Sept 2015 e-Newsletter

REPORT FROM THE 2015 MISSOURI LEGISLATIVE VETO SESSION

Capitol 8Last year Governor Nixon vetoed 33 bills.  This year, in the session ending in May, the Governor vetoed 18 bills having been passed by the state legislature.

In order to override a gubernatorial veto, two-thirds of each chamber of the legislature must vote to do so.  That requires 23 votes in the Senate and 109 votes in the House of Representatives.

Remember that Republicans control 116 of the 163 House seats and 25 of the 34 Senate seats. This super-majority means that if a net of no more than two Republican Senators and seven Republican Representatives defect from a party-line vote, a veto override is assured and the bill does not become law.

Two vetoes were already overridden before the legislature adjourned, one that shortens the time a low-income family can draw Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits from 60 months to 45 months and a second bill which prevents former school superintendents from serving as school board members in the district in which they previously served.

In the September 16, 2015 Veto Session, the governor’s veto was overridden on ten bills (see below).  The override vote on two bills failed in one chamber, thereby allowing the bills to become law––the override vote on HB 799 (altering Judicial Circuits) failed in the Senate after being overridden in the House; the override vote on HB 116 (the so-called “Right to Work” bill) failed in the House and therefore did not move to the Senate.  HB 42 (Student Transfers) was discussed at length, but no override votes were attempted.


 

Commentary: 

Few Surprises in a Super-Majority-Controlled Legislature

Rep. Kendrick Reflects on the 2015 Veto Session

The results of the veto session reflect the imbalance of power in Jefferson City. Republicans had little trouble overriding most everything they attempted. The one positive takeaway from Wednesday’s veto session is the failed attempt to override HB 116, the so-called “Right to Work” bill.  There were no major surprises in the veto session, other than the forced vote on HB 116. It was fairly common knowledge that Republican leaders did not have the 109 votes necessary to override the Governor’s veto. Less clear was whether Republican leaders would bring the issue to a vote on the House floor. The forced vote showed a clear divide in the Republican caucus on a very contentious issue. While the vote left several Republican union-supporters vulnerable to well-funded primary challenges, the Republican gubernatorial candidates will surely benefit from outside monied interests who are determined to bust unions and make Missouri a “Right to Work” state. There is little doubt, the 2016 Governor’s race will be used by Republicans as a referendum on “Right to Work” (for less).


 

VETOES UPHELD

MO_House_ChambersSCS HCS HBs 116 — LABOR ORGANIZATIONS (SO-CALLED RIGHT TO WORK)

Gov. Nixon’s Veto UPHELD in the House, therefore not taken up in the Senate

This bill specifies that a person as a condition or continuation of employment cannot be required to:

(1) Become or refrain from becoming a member of a labor organization as defined in the bill; (2) Pay dues, fees, assessments, or other similar charges to a labor organization; or (3) Pay to any charity or third party any equivalent amount in lieu of dues, fees, assessments, or other charges required by a labor organization.

Any agreement, understanding, or practice between a labor organization and an employer that violates the rights of employees as specified in the bill will be unlawful, null and void, and of no legal effect.

Anyone violating a provision of the bill will be guilty of a class C misdemeanor, and any person injured as a result of a violation or threatened violation of the provisions of the bill may recover all resulting damages, including costs and reasonable attorney fees, and will be entitled to injunctive relief against any violator or person threatening a violation.

It must be the duty of the prosecuting attorney of each county and of the Attorney General to investigate complaints of violation or threatened violation of these provisions, to prosecute any person violating them, and to use all means at their command to ensure the effective enforcement of the provisions.
The provisions of the bill must not apply to specified employers, employees, and agreements.


SS SCS HB 799 — JUDICIAL CIRCUITS

Gov. Nixon’s Veto OVERRIDDEN in the House, FAILED in Senate

This bill changes the laws regarding certain judicial circuits, including moving the 16th Judicial Circuit from Kansas City to the City of Independence.


 

VETO OVERRIDE DISCUSSED, NOT ATTEMPTED

CCS SCS HCS HB 42 — STUDENT TRANSFERS

Law Discussed, but OVERRIDE VOTE Not Attempted

This bill changes the laws regarding elementary and secondary

Education, including charter schools, nonresident pupils, school district accreditation, school transfer, state board of education intervention powers, virtual education, transient students, parent notification of unaccredited status, state adequacy target calculation, early childhood education funding, receiving districts, student promotion, school district improvement measures, student retention and transfer.


 

VETOES OVERRIDDEN, WILL NOW BECOME LAW

SS#2 HCS HB 722 — ORDINANCES PROHIBITED BY POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS

Gov. Nixon’s Veto OVERRIDDEN by House and Senate

This bill specifies that all merchants, itinerant vendors, and peddlers doing business in this state must have the option to provide customers with a paper or plastic bag for any item or good purchased. A political subdivision cannot impose any ban, fee, or tax upon the use of paper or plastic bags for packaging any item or good purchased or prohibit a consumer from using a reusable bag.

