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MCADSV Legislative Update - April 30, 2018
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April advances:  State budget nears completion with increased federal funding for DV/SV services  

Legislators in the Missouri General Assembly kept up an active pace during April, despite a highly charged political environment that resulted from the filing of a criminal indictment against Gov. Eric Greitens and a concurrent legislative investigation into the governor by a special House committee. In the midst of the controversies, lawmakers neared completion of the state’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget that included federal funding increases for domestic and sexual violence services. Other MCADSV priority legislation advanced, including bills to address crime victims’ compensation reforms, enhanced protections for sexual assault survivors,  and allowing local domestic violence fatality reviews. MCADSV continued to advocate against bills with negative effects on those receiving public assistance as well as changes to custody laws with negative consequences for parents who are domestic violence victims. 



Appropriations

 

Senate passes FY2019 state budget bills that include DV/SV federal funding increases, new line item for federal grant to test and reduce rape kit backlog 
The Senate on April 25 passed all bills comprising the state Fiscal Year 2019 budget (July 1, 2018—June 30, 2019). The bills next advance to a conference committee to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions. The Senate adopted the House positions for increased federal funding of domestic and sexual violence programs, and added an additional $3 million in federal funding for the Attorney General’s office to be used for testing sexual assault forensic evidence, pending award of grant funds for that and related purposes. 

The FY 19 funding increases for the DV/SV grant programs are not subject to change through the conference committee process because both the House and Senate funded them at the same level in appropriations bills. The one exception, while not controversial, is the line item to increase federal spending authority for rape kit testing in the Attorney General’s budget—that must be agreed to by the House/Senate appropriations conference committee.

The House and Senate must agree on final versions of the appropriations bills and must pass the FY19 state budget by May 11.

SCS HCS House Bill 2011: Department of Social Services

DSS’ Family Support Division budget contains the following funding increases: 

Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant program: a total of $45.68 million. This includes a $8 million increase in authority to spend federal VOCA funds to ensure DSS can distribute all federal VOCA funds awarded to Missouri. The VOCA funding is in Section 11.165 of HB 2011.

Domestic violence services: a total of $11.11 million in state and federal funding. This funding is in Section 11.160 of HB 2011:

  • State funding: $5 million;
  • Federal Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) funding: $2.1 million;
  • Federal VOCA funding designated for domestic violence services: $1.84 million; 
  • Federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding designated for domestic violence services: $1.6 million;
  • Federal TANF funding for shelter services: $562,137.

Sexual assault services: This funding is in Section 11.170 of HB 2011:

  • State funding: $750,000;
  • Federal VOCA funding designated for sexual violence services: $160,000. 

SCS HCS House Bill 2008: Department of Public Safety

 State Services to Victims’ Fund (SSVF) grant program: $2.05 million in funds from crime fines. This funding is in Section 8.040 of HB 2008.

Services, Officers, Prosecutors (STOP) grant program, including funds for Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) grant program: $3.29 million in federal funds. This funding is in Section 8.045 of HB 2008.

SS SCS HCS House Bill 2010: Department of Health and Senior Services

Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) grant program: $792,134 in federal funds. This funding is in Section 10.730 of HB 2010.

SCS HCS House Bill 2012: Statewide elected officials: Attorney General’s office
Attorney General’s office given spending authority to receive federal grant funds “for law enforcement, domestic violence, victims' services, sexual assault evidence collection, testing, and tracking:” $3.1 million in federal funds. This funding is in Section 12.250 in HB 2012.

 

 


ACTIONS ON PRIORITY LEGISLATION


FIREARMS

No further action after House committee vote in early April to pass “DV gun bill”  
HCS House Bill 2276 (Rep. Donna Lichtenegger, R-Jackson) 
MCADSV supports with amendment request
On April 11, a second House committee voted to pass an amended version of the House bill that would restrict domestic violence offenders from firearms possession. A House Committee Substitute for HB 2276, first passed by a House committee in March, retains the prohibition of firearms possession by those convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault but was amended to prohibit protection order respondents from gun possession only if a judge specifically included that written prohibition in a Full Order of Protection. The House Committee Substitute for HB 2276 additionally removed some elements of the offense of misdemeanor domestic assault and made them elements of felony domestic assault offenses. MCADSV continues to seek an amendment to restore the firearms prohibition for all respondents to full protection orders. No action occurred in April on a similar bill, HB 1849 (Rep. Tracy McCreery, D-St. Louis), that did have a committee hearing in February. 

