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MCADSV Legislative Update - April 29, 2016
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MCADSV advocacy results in maintained current funding levels for all domestic and sexual violence grant programs in state’s 2017 budget

Priority legislation advances: Protection order bill passes and sent to Gov. Nixon

The Missouri General Assembly filed more bills during the 2016 session than any other session in history. Despite that flurry of activities, MCADSV's priority legislation advanced with bipartisan support.

Of particular note, MCADSV public policy advocacy resulted in the Missouri General Assembly voting to maintain current funding levels for all domestic and sexual violence grant programs in the state budget for FY17 (July 1, 2016­-June 30, 2017) that was passed on April 21. All appropriations bills were sent to Gov. Jay Nixon to be reviewed and signed into law. No vetoes of DV/SV grant program funding are expected from the Governor.

In other April legislative achievements, MCADSV gained passage of a bill to allow survivors with Orders of Protection to retain their cell phone numbers and wireless services separate from any family plan contracts previously shared with their abusers.

Additional MCADSV priority bills continued to advance in April. These include measures to strengthen laws and services for human trafficking victims, hard-won compromises that forestalled harmful child custody law changes, new requirements for collaborations between universities and law enforcement agencies for responses to sexual and domestic violence crimes, and a correction to elder and vulnerable person abuse reporting laws. MCADSV also gained a committee vote in April on Senate bill, SB 907, which would allow unpaid leave for domestic and sexual violence victims, after a contentious committee debate.

And in action that garnered national attention, on April 28 a House committee defeated Senate Joint Resolution 39, a measure which would have allowed Missouri voters to decide if the state’s Constitution should be amended to allow discrimination against same-sex couples based on religious beliefs. 

Appropriations

The Missouri General Assembly passed all FY17 appropriations bills on April 21. There were no changes in the funding levels of domestic and sexual violence grant programs, so funding will be maintained at the current levels.
Status: The appropriation bills await Gov. Nixon’s signature or veto. 

Department of Social Services (DSS) 
House Bill 2011: domestic and sexual violence funding at current levels

  • Domestic violence services funding: $4.75 million state; $3.7 million federal; $562,000 TANF/federal (Section 11.175)
  • Sexual violence services funding: $500,000 state  (Section 11.180)
  • Emergency Solutions grants (ESG): $4.130 million federal (Section 11.150)

Department of Public Safety (DPS)
House Bill 2008: victim services grant funding at current levels

•    Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grants: $37 million federal (Section 8.045)
     o    This total maintains the significant increase in VOCA funds that were included in the current FY16 state budget.
•    State Services to Victims Fund (SSVF) grants: $3.6 million (Section 8.040)
•    Services, Training, Officers and Prosecutors (STOP) and Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) grants: $2.99 million federal (Section 8.050)
•    Crime Victims’ Compensation program: $11.7 million combined state and federal funds (Section 8.055)
     o    This includes funding for direct compensation for crime victims, the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) program and a new program for child physical abuse forensic examinations.

Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS)  
House Bill 2010: Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) grant funding at current levels

  • Sexual Violence Victim Services, Awareness and Prevention Program:  $792,134 federal funds (Section 10.725)
    -This is the funding line-item for the RPE grants and the small amount of DHSS funding for sexual assault grants. 


Actions on priority legislation

Unpaid leave for domestic and sexual violence victims

Senate Bill 907 
Sponsor: Sen. Gina Walsh, D-St. Louis
MCADSV supports, gained amendments

SB 907 would allow unpaid leave from work for victims of domestic and sexual violence to attend legal/court proceedings and obtain needed services. Following multiple vote cancellations at the Senate committee hearing level, a compromise version of SB 907 was drafted that was supported by industry groups but opposed by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce. The compromise removes provisions in the bill that specifically allowed a "private cause of action" for employees that would allow those fired for taking unpaid leave to sue their employers. However, the bill still would create a legal right for employees to take unpaid leave to address needs related to domestic and sexual violence. 
Status: The substitute version of SB 907 was passed by a Senate committee in a 5-3 vote on April 19 following a contentious discussion by committee members.  It is not expected that the bill will advance to Senate floor debate at this point in the session.

