This may hopefully be the year that the Bingo legislation is going to make it all the way to the Governor’s desk. This week, members in the House approved both a bill (HB 1484) and a proposed constitutional amendment (HJR59) that would remove some of the unnecessary regulations that currently exist for bingo games in Missouri. I recognize the importance of this bill as it would allow a larger pool of members eligible to assist with running bingo games. The change would take pressure off of older members who are now the only ones qualified to run the games under our current law. This bill, if passed, will allow newer members to participate in their organization’s games. These bills now head to the Senate.
During debates on legislation on the House Floor, amendments can always be introduced and attached to a bill. Some are good and some are not so good. This week, an amendment was added to HB 1744 to include illegal students to be eligible for the A+ program. I will not support this and as it should be, that amendment was defeated on the House Floor.
House Bills that I have sponsored this year:
HB 1286: fees for explosive use
Currently, the authorized fee for explosives use cannot exceed $2 per ton. This bill increases the limit to $7.50 per ton. However, the fee established by rule cannot exceed the cost of administering the Missouri Blasting Safety Act. The bill clarifies that the fee does not apply to any person, company, or entity regulated by the Department of Natural Resources under the Surface Coal Mining Law and 10 CSR 40-3.160 (Section 319.318, RSMo). This bill is similar to HB 571 (2017).
HB 1287: commercial insurance markets
Beginning January 1, 2019, this bill specifies that certain commercial insurers are exempt from filing rates and policy forms with respect to certain lines of commercial insurance where the aggregate total annual premiums for a single commercial policyholders exceeds $100,000 (Section 379.321, RSMo). This bill is the same as SCS HCS HB 741 (2017).
HB 1288: tax credit donations for pregnancy resource centers
This bill removes the expiration of June 30, 2020 from the tax credit for donations to maternity homes and the expiration date of December 31, 2019 from the tax credit for donations to pregnancy resource centers. The provisions of the bill will sunset on December 31 six years after the effective date unless reauthorized. This bill is the same as HB 655 (2017).
HB 1289: modifies ballot initiatives
This bill changes laws regarding initiatives and referendums. In its main provisions the bill:
(1) Requires the text of proposed initiatives to be in 12 point font with numbered pages;
(2) Requires an initial $500 filing fee for each referendum petition sample sheet with an additional $10 fee for each page over a ten page limit;
(3) Prohibits the use of referenda to modify or supersede federal law or regulation or to accomplish acts delegated to the state legislature by federal law or the Constitution of the United States;
(4) Creates a petition signature verification fund to consist of monies from an $.90 per signature collection fee for those petitions using paid circulators. The Secretary of State may use the funds for verification of signatures;
(5) Increases the length limit of summary statements for ballot language from 50 to 150 words;
(6) Authorizes the General Assembly to appropriate additional monies into the signature verification fund and to pay local election authorities for signature verification;
(7) Authorizes the Secretary of State's office and the office of the Attorney General to reject petitions on the basis of noncompliance with the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of Missouri; and
(8) Clarifies that court-ordered challenges to ballot titles invalidate signatures collected prior to the court order. The bill has a delayed effective date of November 8, 2018.
HB 1609: aid land clearing projects in St. Louis
This bill authorizes the state, acting through the Department of Economic Development and the Office of Administration, or any other public body, to appropriate funds to aid in the planning, undertaking, or carrying out of a land clearance project to develop, construct, reconstruct, rehabilitate, repair or improve any tourism infrastructure facilities in existence as of August 28, 2018. Application for such projects must be made and approved by the Department of Economic Development on or before August 28, 2019. Any annual appropriation for such project must be limited to a portion of tax revenues derived directly or indirectly from the project. The annual amount of the state appropriation may not exceed $6 million per year for any one project and must be determined to produce a positive net fiscal impact for the state over the terms of the project agreement. This bill is similar to HB 1061 (2017).
HB 1690: modifies Missouri life and health insurance act
This bill updates the laws regarding the Missouri Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association Act to mirror the National Association of Insurance Commissioners model act which was approved by the commission in 2017. The association provides protection to insureds and claimants against the impairment or insolvency of a life or health insurance company and provides continuation of coverage for policyholders.
HB 2122: modifies provisions relating to vehicle sales
This bill changes certain vehicle sales laws. In its main provisions, the bill:
(1) Raises the bond requirement for motor vehicle dealers from $25,000 to $50,000 and the sales requirement from six vehicles to 24;
(2) Requires motor vehicle dealers to submit regular business hours, a phone number, and electronic mail address and maintain a working phone and electronic mail address for use by the Department of Revenue and the general public;
(3) Modifies dealer license plate classifications;
(4) Allows discretion to suspend a dealer license instead of making such action mandatory for certain violations; and
(5) Enacts new regulations under Section 301.566, RSMo, for holding "off premise events" involving the sale of specified vehicles by license holders at areas away from their normal place of business. The criteria for holding these off premise events is specified in the bill. This bill is similar to SB 707 and HB 1034 (2017).
HB 2176: creates Missouri video lottery control act
This bill allows for and establishes a regulatory framework for the use of player-activated video terminals for the conduct of lottery games. This bill gives the State Lottery Commission the authority to license video lottery game handlers, manufacturers, operators, and retailers and specifies who qualifies for such licenses. Under this bill, video lottery game terminals can only be placed in bars or other retail establishments licensed to sell liquor or establishments where the primary business is offering services and amenities to large trucks at a location situated on three or more contiguous acres within 2,000 feet of an interstate or other major highway and sells more than $25,000 gallons of diesel fuel per month. A municipality can adopt an ordinance prohibiting video lottery game terminal but it must do so within 90 days from the day this bill goes into effect.
This bill authorizes the State Lottery Commission to impose an initial nonrefundable application fee for licenses in the amount of $50,000 for manufacturers and operators, $500 for retailer establishments, and $100 for handlers. Licensees will also be charged annual renewal fees in the amount of $5,000 for manufacturers and operators, $500 for retailer establishments, and $50 for handlers. Video lottery game operators will also have to pay an annual fee of $200 for each video lottery game terminal placed in service. Under this bill, the video lottery game operators and the video lottery game retailer will split 64% of the adjusted gross receipts of any game and pay the remaining 36% of the adjusted gross receipts to the state. The state is then required to pass 4% of the adjusted gross receipts on the political subdivision in which the game is located. The bill specifies what the state can do with the proceeds. The bill also prohibits the lottery commission from allowing a single video lottery game operator to control or operate more than 25% of the terminals in the state. This bill is similar to SB 767 (2018) and HB 990 (2017).
HB 2272: modifies fee requirements for insurance companies
This bill modifies the fee requirements for every individual or entity making a filing with the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration. These fees will be deposited in the State Treasury to the credit of the insurance dedicated fund.
Throughout these next few weeks, bills will be heard in their various committees and voted on as they reach the house floor. Through my weekly videos on Facebook and capitol reports, I will strive to keep you informed of the bills as they move through the legislative process.
Add me as a friend on Facebook at Kevin Engler-Missouri Legislature to view weekly video capitol updates and other happenings at the capitol. To access any information regarding the Missouri House of Representatives, go to www.house.mo.gov.
Missouri 116th District State Representative Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, files his Capitol Report at the end of each week the state legislature is in session.