No hearings scheduled for House and Senate “domestic violence gun bills”
House Bill 2167 
(Rep. Tracy McCreery, D-St. Louis) 
Senate Bill 656 
(Sen. Scott Sifton, D-St. Louis)
Senate Bill 1051 
(Sen. Gina Walsh, D-St. Louis)
Senate Bill 1058 
(Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
No hearings were scheduled or held in April for four additional bills that would include in Missouri law a prohibition of firearm possession by individuals convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor or those with a Full Order of Protection in effect against them. HB 2167 also would allow law enforcement officers to confiscate firearms found at the scene of a domestic violence call.   

CRIME VICTIMS’ COMPENSATION AND SEXUAL ASSAULT FORENSIC EVIDENCE 

Omnibus criminal justice reform bill passes Senate and then House committee in April: Bill contains CVC reforms, tracking systems and time limits for processing rape kits; and measure to allow establishment of local domestic violence fatality reviews
HCS SS SCS Senate Bill 966 (Sen. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia), House committee substitute not yet available online
MCADSV supports
A House committee amended and passed SB 966 on April 26. The bill, an omnibus criminal justice reform measure, was passed by the Senate earlier in April with the domestic violence fatality review provisions originally in a separate Senate bill (SB 976). The House Committee Substitute for SB 966 also would make reforms to the crime victims’ compensation (CVC) program to expand victims’ access, and set time limits for law enforcement agencies to take possession of completed rape kits and submit them to crime labs for testing. MCADSV and allied groups gained support for a House committee amendment that would direct the Attorney General’s office to establish protocols and a system for tracking sexual assault forensic evidence—this is the content of a separately filed bill supported by MCADSV, HCS House Bill 2259. The House version of the justice reinvestment bill, HCS House Bill 2397 (Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin), was passed by a House committee on April 4 and awaits House floor debate.

CHILD CUSTODY

Senate committee hearing held on House “50/50” shared parenting time bill: Supporters discount impact of legislation on victims of domestic violence 
HCS House Bill 1667 (Rep. Kathy Swan, R-Cape Girardeau)
MCADSV opposes
Many of those testifying in support of HB 1667 before a Senate committee hearing on April 25 discounted the impact of the “50/50” shared parenting legislation on victims of domestic violence. Supporters sought to discourage committee members from adding domestic violence amendments to HB 1667 similar to those gained by MCADSV to the Senate version of the bill in February—SCS Senate Bill 645, (Substitute not yet available online, summary here). The amended version of SB 645 added a rebuttable presumption against shared parenting when domestic violence has occurred. SB 645 is not likely to advance. No hearing has been scheduled for an additional parenting time bill, HB 2591 (Rep. Chris Dinkins, R-Annapolis).

  • A news story on the MCADSV website explains our position on the 50/50 shared parenting bills and domestic violence. 

House committee advances Senate bill on termination of rapists’ parental rights 
HCS Senate Bill 800 (Sen. Doug Libla, R-Poplar Bluff)
MCADSV supports; gained amendment request
The House Committee Substitute for SB 800 moved a step closer to House floor debate after it was passed April 25 by the House Rules Committee. SB 800 would allow termination of parental rights (TPR) of a father found in civil court to have fathered a child through rape. The bill also would make changes to TPR processes in adoption cases. The House version of the bill, HCS House Bill 1399 (Rep. Bruce DeGroot, R-Chesterfield) was passed by a House committee on April 10. Both SB 800 and HB 1399 were amended by the House Judiciary Committee in April to address concerns of MCADSV. The bills now would require a mother’s informed consent before a court could issue a TPR that also requires financial supports to the child, such as child support, because those orders could subject a survivor to ongoing court processes with the man who raped her. A similar Senate bill, SB 795, was added to SB 800 by the Senate in March.

POVERTY

Senate committee passes bill restricting TANF or SNAP recipients from getting cash from EBT cards 
SCS HCS House Bill 1443 (Rep. J. Eggleston, R-Maysville)
MCADSV opposes
On April 19, a Senate committee passed a Senate committee substitute for HB 1443. The bill would prohibit recipients of public assistance from using their electronic benefit cards (EBT) at ATMs or otherwise used to access cash. The bill adds these cash-access restrictions to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and would increase work requirements and non-compliance penalties on recipients the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP—food stamps). HB 1443 also would further limit where EBT cards may be used as well as the items that may be purchased with TANF/SNAP benefits.

Senate committee passes House bill to increase food stamp work requirements 
SCS House Bill 1486 (Rep. Hannah Kelly, R-Mountain Grove), Senate committee substitute not yet available online
MCADSV opposes
A Senate committee amended and passed HB 1486 on April 25. The bill would increase work requirements and non-compliance penalties for those who receive food stamps through the SNAP program. The additional SNAP work requirements would, for lack of work compliance, penalize SNAP recipients from food stamp eligibility for a range of three months to two years. During an April 17 Senate committee hearing, MCADSV joined more than a dozen other organizations testifying in opposition to HB 1486. 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Domestic Violence Fatality Review bill advances as amendment to Senate Bill 966
Senate Bill 976 (Sen. Scott Sifton, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
On Mar. 27, the content of SB 976 was amended onto another Senate bill. Those provisions, now in Senate Bill 966, would allow the establishment of Domestic Violence Fatality Reviews through locally convened panels. The review panels would be convened by the local prosecutor or circuit attorney and include domestic and sexual violence program representatives, law enforcement, health care providers and other professionals. The legislation specifies that the meetings and proceedings of the review panels would not be open meetings but reports of the panels’ findings and recommendations would be required to be publicly released. Municipalities also would be allowed to establish Domestic Violence Fatality Reviews.