Protection orders and cell phone plans

Senate Bill 838
Sponsor: Sen. Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City
MCADSV supports, gained passage
SB 838 would allow Full Orders of Protection to include provisions so victims could retain their cell phone numbers and separate wireless services from family plans with their abusers. SB 838 provides that, after notice of a protection order with this provision, wireless companies would have three business days to transfer family plan contracts solely to victims. 
Status: SB 838 was “truly agreed to and finally passed” after a final House vote on April 20. The bill now awaits the governor’s signature to become law. MCADSV provided requested information on SB 838 to the governor’s office and has urged Gov. Nixon to sign the bill into law.

House Bill 1972
Sponsor: Rep Sandy Crawford, R-Buffalo
MCADSV supports
HB 1972 is the House version of the protection order/cell phone bill. It was passed by the House on April 18.
Status: HB 1972 had a hearing before a Senate committee on April 26. It awaits placement on the Senate calendar for floor debate.  

Sex trafficking offenses

House Bill 1562
Sponsor: Rep. Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield
MCADSV supports, gained amendments

HB 1562 would add the additional element of advertising the availability of an adult or child for sexual activities to current adult and child sex trafficking offenses. The bill contains amendments sought by MCADSV to include the new criminal elements of trafficking offenses in both adult and child sex trafficking offenses. As amended in April by the Senate, HB 1562 now includes the following MCADSV-supported provisions: 1) adding trafficking victims to the Safe at Home address confidentiality program (SB 888/Walsh); 2) adding an element to the crime of stalking that a person tried to obtain the address/contact information of a participant in the Safe at Home program (SB 886/Walsh); and 3) adding restrictions for access to forensic evidence in child sexual abuse criminal cases (HB 2202/Haefner).
Status: HB 1562 awaits a final House vote as it was amended by the Senate. It was passed by the Senate on April 19.

Senate Bill 804
Sponsor: Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis
MCADSV supports, gained amendments
SB 804 is the Senate version of the criminal sex trafficking legislation. The bill contains the amendments sought by MCADSV to address both adult and child sex trafficking offenses.
Status: SB 804 awaits a final House hearing after it was amended by a House committee on April 25. The Senate earlier unanimously passed the bill.

Trafficking and Safe at Home program

Senate Bill 888
Sponsor: Sen. Gina Walsh, D-St. Louis
MCADSV supports
SB 888 would add victims of human trafficking to the Safe at Home address confidentiality program. The Safe at Home program currently provides an alternate legal mailing address for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
Status: The provisions of SB 888 were added to the House sex trafficking crime bill (HB 1562/Haahr) during Senate floor debate on April 19. 
SB 888 awaits a second House committee hearing before it can advance to House floor debate for a final vote.

House Bill 1396
Sponsor: Rep. Tracy McCreery, D-St. Louis
MCADSV supports
HB 1396 is the House version of the bill to add trafficking victims to the Safe at Home program.
Status: HB 1396 is on the House calendar for floor debate after it was passed by House committees in February.

Human trafficking hotline posters

House Bill 2561
Sponsor: Rep. Cloria Brown, R-St. Louis
MCADSV supports
HB 2561 would require that, by March 1, 2017, various establishments—such as airports, truck stops, bus stations, strip clubs, emergency rooms and motels with citations for prostitution—must display a poster in a conspicuous place (bathrooms, entrances) that provides information about human trafficking. The Department of Public Safety is required to create the poster before Jan. 1, 2017. The poster will be made available for print on the DPS website.

As amended and passed by the House, HB 2561 now also includes provisions that would: 1) allow Crime Victims’ Compensation program payments for services to crime victims provided by Board-certified psychiatric mental health clinical nurse specialists and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners; and 2) notify victims of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses of all court and offender release actions (content from HB 2133/Franklin).

The poster will contain the following information: "If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in any activity and cannot leave – whether it is commercial sex, housework, farm work, or any other activity call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 to access help and services. Victims of human trafficking are protected under U.S. and Missouri law.”
Status: HB 2561 awaits placement on the Senate calendar for floor debate after it was amended and passed by a Senate committee on April 19.

Domestic violence crime victims' rights

House Bill 2133, House committee substitute not available online
Sponsor: Rep. Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton
MCADSV supports
HB 2133 was amended by a House committee to include the campus MOU provisions from HB 1678/Solon. The bill would add victims of all domestic assault crimes, including misdemeanors, to existing law requiring they receive notification of all court proceedings and legal actions involving the offense against them. Current law requires automatic notification only to victims of felony offenses.
Status: The content of HB 2133 was added to the human trafficking poster bill, HB 2561/Brown.

