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MCADSV Legislative Update - April 30, 2019

Bipartisan support advances MCADSV priority bills in April

Several MCADSV priority bills received broad, bipartisan support and advanced during April. This included legislation to increase housing rights for domestic and sexual violence victims by allowing them to terminate leases—a measure that was passed unanimously by the Missouri Senate and was added as an amendment to an additional bill. A bill moved quickly through the House and advanced to the Senate that would waive the cost of obtaining birth certificates for victims of domestic and sexual violence, homeless children and youth—essential documentation for work and school that often is left behind by those fleeing violence or abuse. 

During April, MCADSV gained House passage of language to provide more protections for domestic violence victims to a bill that would establish a presumption for a 50/50 custody awards in all child custody cases. That amendment, subsequently supported by a Senate committee, would establish domestic violence as a primary cause to rebut the presumption that an award of 50/50 custody is in the best interest of children.

No one testified in opposition during a House hearing on a bill to restrict firearms from domestic violence offenders after MCADSV members provided powerful testimony about both personal survival and tragic loss—testimony was provided by a stalking survivor and two advocates whose sisters were killed in domestic violence homicides.

The Fiscal Year 2020 state budget passed the Senate with a significant federal funding increase for Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) grants for victim services and with state funding maintained at current levels for domestic and sexual violence services grant programs.

And legislation opposed by MCADSV that would significantly change campus proceedings to address sexual assault allegations brought under Title IX stalled in April after news reports identified that the lead lobbyist for the effort has a son who was expelled from a Missouri university as a result of a Title IX process. Other bills opposed by MCADSV did not advance in April, specifically those that would limit usage and access to public assistance benefits.

As April ends, three weeks remain in the 2019 session of the Missouri General Assembly. Legislators must pass the state budget by May 10 and their 2019 legislative session will adjourn on May 17. 


Senate passes state Fiscal Year 2020 budget with VOCA increases; no VOCA earmarks, stable domestic and sexual violence grant funding
On April 24, the Senate passed all appropriations bills for state departments’ Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) budgets (July 1, 2019—June 30, 2020). The bills include either an increase in domestic and sexual violence services funding or level funding from the current fiscal year. The budget bills now await a conference committee to negotiate differences between the Senate and House. The House and Senate must agree on final versions of the appropriations bills and must pass the FY20 state budget by May 10.

SCS HCS House Bill 11: Department of Social Services (DSS)
Victims of Crime Act (VOCA): $63.7 million, an $18 million increase from Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) 
Senate added language requiring competitive grants, disallowing earmarks for funding increase
Sexual assault services
: $910,000, unchanged from FY19
       • $750,000 state funds and $160,000 federal funds 
Domestic violence services: $10.556 million, unchanged from FY19
       • $5 million state funds and $5.556 million federal funds
Emergency shelter grants: $562,137, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) federal funds, unchanged from FY19
Domestic violence housing: earmarked funds for St. Louis City (added in Senate committee by Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis)
       • $500,000 state funds, for use only in St. Louis City, for domestic violence transitional housing and life skills programs
•        This funding was not in the House version of HB 11 and is subject to negotiation in the House/Senate Appropriations Conference Committee.

SCS HCS House Bill 8: Department of Public Safety (DPS) 
State Services to Victims’ Fund (SSVF): $2 million, unchanged from FY19
Services, Training, Officers and Prosecution (STOP) and Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) grants: $3.29 million federal funds, unchanged from FY19
SS SCS HCS House Bill 10: Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) 
Sexual Violence Victim Services, Awareness and Education Program: $792,134, Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) federal funds, unchanged from FY19



