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2016 Governmental Affairs Committee Update

Posted By Kaci Pfaff, Friday, September 30, 2016
Updated: Friday, September 30, 2016

As anticipated, 2016 has proven been a very interesting year to say the least.  From the Presidential Election consisting of the two most unpopular candidates in American History, to the unfortunate shootings, demonstrations and rioting, there certainly hasn’t been a shortage of headlines.  

Instead of repeating what has been happening on the national front, which has already been covered in the Legislative Update meeting in August, we are going to focus on some of the legislative items happening here in Missouri that might be of interest to you. 


On Wednesday, September 14th,  members of the 98th General Assembly convened for the annual veto session, which gives lawmakers the opportunity to override measures that have been vetoed by the governor.  This year Governor Nixon vetoed more than twenty bills.  Passing a bill during regular session only requires a simple majority, whereas a successful veto override requires a two-thirds majority in each chamber, or 23 votes in the Senate and 109 votes in the House.  During the veto session, the MO General Assembly successfully voted thirteen times to override the Governor’s vetoes of legislation passed during the 2016 legislative session. 

Senate Bill 656, a bill that modifies provisions relating to county sheriffs, self defense, unlawful use of weapons, and concealed carry permits, was vetoed by Governor Nixon with an extensive list of reasons for his disapproval.  Governor Nixon wrote, “Senate Bill No. 656 would eliminate the current requirements that individuals obtain training, education, a background check and a permit in order to carry a concealed firearm in Missouri.”  According to Governor Nixon, “Under Senate Bill No. 656, the safeguards in Missouri’s concealed carry system would be thrown out and any individual who is allowed to possess a firearm would be automatically allowed to carry it concealed.”  The motion to pass CCS (Conference Committee Substitute) for HCS (House Committee Substitute) for SB 656 was passed in the Senate by 24 Yeas and 6 Nays, and was passed in the House by 112 AYES and 41 Noes. 

House Bill 1432 is a bill that modifies the law relating to administrative leave for public employees.  It requires that a hearing be held within 60 days if a state employee is placed on administrative leave.  Governor Nixon vetoed it stating “HB No. 1432 would make significant changes to the process applicable when an employee of the state or a school district is placed on paid administrative leave.  HB No. 1432 would apply a one-size-fits-all approach to employees on paid administrative leave despite important legal distinctions based on employee’s status as a merit employee, at-will employee, ‘at the pleasure’ employee, or employee subject to a particular process or procedure by contract or otherwise.”  The House passed SS (Senate Substitute) No. 2  for SCS (Senate Committee Substitute) for HCS (House Committee Substitute) for HB 1432, with 113 AYES and 42 NOES.  It passed in the Senate with 23 YEAS and 7 NAYS. 

House Bill 1763 changes the laws regarding workers’ compensation large deductible policies issued by an insurer.  It amends chapter 375, RSMo, with an emergency clause.   It stated, “Because of the immediate need for the state to ensure that insurance guaranty associations have adequate resources to pay the covered claims of insolvent insurance carriers, the enactment of section 375.1605 of this act is deemed necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health, welfare, peace, and safety, and the enactment of section 375.1605 of this act is hereby declared to be an emergency act within the meaning of the constitution, and the enactment of section 375.1605 of this act shall be in full force and effect upon its passage and approval. “  Governor Nixon vetoed the bill stating “House Bill No. 1763 contains drafting errors that would make an exemption in the bill ineffectual and create ambiguity regarding the rules applicable to the orderly distribution of assets in insurance delinquency proceedings.  House Bill No. 1763 contains errors that would create ambiguity within an already complex area of law dealing with insurance delinquency proceedings.”  HB 1763 was passed in the House with 121 AYES and 34 NOES, and in the Senate with 25 YEAS and 5 NAYS. 

House Bill 2030 creates a tax deduction for employee stock ownership plans.  It authorizes a tax deduction equal to fifty percent of the capital gain resulting from the sale of employer securities to a certain Missouri stock ownership plans.  This creates new incentives that would make transitioning into an employee-ownership model more attractive to business owners in the state.  It was vetoed by Governor Nixon, but passed in the House by 119 AYES and 38 NOES.  It passed in the Senate by 26 YEAS and 4 NAYS. 

Unfortunately, two important bills that failed to pass are Senate Bill 591 and Senate Bill 847.  Both addressed Missouri’s legal climate problem.  As a result, the state’s business community can expect Missouri to remain near the bottom of national legal climate rankings.  The U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform ranks’ our legal climate at 42 in the nation.  “These rankings instantly jump out to any company considering investing or expanding in Missouri.  Top job creators are well aware of the risks of operating in a state where the courtrooms are so strongly tilted against employers,” said Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO. 

Members of the  99th MO General Assembly are scheduled to convene on January 4th at noon.  We will continue to keep you informed as things move forward. 

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