SEXUAL ASSAULT

Senate committee hearing held on House bill criminalizing “nonconsensual distribution of private sexual images”  
House Bill 1558 
(Rep. Jim Neely, R-Cameron)
MCADSV supports
On April 19, MCADSV testified in support of HB 1558 during a Senate committee hearing. The bill, which passed the House in February, would create a Class D felony criminal offense of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images. HB 1558 includes as elements of the offense that the accused: “Obtains the image under circumstances in which a reasonable person would know or understand that the image was to remain private; knows or should have known that the person in the image did not consent to the dissemination.” The bill also would create a Class E felony offense for threats to distribute the private images. No hearing has been held on the Senate version of the bill, SB 1014 (Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis), which would make those threats a misdemeanor.. 

House committee hearing held on Senate bill to require reports to law enforcement of sexual assaults of care facility residents; House bill awaits Senate debate 
SCS Senate Bill 574 
(Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau), House committee substitute not yet available online
SCS  HCS House Bill 1635 (Rep. Mike Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City), Senate committee substitute not yet available online
MCADSV supports
MCADSV testified in support of SB 574 during a House committee hearing on April 18 and a committee substitute was passed on April 24. The bill, passed by the Senate in March, would require that reports be made to law enforcement agencies of the suspected sexual assault of residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities—this includes sexual assaults of elderly or disabled persons. Current law only requires mandated abuse reporters to make reports to the Department of Health and Senior Services. The House Committee Substitute included HB 1350 (Rep. Cody Smith, R-Carthage), a bill that would modify provisions relating to background check requirements of in-home service providers and personal care attendants. The House version of the measure, HB 1635, awaits Senate floor debate. HB 1635 was amended by the House to include a controversial provision allowing care facility residents to have electronic monitoring devices installed in their rooms—MCADSV has not taken a position on that amendment. 

House bill to create a sexual assault kit tracking system added to SB 966, justice reinvestment bill
HCS House Bill 2259 
(Rep. Donna Lichtenegger, R-Jackson)
MCADSV supports
The content of HB 2259, which would require the Attorney General’s office to create protocols and implement a statewide tracking system for sexual assault forensic evidence, was amended onto SB 966 by a House committee on April 26. As a separate bill, HB 2259 remains on the House calendar for floor debate. No action occurred in April on the Senate version, SB 958 (Sen. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane), which was passed by a Senate committee in March.

House bill to require school curricula on sexual harassment, sexual violence and consent awaits House floor debate; Senate bill stalls
HCS House Bill 2234 (Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston)
MCADSV supports
In April, HB 2234 was placed on the calendar for House floor debate. The bill would require schools to include, in any course materials and instruction relating to human sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases, information about sexual harassment, sexual violence and consent. No action occurred in April on the Senate version of the bill, SB 788 (Sen. Jamila Nasheed, D-St. Louis), or on a similar House bill, HB 2285 (Rep. Crystal Quade, D-Springfield).

Senate unanimously passes bill to remove statute of limitations for child abuse prosecutions
Senate Bill 655 (Sen. Scott Sifton, D-St. Louis) 
MCADSV supports
On April 19, the Senate unanimously passed SB 655, which would eliminate the statute of limitations for prosecuting child abuse offenses; current law sets the time limit for prosecution at three years. SB 655 also would eliminate the 30-year statute of limitations for prosecuting sex offenses committed against a person 18 or younger. On April 26, the bill was referred to a House committee for a hearing.

House floor debate awaits bill to remove the statute of limitations for sexual offenses against children, cases with DNA evidence processed by a crime lab
House Bill 1590  (Rep. Cody Smith, R-Carthage) 
MCADSV supports
In April, HB 1590 was placed on the House calendar where it awaits floor debate. The bill would remove the current 30-year statute of limitations for prosecution of sexual offenses against children and eliminate the time limits for prosecution of cases with DNA evidence that has been processed by a crime lab. Current law sets the time limit for prosecution of sex offenses against those younger than 18 at 30 years after the victim is 18.