Title IX/Higher Education

Title IX bills not likely to advance after news stories reveal lobbyist's son expelled from school
SS Senate Bill 259 (Sen. Gary Romine, R-Farmington), Senate Substitute not yet available online
HCS House Bill 573 (Rep. Dean Dohrman, R-La Monte)
MCADSV opposes
Senate leaders and other legislators publicly cast doubt on the ability of Title IX bills to advance after news stories on April 23 revealed the main lobbyist and backer of the bills has a son who was expelled from Washington University as a result of a Title IX investigation. The Senate measure, SS SB 259, was tabled after Senate debate on April 16-17. Both the Senate and House bills would significantly change the process for campus Title IX investigations, with a focus on procedures for sexual assault allegations, removing the process from an educational setting to a state hearing process governed by the rules of civil procedure. The House version of the bill has not been placed on the House calendar for debate. The lengthy bills, which target Title IX complaints made for rape or sexual assaults, would allow both due process hearings and appeals filings before the Administrative Hearing Commission. These, and other procedures, would remove the Title IX process from an educational setting to a state hearing process governed by the rules of civil procedure. Other provisions allow for new grievance filing procedures for those accused of offenses and would allow a student to file a lawsuit against a college or university on the basis that the institution did not provide due process in a Title IX proceeding as required in the bill. MCADSV and public and private Missouri colleges and universities continued during April to work together in opposition to Title IX bills, noting to lawmakers that the primary campus processes to be changed by the legislation deal with allegations of sexual offenses. Supporters of SS SB 259 and HCS HB 573 have summarized the bills’ impact as protection of due process rights of students accused in complaints made under Title IX of the Federal Education Amendments. Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs.

Bill would require campus student organizations to designate mandated reporters for reports of domestic and sexual violence
House Bill 131 (Rep. Chris Carter, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV monitoring
No action occurred on HB 131 during April. The bill would require that every public university or college require all student organizations receiving funding from the institution to designate one member of the organization’s “leadership” as a mandated reporter of any student reports of domestic violence or sexual assault. That designated student reporter than would be required to report to the university or college personnel responsible for Title IX complaints and investigations.


Housing Rights

House hearing held on Senate domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking victims’ housing rights bill; Senate adds housing rights provisions to additional bill
SCS Senate Bill 60 (Sen. Lauren Arthur, D-Kansas City)
SS SCS Senate Bill 37 (Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis)
SCS HCS House Bill 243 & 544  (Rep. Jim Neely, R-Cameron)
MCADSV supports
With broad bipartisan support, three housing rights bills advanced in April that would allow victims of stalking, domestic and sexual violence to terminate their leases. One House and two Senate bills all would allow victims of stalking, domestic and sexual violence to terminate their leases when documentation of their victimization, or risk of victimization if they remain in the dwelling, is provided to a landlord. The bills also would allow a landlord to request a “reasonable termination fee” for terminating a lease. SCS SB 60 advanced to the House for an April 25 committee hearing after it was passed unanimously in the Senate on April 16. The Senate amended SCS SB 60 to add sections on the offense of promoting prostitution, first degree. Another bill, SS SCS SB 37, was given first-round passage by the Senate on April 25 with the same provisions for victims’ housing rights and the sections on crimes of promoting prostitution offenses. The House version of the DV/SV/stalking victims’ housing rights bill, SCS HCS HB 243 & 544, was passed on April 11 by a Senate committee with an amendment to include the technical corrections to the 2018 “revenge porn” law. All of the bills would allow a range of documentation for victims to show need to terminate a lease, including a police report, protection order or statement from a service provider. The bills would provide victims with protections from eviction or lease termination. No action occurred in April on similar housing rights bills, Senate Bill 404 (Sen. Jamila Nasheed, D-St. Louis) and House Bill 683 (Rep. Raychel Proudie, D-St. Louis). 


Child Custody

Senate committee passes House 50/50 child custody bill with domestic violence provision; Senate bill awaits Senate debate
SCS HCS House Bill 229 (Rep. Kathy Swan, R-Cape Girardeau), Senate Committee Substitute not yet available online
Senate Bill 14 (Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau)
MCADSV opposes
On April 25, a Senate committee made a technical amendment and passed a Senate Committee Substitute for HCS HB 229. The Senate committee version of the bill retains the House domestic violence amendment to HB 229. That provision would establish domestic violence as a primary cause to rebut the presumption that it is in the best interest of children for judges to award 50/50 parenting time to both parents in all custody cases. The domestic violence provision added to Section 452.375.2 RSMo in HB 229 (in bold) is: “The presumption may be rebutted if the court finds that the parents have reached an agreement on all issues related to custody, or if the court finds that a pattern of domestic violence has occurred as set out in subdivision (6) of subsection 2 of this section.” Senate Bill 14 remains on the Senate calendar for debate. SB 14 and SCS HCS HB 229, similar to previous bills filed by the same bill sponsors for several years, would establish a legal presumption that it is in the best interest of children that judges award 50/50 equal parenting time to both parents in all custody cases. The standard for rebutting this presumption is a “preponderance of evidence” that includes the occurrence of domestic violence by one parent against the other.

