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MCADSV Legislative Update - April 30, 2013

April Legislative Overview

The Missouri Senate passed the state’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget in late April, agreeing with all House positions on funds for victim services grants, including an increase of $1.9 million in federal domestic violence funds in the Department of Social Services budget. That funding increase is not likely to be changed in ongoing budget negotiations between the House and Senate. Only one victim services grant program was reduced—the State Services to Victims’ fund program—in the Department of Public Safety budget.

The Senate bill to make corrections to technical errors in current domestic violence laws awaits a House floor vote, having passed out of a House committee after unanimous passage in the Senate. House and Senate bills to revise Missouri rape laws have advanced as amendments added to other larger bills—each would add elements of a victim’s incapacity or incapability to consent to current rape laws.

A House bill that would enhance school anti-bullying policies passed the House and had a hearing before a Senate committee. A bill to revise sex offender registry laws was passed by the House with an amendment that added the content of MCADSV’s priority bills on domestic violence and rape laws. The House, by a significant margin, passed a bill that would add a series of additional requirements on those who receive public assistance, including food stamps, child care subsidies and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). The Senate passed a bill that would require non-profit organizations to notify attendees at fundraisers if food is served that was not prepared in a regulated, commercial kitchen.

The 2013 session of the Missouri General Assembly concludes on Friday, May 17.


The process

The Senate passed all of the appropriations bills for the state’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget on April 22. Both the House and the Senate approved the same funding amounts for all victim services grants and programs. This means the funding for those programs and grants are not subject to change through the House/Senate Conference Committee that will begin meeting in May to reconcile differences between the budgets passed by each chamber. All appropriations bills must be reconciled and passed by both the House and Senate by May 10.

Domestic violence funding increase passed by Missouri Senate; not subject to conference committee
House Bill 11
Department of Social Services (DSS)

The Missouri Senate passed a $1.9 million increase in federal funding for domestic violence services on April 22 in HB 11, the annual budget bill for DSS. The funding increase was proposed by Governor Jay Nixon, passed by the House and agreed to in the Senate, so it will not be subject to negotiation between the House and Senate for the final version of the Fiscal Year 2013 state budget.

The increased federal funds are drawn primarily from the state’s block grant of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) funds and include an additional increase in federal Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) funds. HB 11 provides state funding for domestic violence services at $4.75 million, federal funding of $3,716,524 (includes the increase), for a total of $8,466,524 for FY2014.

Reductions in crime fine collections reflected in cuts to SSVF program budget
House Bill 8
Department of Public Safety (DPS)

HB 8 was passed by the Senate on April 22 with the same appropriation amounts for victim services grants and programs that earlier were passed by the House. This means that these appropriations will not be subject to change through a conference committee that will meet in May to resolve budget differences between the House and Senate.  HB 8 contains grants and programs funded at the following levels for the state Fiscal Year that begins July 1, 2013:   
  • Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grants remain at $7.5 million in federal funds;
  • Services, Training, Officers and Prosecution (STOP) grants remain at $2.49 million in federal funds, which includes Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) grants;
  • State Services to Victims Fund (SSVF) grants were reduced to $4 million, a cut of $1 million due to lower collection of crime fines that fund this grant program (this is the amount reflected in the most recent awards of SSVF grants that begin July 1); and
  • Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) program funds also were reduced by $1 million for a total of $9.83 million, a reduction that reflects lower costs for the SAFE program since limits were placed on per-exam reimbursement amounts.

Rape Prevention and Education grant funding unchanged for coming fiscal year
House Bill 10
Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS)

The Senate passed HB 10, the appropriations bill for DHSS on April 22 with no changes to the current level of $889,134 in federal funding for the Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) grants. This “Sexual Violence Victims Services, Awareness, and Education Program” includes a small amount of federal funding for sexual assault services grants.


Senate Bill 214 (Sen. Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City)
House Bill 280 (Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City)  
MCADSV Supports   
The Senate Judiciary Committee added the provisions of the Senate rape law revision bill, SB 214, to HB 215 during a hearing on April 24. This Senate Committee Substitute became a multi-provision judiciary bill, and expanded the scope of the original HB 215, which would give prosecutors authority to collect crime victims’ restitution, with fees for the collections. The committee deleted provisions in the original HB 215 that would have changed the public defender system.