The bill also prohibits a political subdivision from establishing, mandating, or otherwise requiring an employer to provide to an employee a minimum or living wage rate or employment benefits that exceed the requirements of federal or state laws, rules, or regulations. These provisions must not preempt any state law or local minimum wage requirements in effect on August 28, 2015.


SB 224 –– RESTRICTS A+ SCHOOLS BENEFITS TO US CITIZENS AND PERMANENT RESIDENTS

Gov. Nixon’s Veto OVERRIDDEN by House and Senate

This act requires a student to be a United States citizen or permanent resident in order to be eligible to receive reimbursements from the A+ Schools Program.


HB 150 — UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION

Gov. Nixon’s Veto OVERRIDDEN by House and Senate

Currently, the maximum total amount of benefits any insured worker may receive during any benefit year must not exceed 20 times his or her weekly benefit amount or 33 1/3% of his or her wage credits, whichever is lesser. This bill repeals that provision and limits annual benefits to as few as 13 weeks if the average unemployment rate in Missouri is below 6%, up to a maximum of 20 weeks, if the unemployment rate is 9% or higher, making Missouri’s unemployment benefits one of the lowest in the nation.


HB 1022 — RETURN OF PREMIUMS

Gov. Nixon’s Veto OVERRIDDEN by House and Senate

This bill allows a casualty insurer to return or refund a portion of its expense savings to an insured if the insured makes no reportable claim under specified coverages within a prescribed period of time established by the insurer, regardless of whether the claim is due to the fault of the insured.


SCS HB 1098 — BANKS AND TRUST COMPANIES

Gov. Nixon’s Veto OVERRIDDEN by House and Senate

This bill modifies the definition of “out-of-state bank or trust company” to reflect the name change of the Office of Thrift Supervision to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

The bill requires the application to also state whether it intends to establish a trust representative office, facility, branch, or other physical location in the state and the activities to be conducted there.

The bill specifies that if an out-of-state bank or trust company has established a physical location in the state, it may also be served legal process at the location by service upon any officer, agent, or employee at that location. The division director has the discretion to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the bank or state regulator of another state to adjust the minimum capital requirement or other terms to obtain reciprocity for Missouri chartered banks or trust companies in that jurisdiction.


SCS HCS HB 618 — DISPOSITION OF HUMAN REMAINS

Gov. Nixon’s Veto OVERRIDDEN by House and Senate

This bill authorizes an advanced practice registered nurse, assistant physician, or physician assistant to perform specified phases of the death certification process.

It specifies the data that the funeral director or person in charge of final disposition of the body must enter into the electronic death registration system

By August 30, 2015, the Division of Community and Public Health must establish a working group to evaluate the electronic vital records system, develop recommendations to improve the efficiency and usability of the system, and report the findings and recommendations to the General Assembly by January 1, 2016.

The bill specifies that a person or association that owns a cemetery is authorized to disinter an individual’s remains and rebury or reinter the remains at another location pursuant to written instructions signed and acknowledged by a person who is the next-of kin, as defined in statutes, at the time of death.


SCS HB 878 — CORPORATE SECURITY ADVISORS

Gov. Nixon’s Veto OVERRIDDEN by House and Senate

This bill specifies that the Director of the Department of Public Safety must have the sole authority to commission corporate security advisors, that a person cannot hold a commission as a corporate security advisor without a valid peace officer license, and that a minimum amount of liability insurance must be provided by the employer.


SB 20 – TAX EXEMPTION FOR COMMERCIAL LAUNDRIES

Gov. Nixon’s Veto OVERRIDDEN by House and Senate

This act creates a state and local sales and use tax exemption for material, machinery, and energy used by commercial laundries in treating or cleaning textiles. The facility must process at least 500 pounds per hour and 60,000 pounds per week to qualify for the exemption.


SS#3/SCS/SB 142 –– REQUIREMENTS FOR DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES WHEN SUBMITTING PLANS TO EPA

Gov. Nixon’s Veto OVERRIDDEN by House and Senate

This act requires the Department of Natural Resources, when developing a state implementation plan, state plan, or non-point source management plan for submission to the Environmental Protection Agency, to prepare an implementation impact report, containing certain criteria, and delivered to the Governor, Joint Committee on Government Accountability, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives along with the proposed plan 45 calendar days prior to submission to the Environmental Protection Agency.


SCS/SB 345 –– MODIFIES PROVISIONS FOR LENDER AND OTHER FEES

Gov. Nixon’s Veto OVERRIDDEN by House and Senate

Currently, the fee amount that a lender may charge on a loan for 30 days or longer that is not an open-end credit loan is 10% of the principal amount loaned, not to exceed $75. This act changes that to be 10% of the principal amount loaned, not to exceed $100.

Other fee increases include those for Mortgage Broker Licensing examination, amending or reissuing an existing financial business license, sales finance company license, small loan lender certificate of registration, credit service organization registration, and license for lenders of unsecured loans.