Unpaid Leave From Work

Bill to allow unpaid leave from work for domestic and sexual violence victims to obtain assistance and attend court awaits Senate action
SCS Senate Bill 178 (Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis), Senate Committee Substitute not yet available online
House Bill 944 (Rep. Gina Mitten, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
No action occurred during April on on SCS SB 178 or HB 944. SCS SB 178 would allow unpaid leave from work for employees who are victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault if their employer has at least 20 employees. Employers would be able to cap unpaid leave at one week/year if there are at least 20 employees, and two weeks/year if there are 50 or more employees. Employees would be required to give employers 48 hours' notice, if possible, and would be allowed to use leave time to obtain support services, go to court/legal proceedings obtain medical care, etc. Employers would be required to notify employees of these rights to unpaid leave. 


Non-consensual distribution of private sexual images

House and Senate committees vote to pass bills to correct 2018 law criminalizing “nonconsensual distribution of private sexual images” 
House Bill 925 (Rep. Jim Neely, R-Cameron)
SCS HCS House Bill 243 & 544  (Rep. Jim Neely, R-Cameron)
MCADSV supports
In April, two House committees unanimously voted to pass HB 925; it awaits House floor debate. The bill would correct an error in the 2018 law criminalizing “nonconsensual distribution of private sexual images” by clarifying that the offense is against a person, not an image of a person. Also in April, SCS HCS HB 243 & 544, the House housing rights bill, was amended and passed by a Senate committee to add the content of HB 925.


Victim Assistance

House passes bill allowing DV/SV victims, homeless children/youth to get free birth certificates  
HCS House Bill 1135 (Rep. Chris Dinkins, R-Annapolis)
On April 29, the House passed HCS HB 1135 by a vote of 151 to 3, and the bill advanced to the Senate. HCS HB 1135 would allow the one-time waiver of costs for obtaining a copy of a birth certificate for victims of domestic violence, abuse, sexual assault, unaccompanied youth, and homeless children/youth. These documents, which are often left behind when individuals flee violent partners or situations, are commonly purchased for survivors by domestic violence shelters or domestic and sexual violence programs.



Senate bill to increase food stamp work requirements awaits floor action 
Senate Bill 4 (Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville)
House Bill 475 (Rep. Hannah Kelly, R-Mountain Grove)
MCADSV opposes
No legislative action occurred on SB 4 or HB 475 during April.  The bills would increase work requirements and non-compliance penalties for those who receive food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The additional SNAP work requirements would, for lack of work compliance, penalize SNAP recipients—including children in the household—from food stamp eligibility for a range of three months to permanent disqualification. 

House committee vote pending on bill prohibiting use of TANF or SNAP benefits cards to obtain cash
HCS House Bill 474 (Rep. John Eggleston, R-Maysville)
House Bill 475 (Rep. Hannah Kelly, R-Mountain Grove)
MCADSV opposes
No action occurred in April on HCS HB 474 or HB 475. The bills would prohibit public assistance and food stamp recipients from using their electronic benefit cards to obtain cash from their benefit accounts for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and/or SNAP. The bills also would create new disqualifications from TANF or SNAP for purchases of prohibited goods. Since 2017, MCADSV has opposed similar legislation because cash is still required to meet many basic needs of those living in poverty. 