The House Judiciary Committee amended the content of HB 280 onto a multi-provision omnibus judiciary bill, HB 371 (Rep. Stanley Cox, R-Sedalia), in April. The bill, like the Senate versions, would revise rape and sex offense laws, adding elements of incapability or incapacity to consent to the elements of felony rape and sodomy crimes, and would rename the crime of forcible rape to rape, first degree, and deviate sexual assault to sodomy, second degree. These crimes currently only have elements of forcible compulsion and drugging of the victim by the offender.


Sex offender registry bill amended in House to include rape and domestic violence bills
House Bill 589 (Rep. Dave Hinson, R-St. Clair)
MCADSV Monitoring
House Bill 462 (Rep. Don Phillips, R-Kimberling City)  
MCADSV Supports
The House passed HB 589 on April 29. The bill would revise the sex offender registry laws and was amended during House debate to include the MCADSV priority bills to revise rape laws and correct errors in domestic violence laws. The bill’s sponsor agreed to work with MCADSV and other groups to amend the bill in the Senate to address provisions that would allow some sex offenders to be removed from the registry if a mental health evaluation determines them to be a low risk for reoffending.

HB 462, a separate sex offender bill supported by MCADSV, would not allow mental health evaluations to determine an offender’s removal from the registry. HB 462 would only allow those convicted of lesser sexual offenses—established as “tiers” of crime severity in the bill—to petition their sentencing courts to remove them from the registry after specified periods of time if they do not commit additional offenses. HB 462 awaits House floor debate.


Legislation to correct domestic violence laws moves as stand-alone bill and as amendments

Senate Bill 222 (Sen. John Lamping, R-St. Louis)
MCADSV Supports
SB 222 progressed through the House Judiciary and Rules Committees in April after it was unanimously passed by the Missouri Senate in March. Amended as a House Committee Substitute, SB 222 would correct errors in domestic violence laws that passed in a 2011 omnibus domestic violence bill. The bill was amended by the House Judiciary Committee to add two additional provisions. Those two amendments were to:  1) remove the words “in camera” from the section allowing a judge to inquire of a petitioner or others if a protection order was being dismissed due to coercion or threat; and 2) added language in Section 455.040 RSMo to clarify that a judge is not mandated to issue a full Order of Protection if the respondent can show in a hearing that the actions alleged as abuse were lawful. The first amendment is to address due process rights and the second is to clarify the law in response to a Western District Appellate Court decision. In that decision, actions alleged as abuse were determined to be lawful actions of self-defense.

Technical in content, the other provisions in SB 222 would replace some remaining references to “abuse” with the more inclusive definition of “domestic violence,” clarify requirements for immediate service of ex parte and full protection orders, and include the consistent use of "stalking" to ensure that the provisions of Chapter 455 apply to instances of domestic violence as well as stalking that does not involve a family or household member.

House Bill 281 (Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City)
MCADSV Supports
HB 281 is the House version of the domestic violence technical corrections bill. During April its content was added to a bill to revise sex offender registry laws, HB 589 (Rep. Dave Hinson, R-St. Clair).   

Problematic bill advances that would create family intervention orders in domestic violence laws
House Bill 402 (Rep. Lindell Shumake, R-Hannibal)  
MCADSV Opposes
HB 402 was passed by the House Children, Families and Disabilities Committee on April 22 and then passed by the House Rules Committee on April 29. The bill would allow a family or household member to get an order compelling another family member to get treatment for substance abuse, and then would provide a subsequent mandatory presumption for permanent custody of children in the family should the intervention order petitioner later file for separation or divorce. MCADSV’s opposition is based on numerous aspects of the bill, including its impact of adding family intervention orders, which do not include allegations of violence, in a chapter of law on domestic violence. The next step for HB 402 is to be added to the calendar for House floor debate.

Bill fails to advance that would provide unpaid leave for victims of domestic violence
Senate Bill 367 (Sen. Gina Walsh, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV Supports
SB 367 was heard by the Senate Seniors, Families and Pensions Committee in March but the committee took no action on the bill during April. The bill would allow employers to provide domestic violence victims with a range of 8 to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from work to address issues related to the abuse.


Bills stall that would allow local ordinance violation fee increases for domestic violence shelters
House Bill 251 (Rep. Jeanie Lauer, R-Blue Springs) Committee substitute not available online
MCADSV Supports
No action was taken during April on HB 251 after a House committee held a hearing in early March. HB 251 would allow municipalities and county governing bodies to pass ordinances to raise current ordinance violation fees from $2 to $4 with those funds designated to support local domestic violence shelters. The fees have not been increased for more than 10 years. A House Committee Substitute for HB 251 was offered during the hearing, which included corrections to errors in the original bill.

