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My bill, HB 324, was given the final stamp of approval by the Members of the Missouri House of Representatives. The bill in its final format includes all correctional centers, state mental facilities, and county and municipal jails. It became obvious while handling this bill that drone technology is advancing fast and is generally a great technology that is used for the betterment of all of us. This bill addresses the bad players who attempt to use it for nefarious means.

The House also passed out HB 113 that would allow judges to issue sentences below Missouri’s current minimum sentencing requirements except in crimes that involved the use, attempted use, or threat of physical force, or certain non-consensual sex crimes against a minor. The bill is meant to both help non-violent offenders get a second chance and reduce prison populations. A case would have to have a “substantial and compelling” reason to give a sentence below the minimum.

Legislative projections indicate the bill would save the state more than $3 million per year by the time it is fully implemented by decreasing the number of people incarcerated in state prisons. The savings do not account for what the state would save if it does not have to build and maintain two new prisons.

Bills of Interest:

HB 243 provides that a person who is, has been, or is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking shall not be denied tenancy, evicted from the premises, or in violation of a lease agreement on the basis of or as a direct result of being such a victim. The tenant has an affirmative defense, in certain actions brought by the landlord, that the tenant who vacated the premises was a victim or was in imminent danger of becoming a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence or stalking. Additionally, this bill provides a list of acceptable evidence that the landlord must accept as proof that the lessee or tenant was or was going to be a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, or stalking. Finally, this bill allows a landlord to impose a termination fee on such a tenant or lessee who wants to terminate the lease before the expiration date.

HB 499 allows the Director of the Department of Revenue to order the revocation of a driver's license upon notification by any law enforcement officer that the license holder was involved in a physical accident involving a highway worker within a designated construction zone or work zone. An individual whose driver's license is revoked may seek reinstatement by either taking and passing the written and driving portions of the driver's license examination, in which case the individual's driver's license is immediately reinstated, or petitioning for a hearing before a circuit division or associate division of the court in the county in which the work zone accident occurred. The individual may request that the court issue an order staying the revocation until such time as the petition for review can be heard.

HB 451 This bill repeals the inspection requirement for non-commercial motor vehicles which is currently required in order to renew a motor vehicle license. The air quality and emission inspection requirements for St. Louis and some specified areas which are mandated by federal law are not modified. Inspection stations may still perform school bus safety inspections, and odometer reading inspections and services for transferring vehicle ownership. Currently, an untitled, homemade trailer that is 16 feet or more in length must have a certificate of inspection. This bill requires all homemade trailers to have a certificate of inspection and increases the inspection fee from $10 to $25. The State Highway Patrol or other authorized law enforcement agency shall issue the vehicle examination certificate. The Superintendent of the State Highway Patrol shall provide law enforcement agencies performing the inspections with the needed forms.

Activity this week at the State Capitol:

Governor Parson addressed a group of FFA students at the Capitol and proclaimed this week to be a National FFA Week in Missouri for more than 25,000 agriculture students throughout the state. To celebrate FFA week, Governor Parson rode a tractor from the Governor’s Mansion to the Capitol, keeping with the tradition of FFA members being able to drive their tractors to school.

Members of various Missouri Farm Bureau County Leaders attended their Legislative Forum and met with their respective Legislators.

Nurse Advocacy Day was held on Wednesday and I had the opportunity to meet with several nursing students from Mizzou to discuss various health issues.

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