Senate floor debate awaits on bill to increase work requirements for Medicaid recipients 
SCS Senate Bill 76 (Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville)
No action occurred on SCS SB 76 during April although the Senate debated an amendment to add the Medicaid work requirements to another bill. The amendment failed to pass. SCS SB 76 would increase work requirements for able-bodied adults to remain eligible for Medicaid health care coverage. SCS SB 76 contains exemptions in the bill from the work requirements for domestic violence victims. SCS SB 76 would require Medicaid recipients to use this system to document their work activities.


Human Trafficking

Senate heavily amended and passed the House child sex trafficking bill, resulting in an omnibus bill on a range of children’s issues
Senate Bill 361 (Sen. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane)
SS SCS HCS House Bill 397 (Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, R-Arnold), Senate Substitute not yet available online
MCADSV supports
On April 23, the Senate gave first-round approval to a heavily amended HB 397 and on April 29 passed the bill 34-0 . The Senate Substitute for HCS HB 397 includes a host of child-focused amendments drawn from 11 separately filed bills. The original content of SS SCS HCS HB 397 would provide an affirmative defense to the charge of prostitution for anyone younger than 18 and allow expungement of prostitution convictions for persons convicted of the offense when they were younger than 18. The bills added to HB 397 include measures dealing with: child fatality reviews’ confidential records (SB 305), child care facility licensure (SB 336), health insurance for children in foster care (SB 514), medical treatment for disabled infants (SB 406), changes to the Amber Alert system (SB 145), child support enforcement data systems (SB 277), notice of right to file objection to child relocation (SB 83), health care in child support orders (SB 448), offense of prostitution in the first degree (SB 37), limitations on sex offender residences near child care facilities (SB 386), and due diligence to find family members prior to foster home placement (SB 440).


Orders of Protection

Amendment needed for initial language in bill to specifically include pets in Orders of Protection
House Bill 370 (Rep. David Gregory, R-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports with amendment
No action occurred on HB 370 during April. The intent of HB 370 is to allow those seeking Orders of Protection to gain legal custody and protection of their pets from the person who has harmed them. MCADSV proposes that HB 370 be amended so that custody and control of pets is specifically included in the law detailing the relief a court could grant to a petitioner through a protection order. 

No action after hearing cancelled on bill that would require victims to make police reports to be able to obtain an Order of Protection
House Bill 839 (Rep. Dottie Bailey, R-Eureka)
MCADSV opposes
No action occurred on HB 839 during April after its March hearing was cancelled. HB 839 would require a person seeking an Order of Protection to make a police report in order to be eligible to file the petition for the protection order. The bill would require, in Section 455.020 RSMo, “Such petition shall be accompanied by a police report that details the incident that prompted the order of protection petition.”



Hearing held on bill would prohibit gun possession by domestic violence offenders and protection order respondents
House Bill 960 (Rep. Tracy McCreery, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
On April 16, a House committee hearing was held on HB 960 that featured powerful testimony by advocates from MCADSV-member programs. Testimony about the murders of their sisters was provided by Judy Kile (COPE) and Carla West (Newhouse). Tressa Price (Agape House) testified about her risks as a survivor whose abuser continues to stalk her. Written testimony was submitted from Marsha Keene (Susanna Wesley Learning Center). No one testified in opposition to the bill. HB 960, similar to bills filed for several years by Rep. McCreery, would include in Missouri law a prohibition of firearm possession by convicted domestic violence offenders and those with a Full Order of Protection in effect against them. This state law would parallel current federal law. 

Bill would allow judges to order surrender of firearms through Orders of Protection and prohibit firearm possession by domestic violence offenders and protection order respondents
Senate Bill 41 (Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
No action occurred on SB 41 during April. SB 41 would modify the crime of unlawful possession of a firearm by including those who are convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense during the previous five years or who is the respondent to a Full Order of Protection. The bill also would require that, upon conviction for any domestic violence offense, a court must order the respondent to surrender any firearms in his or her possession to local law enforcement authorities. The content of SB 41 is similar to legislation supported by MCADSV in 2018.