Senate Bill 313 (Sen. Paul LeVota, D-Kansas City)  
MCADSV Supports
SB 313 has not been scheduled for a hearing since it was referred in March to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill also would allow for local governing bodies to increase ordinance violation fees, with funds allocated to support domestic violence shelters.


House bill proposes significant new requirements for public assistance recipients
House Bill 343 (Rep. Casey Guernsey, R-Bethany)
MCADSV Monitoring
By a large margin, the House in April passed HB 343, a bill that would dramatically change laws on public assistance programs, including food stamps and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).  The bill awaits a hearing before the Senate Government Accountability Committee. HB 343 directs the Missouri Department of Social Services to obtain federal waivers to allow the Missouri TANF, food stamp and other public assistance programs to make additional eligibility requirements for recipients. This would include enhanced work requirements for adults and teens, educational requirements, enhanced drug testing, and limitations on food stamp purchases, among other changes. Specifically, HB 343 would:
  • Change eligibility determinations for calculating the income of all people in a household, whether or not they contribute to the applicant’s living expenses;
  • Requires that all adult TANF, food stamp, subsidized child care or WIC recipients have a high school diploma or GED certificate within two years of receiving those benefits;
  • Require children 16 or older who receive TANF benefits to be engaged in work activities;
  • Require TANF recipients to make 20 job applications/contacts per week and, if after one month they don’t have a job, they will be required to work as an unpaid intern for a government entity for 20 hours per week;
  • Give caseworkers “ultimate discretion” to decide there is reasonable cause to believe a TANF recipient uses illegal drugs;
  • Disallow use of benefit cards in casinos, liquor stores or gambling establishments;
  • Require a TANF applicant’s proof that all dependent children of the home are enrolled and regularly attending school; and
  • Increase investigations of public assistance fraud


House gives initial approval of bill to update all Missouri crime laws; Senate bill remains in committee
House Bill 210 (Rep. Stanley Cox, R-Sedalia)
MCADSV Supports
HB 210, a bill that would revise all criminal offense laws, was given first-round approval by the House on April 30. It earlier had been amended by the House Judiciary Committee to include revisions to rape laws. The full scope of HB 210, at more than 1,000 pages, would remove current inconsistencies and conflicts in criminal laws. The most substantial change would make structural reclassifications for both felonies and misdemeanors, including domestic assaults, adding one additional class/category to both misdemeanor and felony crime penalties. Missouri’s crime laws were last updated as a full criminal code in the late 1970s.

Senate Bill 253 (Sen. Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City)  
MCADSV Supports
The Senate Judiciary Committee took no action after an early April hearing on SB 253, the Senate bill to update all Missouri crime laws. Among the bill’s provisions are the technical corrections to domestic violence laws (as in separate MCADSV-supported House and Senate bills). SB 253 also would add domestic violence and stalking victims to current law that prohibits law enforcement from polygraphing a rape victim prior to initiating a crime investigation. MCADSV testimony sought the support of the committee to amend SB 253 to revise rape laws to include a victim’s incapacity or incapability to consent as elements of sexual violence crimes.

Crime victims’ restitution bill expanded by Senate committee to include rape law revisions
House Bill 215 (Rep. Stanley Cox, R-Sedalia)
MCADSV Monitoring
The Senate Judiciary Committee added the provisions of the Senate rape law revision bill, SB 214, to a House bill, HB 215, during a late April hearing. This Senate Committee Substitute became a multi-provision judiciary bill, and expanded the scope of the original HB 215, which would give prosecutors authority to collect crime victims’ restitution, with fees charged for the collections. The committee deleted provisions in the original HB 215 that would have changed the public defender system. On April 30, HB 215 was placed on the Senate calendar for floor debate.


Bill advances in House that would allow pharmacies to not stock drugs or medications
Senate Bill 126 (Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville)
MCADSV Monitoring  
Originally a one-page bill that that would not allow pharmacies to be required to stock certain drugs or medical devices, SB 126 was amended by a House committee in April to change the laws on health care provided by physician assistants. The bill was then placed on the House calendar for floor debate on April 29. SB 126 would have a likely effect on limiting access to emergency contraception in some communities, but does so without language specific to prescription or over-the-counter birth control medications or devices.


