Lake Area state legislators introduce more than two dozen bills

Photo by News Tribune.

Two state representatives and two state senators who represent the Lake Area have introduced around 30 separate pieces of legislation to this spring’s session of the Missouri General Assembly.

State Representatives Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton and Rocky Miller, R-Tuscumbia, are responsible for introducing some six pieces of legislation into the Missouri House of Representatives, while State Senators Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City and Dan Brown, R-Rolla, have introduced the remaining bills into the Missouri Senate.

Franklin has sponsored bills that, if passed, would impose a one-percent excise tax on “violent video games,” instruct the Missouri Department of Economic Development to “develop and implement” some $5 million in rural regional development grants to create a development group to encourage and track job development in those areas; and a bill that would modify the way in which competitive bidding for goods purchased by the state is handled.

Miller has introduced legislation that would change the way in which the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) handles E.coli testing at state park public beaches as well as the criteria needed for closing a beach that reportedly has high E.coli readings; a bill that would allow an insurance policy holder to petition the court for reimbursement of insurance costs as they occur during a pending legal separation or divorce proceedings; a bill that would allow nonresident college students to purchase hunting and/or fishing licenses at the same rate paid by residents students for as long as the individual is in school and a bill that would allow telecommunication companies, currently regulated by the Missouri Public Service Commission and have price caps, to seek a waiver from that commission in the same manner as is done to handle other rules and regulations.

Senator Kehoe has introduced seven bills including one designed to change current law making it a Class A misdemeanor for school district employees, officers or board members to sell or otherwise supply commodities to the district. If passed the bill would allow the sale or other provision of supplies to the district providing certain rules are obeyed.

Other bills introduced by Kehoe would:

• Establish psychological stress of a police officer or other law enforcement personnel as an occupational disease for the purpose of worker’s compensation.

• A bill modifying certain provisions of the Missouri Department of Transportation and Highway Patrol retirement programs.

• A constitutional amendment proposal that would ask voters to raise state sales and use tax by one percent for a 10 year period for the purposes of raising revenue to fund the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges throughout the state.

• A change in the state’s open meeting and records act (Sunshine Law) to include leases, subleases or similar rental instruments entered into by a public body. To allow members of government bodies to vote on issues when absent providing they are participating in the meeting through video conferencing. Change current law to require governmental bodies to provide the public and members of the media with a 48-hour notice before convening a meeting. To require a public body to provide information on disposition of legal matters decided during a closed session meeting to the public and members of the media no later than the scheduled meeting and to tighten other current restrictions placed on governmental bodies under the Sunshine Law.

• A bill that would override any local special use tax on the sale of motor vehicles, trailers, boats, or outboard motors and impose a special use tax at the state level.

• And a bill that would modify the rules in which utility corporations, such as natural gas and electricity providers, may file petitions with the Missouri Public Service Commission for various costs of doing business.

And finally, Senator Brown has introduced some 16 bills including the following:

• A bill to bar unions from deducting membership fees from employee’s paychecks.

• An act to repeal “all prevailing wage laws.”

• To establish the Active Shooter and Intruder Response Training for Schools Program that would require each school district to proved training for teachers and other personnel to train on how to handle a classroom shooting crisis.

• To bar employers from requiring their employees to refrain or to become a member of a labor organization or to pay membership dues to a union.

• A bill that would create a “statutory cause of action for damages against a health care providers for personal injury or death arising out of the rendering of or failure to render health care services.”

• Requiring postsecondary institutions to provide academic credit to students for training they took while in the military.

• A bill requiring the Department of Health and Senior Services to streamline its requirements for licensing hospital and other health care providers to eliminate duplications.

• Modify laws governing child custody and visitation rights of deploying military parents to prevent the court limiting a deploying and/or parent returning from deployment access to their children.

• Mirrors Rocky Miller’s bill to change the way in which the DNR handles E.coli testing at state park beaches.

• Tightens guidelines under which an individual may have cremated remains interred in a military cemetery.

• Exempt persons over 21 from being forced to wear a motorcycle helmet.

• Extend the Wood Energy Tax Credit program beyond its current expiration date to June 30, 2013, to a sunset date of June 30, 2019.

• Tightens existing laws governing employees of mental health facilities by adding the conviction of certain offenses to the current lists.

• The establishment of “Chloe’s Law” requiring all children born after Jan. 1, 2014, to be screened for congenital heart disease before they leave the hospital or other medical center after birth.

• Toughen state law to change second-degree sexual misconduct a Class D felony if the person convicted of the crime is in state prison when the act was committed.

• And, finally to modify existing laws governing negotiation and arbitration for reimbursement level for health care services.

In addition to those bills written by the Lake Area state legislators, they are also listed as co-sponsors of

In most instances, if any or all of the bills are passed by both houses of the General Assembly and signed by the governor they would become law on August 28 of this year. However, the bills by Miller and Brown changing the way in which the DNR handles E.coli testing at state park beaches has an emergency clause so it would become law immediately after being signed by the governor.

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