Bills would amend unlawful possession of firearms crime by adding gun possession by domestic violence offenders and protection order respondents 
Senate Bill 94 (Sen. Scott Sifton, D-St. Louis)
House Bill 163 (Rep. Richard Brown, D-Kansas City)
MCADSV supports
No action occurred on SB 94 and HB 163 during April. The crime of unlawful possession of a firearm would be amended by SB 94 and HB 163 to include those who are convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors and those who are respondents to Full Orders of Protection. The content of these bills is similar to legislation supported by MCADSV in 2018.

Bills would create “extreme risk protection orders” to allow courts to order surrender/seizure of guns
Senate Bill 42 (Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis)
House Bill 40 (Rep. Deb Lavender, D-St. Louis)
House Bill 545 (Rep. Alan Green, D-Florissant)
House Bill 695 (Rep. Ian Mackey, D-St. Louis) 
MCADSV supports
No action occurred on these bills during April. SB 42, HB 40 and House Bill 545 each would establish a new type of protection order to require the surrender of firearms by persons found by a court to be at extreme risk of harming themselves or others. A family or household member of the person, or a law enforcement officer or agency, could file for the order. As with current protection orders, the court could issue an immediate Ex Parte order and would be required within 14 days to hold a hearing on issuing a Full Extreme Risk Order of Protection. Respondents to the order would be required to surrender their firearms to a local law enforcement agency or they could be seized by a law enforcement officer after a search. A gun seizure warrant could be issued if the respondent to the order did not surrender firearms as ordered. Those with orders issued against them could file a motion to have them modified or rescinded. SB 42 and HB 40 would establish extreme risk protection orders within the current protection order statutes in Chapter 455. HB 545 would establish create the orders in Chapter 571. All bills would make it a felony offense for a person subject to an extreme risk protection order to possess a firearm.

Bill would establish “firearms restraining orders” similar to extreme risk protection orders
Senate Bill 23 (Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
No action occurred on SB 23 during April. SB 23 would create “firearms restraining orders” which would be similar by function and structure to the extreme risk protection orders in SB 42, HB 40 and HB 545. The firearms restraining orders in SB 23 would be established in Chapter 455, which contains current laws protection orders for domestic and sexual violence, dating violence and stalking.


Sexual assault

Bill to create Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights and extends some statutes of limitations for prosecution of sexual offenses
House Bill 760 (Rep. Cora Faith-Walker, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
No action occurred on HB 760 during April. HB 760 would create a “Survivor’s Bill of Rights” which specifies the rights of a person who was victimized by a sexual offense. The rights include: being able to shower onsite after a forensic exam; being provided with a sexual assault advocate or support person, contraception, clean clothes after a hospital exam, and copies of police reports; the right to an attorney and protection from prosecution for an alcohol or drug offense based on evidence from a forensic exam. The bill would extend the statute of limitation for prosecution of a sex offense to within 10 years if the victim reported the offense within three years of its occurrence. 

Bill to create the Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies (CARE) Act
House Bill 800 (Rep. Ian Mackay, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
No action occurred on HB 800 during April. HB 800 would establish the standard of care for any health care facility that provides emergency care to a sexual assault victim by requiring victims be informed of, and when requested, provided emergency contraception at the hospital and provided prophylactic treatment after HIV/STI screening based on federal protocols. The Department of Health and Senior Services would be required to create rules to implement these provisions. HB 800 is similar to bills supported by MCADSV for several years.

Bill would require hospitals to provide sexual assault forensic exams; allows Telehealth services
Senate Bill 456 (Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis)
No action occurred on SB 456 during April. The bill would require hospitals located within 50 miles of a college or university to provide sexual assault forensic evidence exams if a sexual assault victim requests and consents to one. SB 456 would allow the use of telehealth services to provide guidance and support through a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), or other similarly trained physician or nurse, who shall observe the live forensic examination and communicate with and support the onsite provider. MCADSV is conferring with the bill’s sponsor and the Missouri Hospital Association on possible amendments to SB 456.





The links below will provide online access to information on bills, legislators, committees and actions of the Missouri General Assembly during the 2019 legislative session.

House bills: www.house.mo.gov  Home page menu, top right “legislation” 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