House bills to remove statute of limitations for child sexual offenses stall  
HCS House Bill 1987 & 2185 (Rep. Brandon Ellington, D-Kansas City)
MCADSV supports
No action occurred in April on this bill, which combined two bills that were passed in March by a House committee. HBs 1987 & 2185 would eliminate the current 30-year statute of limitations for prosecuting sexual offenses against children (those younger than 18), allowing the prosecution of such cases at any time. (HB 2185 was sponsored by Rep. Clem Smith, D-St. Louis).

House bill proposes new rights for sexual assault victims and preservation of forensic evidence
House Bill 2462 (Rep. Cora Faith Walker, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
No action occurred on HB 2462 during April. The bill would require that victims of sexual assault who had a forensic evidence exam completed be given the following rights: preservation of evidence in accord with the statute of limitations for the sexual offense; written notice prior to the destruction of any forensic evidence and the right to request it be preserved; access to information on the results of a forensic examination; and, to be informed in writing of policies and procedures regarding collection and preservation of evidence from a sexual assault forensic evidence examination.

SAFE AT HOME PROGRAM

Senate debate awaits House bill that would require confidentiality of addresses for Safe at Home participants in child custody cases 
HCS House Bill 1461 (Rep. Sonya Anderson, R-Springfield)
MCADSV supports
HB 1461 awaits Senate floor debate after it was passed by a Senate committee on April 5. The bill would require courts, in the publically accessible court records for child custody proceedings, to order that the street address not be revealed for a parent in the Safe at Home address confidentiality program. HB 1461 also would allow additional victims of crime, those who fear for their safety, to enroll in Safe at Home and would clarify some administrative operations of the program. No action was taken in April on the Senate version of the bill, SCS Senate Bill 923 (Sen. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia).

HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Senate debate awaits bill to set 17 as minimum age to obtain marriage licenses
House Bill 1630 (Rep. Jean Evans, R-Manchester)
MCADSV supports
After passage by a Senate committee, in April HB 1630 was placed on the Senate calendar where it awaits floor debate.  The bill would set 17 as the minimum age to obtain a marriage license without a court hearing. It also would prohibit the issuance of a marriage license to a person 21 or older if the other person is younger than 17. HB 1630 would establish that no one younger than 15 would be allowed to be legally married in Missouri. Raising the legal age of marriage is promoted as a strategy to address human trafficking of teenagers who are coerced or forced into marriage with a trafficker.

Senate “raise the age” juvenile justice bill advances in House; bill includes expungement process for trafficking victims’ convictions for prostitution  
HCS Senate Bill 793 (Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R- Cape Girardeau)
MCADSV supports
A House committee on April 10 passed a committee substitute for SB 793. After one more House committee hearing, the bill can advance to House floor debate. SB 793 would raise the age of a child in Missouri law to anyone younger than 18, and would require those children to be prosecuted for most criminal offenses in juvenile courts and not confined in an adult jail unless certified as an adult. SB 793 was amended by the Senate to include the provisions of SCS Senate Bill 792 (Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis), which would establish a no-cost process for expungement of criminal convictions for prostitution by those later determined to be “under the influence of an agent” and also would increase penalties for promoting prostitution. The Senate substitute is not available online.

UNPAID LEAVE FROM WORK

No action on bill that would provide unpaid leave from work for victims of domestic and sexual violence, trafficking 
Senate Bill 739 (Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
No action occurred in April on SB 739, after a Feb. 21 Senate committee hearing was held. The bill would allow unpaid leave from work for a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or human trafficking if she is employed by a public or private employer with at least 15 employees. The bill would allow victims to take unpaid leave to seek medical attention, recover from injury, obtain victim services or counseling, participate in safety planning, and to seek legal assistance. SB 739 also would allow unpaid leave to those needing that time to address the victimization of family or household members.

HOUSING RIGHTS

No hearing held on bill to allow lease termination, other housing rights to victims of sexual and domestic violence
House Bill 2166 (Rep. Lauren Arthur, D-Kansas City)   
MCADSV supports
No hearings have been scheduled for HB 2166. The bill would allow victims of stalking, domestic and sexual violence to terminate their leases when documentation of that status is provided to a landlord. The documentation could be a police report, protection order or statement from a service provider. The bill also would provide victims with protections from eviction or lease termination. HB 2166 would establish an affirmative defense in suits for back rent from tenants who left a rented residence because of their victimization. Landlords would be allowed to charge a “reasonable” termination fee to a victimized tenant who terminates a lease.

 

 

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ONLINE RESOURCE LINKS FOR 2018 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

The links below will provide online access to information on bills, legislators, committees and actions of the Missouri General Assembly during the 2017 legislative session.

House bills: www.house.mo.gov  Home page menu, top right “bill search” field to find bills

Senate bills: www.senate.mo.gov Home page menu, top right “bill search” menu to find bills

Current Missouri statutes: http://revisor.mo.gov/main/Home.aspx