Responses to campus sexual and domestic assault, stalking

Senate Bill 921
Sponsor: Sen. Jeannie Riddle, R-Fulton
MCADSV supports, gained amendments
SB 921 would require colleges and universities to develop detailed MOUs with local law enforcement agencies on responses to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. As amended by the Senate, SB 921 also contains provisions to set new requirements for law enforcement agencies to report incidents of domestic violence, whether or not an arrest is made, for compilation in the Uniform Crime Reports maintained by the Department of Public Safety. Other provisions of the bill clarify timelines for local law enforcement agencies’ submission of domestic violence homicide and suicide reports (this content is also in HB 1930/Franklin). 
Status: SB 921 is on the House calendar for floor debate after it was passed by a House committee on April 18. Several House amendments are expected during that debate; any amendments to the bill will require it to return to the Senate for a final vote.

House Bill 1678
Sponsor: Rep. Sheila Solon, R-Blue Spring
MCADSV supports
HB 1678 would require colleges and universities to develop detailed MOUs with local law enforcement agencies on responses to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. A Senate committee on April 20 added an amendment to HB 1678 that would require 30 minutes of first-aid training on CPR and the Heimlich maneuver for high school students.
Status: HB 1678 is on the Senate calendar for floor debate. It was passed by a Senate committee on April 20.

Senate Bill 1085
Sponsor: Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg
MCADSV supports
SB 1085 is the Senate version of the campus MOU bill. 
Status: SB 1085 was added as an amendment to the domestic violence crime reporting bill (SB 921/Riddle) by the Senate on April 11.

Child custody and visitation

House Bill 1550
Sponsor: Rep. Jim Neely, R-Cameron
MCADSV monitoring, gained amendments
HB 1550 would require written notice to divorced parents on the availability of Family Access Motions to address visitation issues. It was amended in the Senate to include compromise language on changes to child custody and visitation laws. The compromise version of HB 1550 does not contain the presumption for “50/50 shared parenting” in all custody cases, a provision included in several House and Senate custody bills.

HB 1550 now contains changes to increase parents’ access to information on the development of parenting plans and would require a judge to issue written findings of fact in cases when the parents cannot agree on child custody, child support and visitation. Earlier versions of related legislation weakened protections for domestic violence victims in custody cases, but none of those provisions are contained in the final version of HB 1550.
Status: HB 1550 is on the House calendar for floor debate and a final vote. It was amended and passed by the Senate on April 26.

Senate Bill 964
Sponsor: Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau
MCADSV monitoring
SB 964 would change existing custody and visitation laws to a default standard of “shared parenting.” MCADSV worked in concert with the Missouri Bar Association and legislators to negotiate changes to a similar custody bill, HB 1550/Neely, to ensure strong legal protections remain in custody and visitation laws to address the needs of domestic violence victims and their children.
Status: SB 964 remains on the calendar for Senate floor debate, but it is not expected to advance after compromise language on child custody laws was passed in HB 1550.

House Bill 2055
Sponsor: Rep. Kathy Swan, R-Cape Girardeau
MCADSV monitoring
HB 2055 is a House “shared parenting bill.” MCADSV worked in the months since the February hearings on HB 2055 to gain agreement on alternative approaches to custody and visitation laws. Subsequently, those recommendations were incorporated into amendments to another bill, HB 1550, which passed the Senate in April.
Status: HB 2055 remains in a House committee and is not expected to advance further this session. 

Domestic violence crime reporting

House Bill 1930
Sponsor: Rep. Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton
MCADSV supports
HB 1930 is the original House bill that would clarify requirements for law enforcement agencies’ reporting of domestic violence crimes, including homicides and suicides, for compilation in Missouri’s Uniform Crime Reports. It was amended in the House to contain the campus MOU provisions that are in HB 1678/Solon and SB 921/Riddle.
Status: HB 1930 is on the Senate calendar for floor debate. It was passed by a Senate committee on April 26.

Criminal Code revisions: abuse of elderly, disabled, vulnerable persons 

Senate Bill 590
Sponsor: Sen. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield
MCADSV monitoring, gained amendments
SB 590, an omnibus crime bill, contains the elder abuse reporting correction amendment sought by MCADSV. SB 590 was amended by the Senate to include the provisions of SB 678/Emery that would allow courts to order electronic monitoring of a person convicted of violating an Order of Protection, with the requirement that there be victim notification and “informed consent” to the monitoring. An additional amendment to SB 590 added an element to the offense of stalking that a person tried to gain access to information on the whereabouts of a person in the Safe at Home address confidentiality program. This provision was originally filed as SB 886/Walsh.
Status: SB 590 awaits a House committee vote after a hearing on April 27. It  passed the Senate on April 21.

