It was another busy week at the Capitol. While I don’t agree with all the legislation passed this week, I do understand that Missouri is a very diverse state. When voting on legislation, I make it a priority to remember the core values of the people in my district.
Last week the House passed the budget and it is now being sent to The Senate. In the next four weeks the General Assembly will build a compromise on the budget that works for all Missourians. Our state’s constitution ensures we are fiscally responsible by requiring we balance the budget every year. One part of the budget that I hope makes it to the finish line is the $2.2 million that is allotted to open a new 17 bed mental health treatment center at the Mental Health Center in Farmington. I believe that many crimes committed are related to mental illness. If we can treat these people, get them back into society and out of prison it will be better for everyone.
Six bills caught my attention this week. HB334 reforms 911 services in Missouri Counties. This bill will make it easier for counties to establish 911 services and allows for greater cooperation between counties. HB334 is a common-sense reform. It promotes public safety by increasing the amount of 911 services available, particularly in our rural areas.
The House and Senate passed HB130. This bill creates a statewide framework for transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. HB130 removes unnecessary government regulations that stifle innovation and job creation. By allowing these 21st century companies to operate in Missouri, we are creating a better environment for job creation.
HB118 was passed through the House this week, simplifying the process for school transfers. This bill creates a more streamlined process for students transferring out of unaccredited schools, while not making any changes to the current school transfer laws. Before this bill, there was no formal transfer process to follow. By establishing this process, parents will be more informed about their child’s transfer choices. Moreover, we will be insuring Missouri student receive a quality education that allows them to compete in a 21st century economy.
House members gave approval this week to HB294 meant to prevent overdose deaths. The bill would give immunity from charges for minor possession of drugs or paraphernalia or being under the influence to a person who calls for emergency medical attention for someone who is overdosing on drugs or alcohol, and would give immunity to the person in need of medical attention. Supporters say the bill would help reduce the number of drug and alcohol related overdoses if people are not afraid of getting in trouble if they call for help for themselves or others. The sponsor of the bill said that similar legislation in other states and local areas has proven to save lives, particularly when working in conjunction with bills that allow first responders or friends and loved ones to have and administer naloxone – a drug that counteracts overdoses to opioids, including heroine.
Responsible adults would be able to ride their motorcycles without a helmet under legislation approved by the Missouri House this week. Current law requires that all motorcycle riders wear protective headgear while the vehicle is in motion. HB576 approved by the House would modify this requirement to apply only to individuals under 21 years of age. Individuals 21 and older would be able to ride a motorcycle without a helmet as long as they have completed a motorcycle safety education course or have possessed a motorcycle license for at least two years, and are covered by a health insurance policy.
Lastly, HB261 was passed through the House this week. HB261 requires certain places, such as airports and train stations, to display posters informing victims of resources and services available to them. The passage of this bill is a step forward in addressing the human trafficking problem in our state.
Please contact me at 201 West Capitol Avenue, Room 115-H, Jefferson City, MO 65101 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This report was filed April 13, 2017