The Missouri House has created a committee that will investigate the charge on which Gov. Eric Greitens has been indicted. This week the members of the House also gave unanimous, bipartisan support to a resolution that outlines the investigative process and the powers the committee will have to conduct the investigation. The committee will begin its work immediately. I can assure you that the House will continue its work as normal.
I had the pleasure of making a special announcement on the House Floor this week, congratulating the 8th grade girls basketball team and their coaches from the St. Paul Lutheran School for their accomplishment at the Lutheran Sports Association of Missouri state tournament held in Jefferson City this last weekend.
On March 29th we will have the privilege to once again honor Vietnam veterans. It is always a rewarding, moving and a much deserved ceremony to these Veterans. If there are any Vietnam veterans who would like to participate in this year’s ceremony, please contact my office.
I received a hearing on HB 1290 this week. This is a bill brought to me by some of our local VFW members. To many veterans the POW/MIA flag holds a very significant place in their hearts. This bill would make it mandatory to fly the POW/MIA flag on state property if they have the poles in place to properly display it along with the US and Missouri flags. If they do not have a flag and a local VFW provides one, they must fly it each day. The bill is set up where there is no cost to the state.
HB 2225 was voted out of Committee this week and should be coming to the House floor for debate. This bill specifies that the necessity of emergency services to screen and stabilize a patient shall be determined by the treating physician. Before a health carrier retrospectively denies payment for an emergency service, a qualified physician shall review the enrollee’s medical records regarding the emergency condition at issue. Carriers shall not deny payment based predominantly on current procedural terminology or International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes.
The bill also stipulates that all payment for all services shall be made directly to providers when the carrier has authorized the patient to seek such services from a provider outside the carrier’s network. If insurance companies are allowed to pay you directly, then each individual is left trying to negotiate with a large hospital such as BJC or Mercy. This would result in each person paying a much higher percent of all medical cost. We purchase insurance to protect us from catastrophic bills after a health crisis. This bill will ensure this continues.
HB 2306 was voted out of committee this week. This bill creates the “Environmental Restoration Corporation Act,” which allows for the formation of a nonprofit corporation to hold, manage, or own environmentally impaired property that is subject to an ongoing cleanup or remedial action. In addition to the powers of all nonprofit corporations, any environmental restoration corporation has certain additional powers as specified in the bill, including the ability to acquire, accept, convey, dispose, encumber, manage and own real property that is subject to certain clean up or remedial action and to enter into contracts with private or public entities to conduct, manage, oversee, and regulate activities that may be necessary for the implementation of clean up and remedial actions on such property.
If this bill is passed, it will serve as a vehicle for land owners and municipalities to try and access the funds from the ASARCO settlement. There is currently $24.5 million left in the settlement.
HOUSE BILLS OF INTEREST
HB 1558 was passed this week. This bill creates the offense of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images, which is a class D felony. A person commits such offense when he or she: intentionally disseminates an image of another person fitting criteria specified in the bill; obtains the image under circumstances in which a reasonable person would know or understand that the image was to remain private; and knows or should have known that the person in the image has not consented to the dissemination. The bill specifies certain exceptions to the offense.
This is basically a revenge porn bill. In this day of social media and cell phones it is a bill that is very much needed.
HCS HB 1288, 1377 & 2050 — BENEVOLENT TAX CREDITS
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. It also allows for other benevolent tax credits for Child Advocacy Centers which provide a safe place for children that are abused.
Busy days here at the Capitol. I will do my best to keep the constituents of District 117 informed of the Capitol happenings. Thank you for letting me by your voice as your State Representative.
Missouri 117th District House Representative Mike Henderson, R-Bonne Terre, files his Capitol report at the end of each week during the state legislative session.