Final Week in the House: Friday, May 14

   During the last week of the session, The Missouri Times will bring you updates of…


During the last week of the session, The Missouri Times will bring you updates of floor activity for each chamber. Below is all the activity in the House from Friday, May 14. For live updates on the Senate, click here.

The bill would protect certain businesses, accommodations, and activities from being held liable for exposure to COVID-19 unless a plaintiff could clearly prove the entity or individual acted in willful or reckless conduct that caused exposure to the virus.

Democrats quickly rose to oppose the measure, denouncing the priorities of the chamber and the repercussions of the bill.

Rep. Wes Rogers put forth an amendment adding additional protections, which would jeopardize the bill as it would have to go back to the Senate for approval. It failed 55-94.

The bill passed 97-57.

Rule 44

Floor Leader Dean Plocher moved to waive Rule 44 to take up a bill still in committee.

The Second Amendment Preservation Act, legislation from Rep. Jered Taylor, would allow state gun laws to supersede federal regulations. It would nullify any federal laws that restrict gun ownership, including those related to taxes, tracking, confiscation orders, and prohibitions on possession.

‘Second Amendment Preservation Act’ makes its way forward during final days of session

Rep. Peter Merideth quickly took to the floor in opposition, holding court with other Democrats on the bill and its ramifications. Merideth said the act would give credibility to those with fringe views.

The bill passed 111-42. An emergency clause was adopted 110-43.

SB 226, sales tax, TAFP

The package is a series of small tax measures. It passed 142-1.

SB 5, taxation, TAFP

The bill extends the sunset for the state’s AIM Zones. It passed 104-44.

SB 36, Capitol Complex Tax Credit, TAFP

The bill contains several new tax credits. It passed 106-48.

HB 661, transportation, for third reading

A sweeping transportation bill, it passed 130-22.

SB 72, state designations, TAFP

The bill would establish several state designations. The bill passed 153-2.

SB 26, public safety, TAFP

The bill is a pared-back version of a large public safety bill covering police funding, criminalizing the vandalism of monuments, and creating the Law Enforcement Bill of Rights, among a bevy of other public safety measures. The measure was trimmed down after the House added a bevy of amendments and further reduced in conference.

A portion excised from the bill would have created the offense of unlawful traffic interference

Handler Rep. Nick Schroer and Rep. Shamed Dogan debated the concerns of St. Louis police, with Schroer defending the choices made on the bill.

Rep. Rasheen Aldridge said the bill would be detrimental, contrasting it with the bipartisan criminal justice and law enforcement reform bill passed by the body Thursday. Other Democrats also spoke in opposition.

Major bipartisan criminal justice, police reform package clears General Assembly

The bill passed 108-47.

SB 303, worker’s compensation, TAFP

The bill returned from Fiscal Review after recess, with Rep. Don Rone decrying the action in the upper chamber this morning.

The bill passed 150-2.

The House recessed from 3:02 to 3:16. 

HB 369, prescribed burns, TAFP

The bill would limit liability for damage or injury caused by a prescribed burn or the resulting smoke. It passed 150-1.

SB 303, worker’s compensation, up for third read

The bill was taken up, but Rep. Don Rone took the time to decry the Senate for adjourning early without taking up any more House bills. There were disagreements and discussions on the floor over whether or not House members should continue to delay proceedings as a rebuttal to the Senate’s adjournment.

A previous question was eventually called, and a motion was approved to send the bill to the House Fiscal Review Committee by a vote of 91-49.

SB 86, school districts, up for third read

The bill would disallow public funds from being used in school board elections, and includes provisions altering the empowerment scholarship account program that was passed earlier this session.

The bill passed 101-35.

SB 520, memorial infrastructure, up for third read

The bill would name several highways, including one in honor of retired Officer David Dorn, who was fatally shot while providing security for a local pawn and jewelry store in the city during the protests brought on by the murder of George Floyd last year. Additional memorials were added in the House.

The bill passed 142-1.

The House recessed from 1:05 to just after 2 p.m.

SB 126, intoxicating liquor, up for third reading 

The bill would allow alcohol to go permanently and treat Sundays like any other day in terms of liquor sales. The bill passed 128-16.

The bill would allow the state to impose a sales tax on online purchases made through vendors with a physical presence in the state, a practice adopted by most other states.

Handler Rep. J. Eggleston said the finalized version would include various concession, including the elimination of income tax on COVID-19 stimulus funds, the creation of an Urban Agricultural Zone Fund, and more. Wayfair would take effect in 2023.

Gov. Mike Parson named Wayfair as one of his legislative priorities of 2021 earlier this year, saying he hoped the “House and Senate will consider legislation to address the unfair advantage online retailers have over small businesses in Missouri.”

The bill would also phase out video service provider fees, modify the use tax economic nexus, and enact a Voluntary Firefighter Cancer Benefits Trust.

The bill passed 145-6.

An emergency clause on the income tax portion of stimulus payments was adopted.

SB 323, elective courses, third read and passed 

The bill would allow school districts to offer elective social studies courses on the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, among other provisions.

Rep. Doug Richey spoke on the measure on the floor, discussing “mistakes” on the other side of the building and fears that upcoming amendments would gut the bill. He said his language on competency-based learning had changed during the process.

Several educational amendments were added on the floor. The bill passed 120-11.

HB 297, Southeast Missouri State University, TAFP

The bill includes several measures on higher education, including mission statements and the Student’s Right to Know Act establishing an informational database on universities and programs. Rep. LaKeySha Bosley spoke on the bill, calling for increased funding for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the future.

The bill also includes a bipartisan effort to allow college athletes to be paid for their likeness.

Missouri college athletes could get paid for their likeness under bipartisan plan

The bill passed 145-8.

HB 345, 065 agreements, TAFP

The bill from Rep. Bruce DeGroot would modify certain arbitration arrangements, known as 065 agreements.

As defined in Missouri statute, a tortfeasor — someone who commits a civil wrong against another — whose insurer denies them coverage can enter into an agreement with the victim, who limits their pursuit of the tortfeasor’s assets to certain items or forgoes it all together. The defendant agrees to settle or compromise the claim, after which the victim can pursue a claim against the insurer, which can only debate whether or not legal coverage existed in the case.

The bill closes a loophole opened by legislation passed in 2017, which removed insurers from the legal proceedings and allowed carriers to take part in the conversation.

The bill passed 103-48.

HB 604, insurance, TAFP

The bill seeks to give insurers increased flexibility with federal regulations. It passed 145-0.

HB 69, sale of metals, TAFP

The bill passed 138-5.

SB 57, Critical Incident Stress Management Program, TAFP

The bill from Sen. Karla May would create the Critical Incident Stress Management Program to assist safety officers coping with stress and trauma. The bill also covers an Economic Distress Zone Fund to help revitalize areas with high crime and struggling infrastructure — the fund would revert to general revenue if the appropriation exceeds $3 million.

The bill passed 146-0.

The House gavels in

The legislative day began at 10:14 a.m.