSER II, and ARPA EANS II);
- MO HealthNet supplemental funding (including funding for MO HealthNet expansion); and
- The allocation of additional federal funds for infrastructure and broadband needs.
Federal law requires most of the education-related funds to be appropriated by March 24, 2022, and the continued operations of MO HealthNet will require action to be taken by February. The governor will present his executive budget to the General Assembly in conjunction with his annual State of the State address, which is scheduled for January 19, 2022. The list of proposed uses for federal stimulus funds is long and growing, including infrastructure, deferred maintenance for state facilities, statewide technological upgrades, broadband initiatives, and more.
COMMITTEES OF INTEREST
Rep. David Evans, Chair
Rep. Curtis Trent, Chair
Rep. Dan Shaul, Chair
Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, Chair
Rep. Shamed Dogan, Chair
Rep. Bruce DeGroot, Chair
Rep. Cody Smith, Chair
Rep. Lane Roberts, Chair
Rep. Shane Roden, Chair
Rep. Rick Francis, Chair
Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, Chair
Sen. Dan Hegeman, Chair
Sen. Bill White, Chair
Sen. Paul Weiland, Chair
Sen. Justin Brown, Chair
COMMITTEE HEARINGS OF INTEREST
The Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee met on January 11, 2022, and held public hearings on the following bills:
- SB 678, relating to the Kansas City Board of Police, introduced by Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer (R – Parkville) – Witnesses
- SJR 38, relating to the funding of law enforcement agencies, introduced by Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer (R – Parkville) – Witnesses
- SB 631, relating to the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, introduced by Sen. Dan Hegeman (R – Cosby) – Witnesses
The Senate Committee on Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight met January 13, 2022, and conducted public hearings on the following bills:
The House Children and Families Committee met on January 12, 2022, and held public hearings on the following bills:
- HB 1559, relating to missing children, introduced by Rep. Bishop Davidson (R – Republic) – Witnesses
The House Judiciary Committee met on January 12, 2022, and held public hearings on the following bills:
- HB 1897, relating to nurseries within correctional centers, introduced by Rep. Bruce DeGroot (R – Ellisville) (presented by Rep. Curtis Trent) – Witnesses
- HB 1686, relating to refusal of medical procedures or treatment, introduced by Rep. Bill Hardwick (R – Waynesville) – Witnesses
- HB 1709, relating to certain experimental or investigational medical treatments, introduced by Rep. Cyndi Buchheit-Courtway (R – Festus) – Witnesses
- HB 1710, relating to certain experimental or investigational medical treatments, introduced by Rep. Cyndi Buchheit-Courtway (R – Festus) – Witnesses
- HB 1768, relating to relating to COVID-19 vaccination status, introduced by Rep. Ed Lewis (R – Moberly) – Witnesses
- HB 1641, relating to vaccinations required by employers, introduced by Rep. Jeff Coleman (R – Grain Valley) – Witnesses
- HB 2358, relating to COVID-19 vaccine mandates, introduced by Rep. David Evans (R – West Plains) – Witnesses
- HB 1713, relating to the Missouri Religious Freedom Protection Act, introduced by Rep. Alex Riley (R – Springfield) – Witnesses