House Bill 2212 
Sponsor: Rep. Dave Hinson, R-St. Clair
MCADSV supports, gained amendments
HB 2212 would add firefighters, EMTs and all first responders to mandatory reporting of elder and vulnerable person abuse. MCADSV gained an amendment to the bill that would reinstate a long-standing provision of law, mistakenly omitted from statutes, that clarifies that no mandatory reports are required for suspected abuse of the elderly, disabled or vulnerable persons who are able to meet their own essential human needs and seek or obtain services for any needs or abuse against them. Elders are defined as those 60 and older.
Status: HB 2212 awaits placement on the Senate calendar for floor debate. It was passed by a Senate committee on April 19 with the elder abuse reporting amendment sought by MCADSV.

Senate Bill 663
Sponsor: Sen. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield
MCADSV supports, gained amendments
SB 663 is an omnibus “Criminal Code” bill that would revise the 2014 overhaul of all criminal offenses. Much of the content of SB 663 was added to the omnibus crime bill, SB 590. As passed by the Senate in the first of two Senate floor votes, SB 663 contains the corrections to elder abuse reporting laws sought by MCADSV as well as provisions from other bills that would allow electronic monitoring of protection order respondents and change stalking laws.
Status: SB 663 was amended and given first-round passage by the Senate on April 27. It needs a final Senate vote to advance to the House.

School anti-bullying programs

House Bill 1583
Sponsor: Rep. Sue Allen, R-Town and Country
MCADSV supports
HB 1583 would expand school districts’ requirements for anti-bullying policies and responses. The bill contains language proposed by MCADSV to allow student peer-to-peer programs and initiatives as part of a district’s anti-bullying programs. 
Status: HB 1583 was passed by a Senate committee after a hearing on April 20.

Confidentiality of child abuse forensic evidence

House Bill 2202
Sponsor: Rep. Marsha Haefner, R-St. Louis
MCADSV supports
HB 2202 would provide additional restrictions on the sharing of photos or recordings obtained in child abuse forensic examinations or investigations, requiring court orders for sharing the information and adding these materials to those that are redacted from public court records. The Senate added the content of HB 2202 to the House sex trafficking crime bill (HB 1562/Haahr) on April 20 during Senate floor debate.
Status: HB 2202 is on the Senate calendar for floor debate. It was passed by a Senate committee on April 26.

Senate Bill 971, Senate committee substitute not available online
Sponsor: Sen. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield
MCADSV supports
SB 971 is the Senate version of HB 2202.  It was passed on Feb. 23 by a Senate committee.
Status: SB 971 is not expected to advance. It awaits placement on the calendar for Senate floor debate.

Teen dating violence awareness month

House Bill 2481
Sponsor: Rep. Donna Pfautsch, R-Harrisonville
MCADSV supports
HB 2481 would designate the month of February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in Missouri. 
Status: HB 2481 was passed by a House select committee on April 20 and awaits placement on the House calendar for floor debate.

Qualifications for expert witnesses

Senate Bill 591
Sponsor: Sen. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar
MCADSV monitoring
SB 591 would change the legal standards to qualify as an expert witness. MCADSV gained an amendment to the bill that exempts family and juvenile courts, including domestic violence and protection order cases, from new standards for qualifying as an expert witness. This change was sought by MCADSV due to the effects on qualifying DV/SV advocates as expert witnesses. 
Status: SB 591 was “truly agreed to and finally passed” by the General Assembly on April 27. It was sent to the Governor for consideration of signing the bill into law.

House Bill 1676
Sponsor: Rep. Kevin Corlew, R-Kansas City
MCADSV monitoring
HB 1676 is the House version of the expert witness bill. 
Status: HB 1676 remains on the House calendar for floor debate and is not expected to advance after the final passage of the Senate version, SB 591.

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You can review filed 2016 filed legislation online

•    Senate: http://www.senate.mo.gov/16info/BTS_Web/BillList.aspx?SessionType=R   
•    House: 
http://www.house.mo.gov/billlist.aspx