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97th General Assembly ends in Jefferson City

Rep. Ron Hicks, R-St. Charles County, is awash in a sea of legislation at the end of the 97th General Assembly in Jefferson City on Friday, May 17, 2013. Photo by Robert Cohen,

Here’s how some of the major bills fared:



Sporting events tax credit • Establishes a tax credit to lure amateur sporting events to the state. (SB10)



Circuit breaker • Eliminates tax break for low-income seniors and people with disabilities who rent their homes. (SB350)



Capital improvements • Provides $121 million for repairs to the state Capitol, upgrades at state parks, the construction of a new Missouri Department of Transportation headquarters and the early planning stages of upgrades to the state mental hospital at Fulton. (HB19)

Abortion • Creates restrictions on the use of abortion-inducing drugs. (HB400)

Circuit breaker budget fix • Provides general revenue funding for programs for children with developmental disabilities, community health clinics for the poor and health care coverage for blind Missourians. (HB116, HB986)

Tax cut • Cuts tax on business “pass-through” income by 50 percent over five years; reduces personal and corporate income tax rate over 10 years so long as state revenue hits a trigger; moves to tax online sales and provide amnesty from penalties for those who owe back taxes. (HB253)

Workers’ compensation • Alters the state’s Second Injury Fund and places occupational disease claims under the workers’ compensation system rather than in civil courts. (SB1)

Mississippi River Bridge • Names the Missouri half of the new Mississippi River bridge the Stan Musial Memorial Bridge and designates the Missouri portion of the Poplar Street Bridge over the Mississippi River as the Congressman William L. Clay Sr., bridge. (HB303)

Guns • Declares federal gun laws unenforceable, lowers the minimum age required to obtain a concealed weapons permit to 19 from 21 and allows concealed weapons to be carried by designated school personnel in school buildings. (HB436)

Mortgage foreclosures • Abolishes mandatory foreclosure mediation in St. Louis and St. Louis County. (HB446)

Car tax • Reinstates local sales tax on cars bought out of state or from individuals by taxing the titling of vehicles. In areas that have not approved a local use tax, the tax must be put to local voters by November 2016. (SB23)

Unemployment • Redefines “misconduct” and “good cause” to tighten eligibility for unemployment benefits. (SB28)

Welfare • Puts additional restrictions on the use of public assistance benefits, including barring electronic benefit transfers at casinos, liquor stores and other adult-oriented establishments.(SB 251)

Paycheck deduction • Requires certain public labor unions to obtain consent from members to withhold dues from paychecks and make political contributions. (SB29)

Prevailing wage • Changes the way wage requirements are calculated for public construction projects in rural counties. (HB34)

Right to farm • Amends the state constitution to guarantee the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in agricultural production and ranching practices. Requires voter approval. (HJR11)

Agenda 21 • Bars the implementation of the Agenda 21, a nonbinding United Nations action plan that promotes sustainable development. (SB265)

Foreign laws • Nullifies any court rulings based on foreign laws if those laws violate the state or U.S. constitutions. (SB267)

Drivers licenses • Bars the state Department of Revenue from scanning records that Missourians use to obtain drivers licenses. (SB252)

Doe Run • Exempts certain mining sites in St. Francois County from punitive damages in civil lawsuits if sites are being cleaned up and otherwise caps punitive damages at $2.5 million per suit. (HB650)

St. Louis Public Administrator • Changes the city’s public administrator, who handles financial affairs for disabled people, to an appointed position from an elected one. (SB99)

Public schools • Allows quicker state intervention in failing school districts and shortens waiting period for firing St. Louis Public Schools teachers. Instead of being notified in writing a semester before termination charges are presented, teachers would have 30 days’ notice. (SB125)

Beer • Allows home brewers to participate in festivals and other public events. (SB121)

Sex-offender registry • Makes changes to allow some juvenile offenders’ names to be removed from the public registry. (HB301)

Child abuse • Requires mandatory reporting of suspected sexual misconduct by teachers to the state, clarifies mandatory reporting requirements for suspected child abuse and neglect and creates new standards for child abuse investigations. (HB505)

Domestic violence • Makes several fixes to domestic violence laws. (HB215)

Elections • Changes several provisions of state elections laws, including moving the presidential primary to March and requiring lieutenant governor vacancies to be filled through a special election, rather than gubernatorial appointment. (HB110)



Medicaid • Expands eligibility for more Missourians to participate in the public health care program through the Affordable Care Act. (HB267, SB131 and HB700)

Teacher evaluations • Requires annual evaluations of public school educators and bases them partly on student academic growth. (HB631)

Electric surcharge • Allows Ameren Missouri and other investor-owned electric utilities to add an infrastructure surcharge to customers’ bills. (SB207)

Criminal code • Updates the state’s criminal code and creates a fifth felony class. (HB210)

Legislator-lobbyists • Requires legislators to wait 10 years before becoming lobbyists. (SB78)

Sexual orientation • Bars discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. (SB96)

Campaign contribution limits • Caps donations to candidates for state elected offices. (SB470, SB92)

Bond issue • Allows the state to issue bonds to fund improvements and repairs to higher education buildings, the Capitol, state parks, the state hospital in Fulton and other projects, including rural water upgrades. Requires voter approval. (HJR14)

Highways • Raises the state sales tax by 1 percent for 10 years to fund transportation needs. Requires voter approval. (SJR16)

Tax credits • Lowers caps on historic preservation and housing development tax credit programs, extends several expiring programs and establishes new programs for air cargo, startup companies and data centers. (HB698, SB112)

Voter ID • Requires voters to show state-issued photo IDs to vote. (HB48)

Drones • Prohibits the use of drones and other unmanned aircraft to gather evidence without a warrant or permission. (HB46)

Term limits • Allows state legislators to serve 16 years in one chamber instead of limiting them to eight years in the House and eight years in the Senate. Requires voter approval. (HJR4)

Casino credit • Allows casinos to grant short-term loans to patrons, secured by the gamblers’ checking accounts. (HB747)

Liquor law • Modifies the relationship between wholesalers and distributors of wine and spirits in Missouri, creating a “franchise” relationship between them. (SB114)

Land assemblage • Extends the Distressed Areas Land Assemblage tax credit used by developer Paul McKee for his NorthSide Regeneration project in St. Louis. (HB423, HB698, SB112)

Medical malpractice • Reinstates limits on awards for “pain and suffering” in medical malpractice lawsuits. (HB112)

Gun crimes • Allows the city of St. Louis to create a special armed offender court docket. (SB448)

Common core • Requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to hold public meetings in each congressional district on the Common Core State Standards by Dec. 31. (SB210)

— Virginia Young and Elizabeth Crisp




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