House bills would revise child abuse reporting laws and forensic exams standards for child victims
House Bill 505 (Rep. Marsha Haefner, R-St. Louis)
MCADSV Supports
House Bill 152 (Rep. Sheila Solon (R-Blue Springs)  
MCADSV Monitoring
HB 505 was amended to HB 152 during House floor debate in early April and advanced to the Senate where a Senate Education Committee hearing was held on April 24. The original HB 505 awaits its own Senate committee hearing. Both bills would require direct reports of child abuse or neglect by legally mandated child abuse reporters, changing current law that allows such reports by a supervisor of a mandatory reporter. HB 505 and HB 152 also would require new regulatory provisions be created for the Department of Public Safety SAFE program for reimbursements and performance of sexual assault forensic evidence examinations of child victims who are under age 14.

HB 152 contains provisions allowing teachers to carry guns in schools and has not been supported by MCADSV.


Schools would be required to enhance anti-bullying policies and procedures
House Bill 134 (Rep. Sue Allen, R-St. Louis)   
MCADSV Supports
The Senate Education Committee held a late April hearing on HB 134 after the bill had been passed by the House on April 9. HB 134 would require school districts to enhance policies and procedures on school bullying. HB 134 includes a new definition of “cyber-bullying” and adds requirements that those activities be addressed in school policies. The bill expands the definition of bullying to include “discrimination that causes a reasonable student to fear for his or her physical safety or property, substantial interference with educational opportunities, or substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school.”  

House Bill 477 (Rep. Judy Morgan, D-Kansas City)  
Senate Bill 284 (Sen. Scott Sifton, D-St. Louis)  
MCADSV Supports
No action occurred in April on HB 477 or SB 284, bills that would add to requirements for school district anti-bullying policies and procedures specific, enumerated groups of targeted students to be protected from bullying. The enumeration language identifies these students as including: “…actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or a mental, physical, or sensory disability, or on the basis of association with an individual who falls into one of the protected categories.”  No committee hearings have been scheduled for these bills.


Senate bill would place restrictions on non-profits’ food preparation for fundraising events
Senate Bill 432 (Sen. Mike Cunningham, R-Rogersville)  
MCADSV Monitoring
After much debate and amendments, the Senate on April 25 passed SB 432, a bill that would allow non-profit charitable organizations holding fundraising events to serve food that was prepared in a non-regulated, private kitchen provided the following: “The nonprofit organization shall inform the consumer by placing a clearly visible placard at the serving location that the food was prepared in a kitchen that is not subject to regulation and inspection by the regulatory authority.” The bill was sent to the House after it was passed by the Senate.


Bill to expand probation and parole case reviews fails to advance during April
House Bill 419 (Rep. Penny Hubbard, D-St. Louis)  
MCADSV Supports
HB 419 has not advanced since an April House committee hearing that featured testimony from two formerly incarcerated women granted clemency through the efforts of the Missouri Battered Women’s Clemency Coalition. The bill, modeled on a 2007 law that allowed case reviews for domestic violence victims incarcerated with sentences that did not allow for parole, would extend case reviews by the Board of Probation and Parole to those first-time offenders with sentences of 15 to 50 years who have exhausted all appeals. HB 419 includes provisions for case reviews of offenders with a history of domestic and sexual violence against them.

MCADSV monitors bills not listed above. Those bills will be included in future issues of the MCADSV Legislative Update should they include provisions of interest to MCADSV’s membership.

Access to information on legislation and lawmakers
Information on legislators, committees and actions of the Missouri General Assembly is available on the website of the Missouri General Assembly, www.moga.mo.gov. That website also provides access to copies of all bills filed, and provides detailed information on lawmaker’s actions on bills as they proceed through the legislative process.

Specific bill search
Please note that revisions to the General Assembly’s website no longer allow live links directly to each bill, so navigating to specific bills requires a few steps:
To review copies of all bills, go to www.moga.mo.gov.
      • Select “Joint Information” from the left-side menu bar, then “Joint Bill Information.” Enter the bill number in the search field.

Legislator information by district map
The following links from the website of the Missouri House of Representatives detail district maps for the Missouri General Assembly. There also are statewide maps and detailed maps for the urban districts. The maps provide a quick, visually-accessible alternative to looking up legislators by zip codes, which can be done via the General Assembly website. Missouri Senate and House districts were redistricted in 2012.
•    Senate maps: http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/maps/senate.pdf
•    House maps: http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/maps/house.pdf