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MCADSV Legislative Update - April 30, 2021
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MCADSV priority legislation signed into law to create rape crisis center tax credits, expand domestic violence shelter tax credits

On April 22, one of MCADSV’s legislative priorities—to create a rape crisis center tax credit and expand the existing domestic violence shelter tax credit program—was signed into law by Gov. Mike Parson. The bill, HB 430, was only the third bill to be signed into law during the 2021 session of the Missouri General Assembly, and it goes into effect on August 28.

Also in April, several versions of the protection order bills sought by MCADSV were passed in both the House and Senate and await final votes. The bills differ in some regards but all would include pets in Orders of Protection and allow the orders to be issued for graduated periods of time, up to the lifetime of the respondent. The definition of stalking would be updated in two of the Order of Protection bills that continue to advance in the House and the Senate. 

The 2021 session of the Missouri General Assembly concludes on May 14.
 
 
Appropriations

Senate passes Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) state budget bills without Medicaid expansion
On April 28, the Missouri Senate debated and passed the FY22 state budget bills without funds for Medicaid expansion, which was approved in 2020 by 53% of Missouri voters as a ballot measure. An attempt failed by a 20-14 Senate vote to restore those funds that had been deleted by the House. Differences between the versions of appropriations bills passed by the House and the Senate will be resolved by a House/Senate conference committee, with final votes to pass the budget required in each chamber by May 7. 


Senate maintains full funding for domestic and sexual violence services grant programs; adds $6 million for sexual assault telehealth network 
The Senate made no significant changes to the funding for domestic and sexual violence grants in the Departments of Social Services and Public Safety. The Senate Appropriations Committee added, and the Senate retained, a new $6.1 million line item in the Department of Health and Senior Services budget to support the implementation of a new statewide sexual assault forensic examination telehealth network.  


Department of Social Services (DSS)
VOCA funding unchanged, small increase in federal domestic violence funds in “DVSS” grants; no sexual violence grant earmark 

SS SCS HCS House Bill 11 (Rep. Cody Smith, R-Carthage)
HB 11 contains the line-items for federal and state grant funding for domestic violence and sexual assault services. The Senate made no changes in HB 11 to victim services grants: FY22 federal funding for Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grants remains at $67 million, with $2 million designated for administrative purposes. The other line-items in HB 11 for domestic violence and sexual assault services funding remain mostly unchanged except for: 1) the DVSS and SVSS grant programs will again be funded with state funds (not federal VOCA); 2) the DVSS grants will include a small increase of federal stimulus funds; and 3) there is no earmark for sexual assault state funding, restoring those funds to a total of $750,000.

  • Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) federal funding: $67 million, with $2 million designated for administrative uses (line items 11.205 and 11.210, pages 19-20)
  • Domestic violence (DVSS) state and federal funding: $9.360 million, which includes a small increase in federal Family Violence Prevention and Services Act funding from federal stimulus funding (line item 11.200, page 19)
  • Sexual assault (SVSS) state funding: $750,000, with no earmarks (line item 11.215, page 20)


Department of Public Safety (DPS)
No change in funding for SSVF, STOP and SASP grants

SCS HCS House Bill 8 (Rep. Cody Smith, R-Carthage)
HB 8 contains the line-items for grants that support crime victim services. There are no funding reductions in the DPS grant programs: State Services to Victims Fund and the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) “STOP” and “SASP” grants.

  • State Services to Victims Fund (SSVF) state funding: $2 million (line item 8.035, page 6)
  • VAWA Services, Training, Officers and Prosecution (STOP) and Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) federal funding: $3.294 million (line item 8.040, page 6)


Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS)
New statewide sexual assault telehealth network to be funded with $6.1 million of federal CARES Act funds 
SS SCS HCS House Bill 10 (Rep. Cody Smith, R-Carthage)
HB 10 contains the line-item for grants to support sexual violence prevention programs and fund a statewide sexual assault telehealth network (line item 10.720, page 33). The Senate passed HB 10 with $6.1 million in new funding to establish a statewide telehealth network for sexual assault forensic examinations in hospitals. The House did not include this funding in its version of HB 10. There were no changes to the federal funding for grants to support the Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) grant program in HB 10: $792,134.

 


ACTIONS ON PRIORITY LEGISLATION

 

Tax Credits

Governor signs bill into law to create rape crisis center tax credit program, expand domestic violence shelter tax credits
House Bill 430 (Rep. Hannah Kelly, R-Mountain Grove) 
MCADSV supports
On Apr. 21, Gov. Mike Parson signed HB 430 into law, with an effective date of August 28, 2021. The law will create a new rape crisis center tax credit program with a 50% tax credit that, as of July 1, 2022, increases to a 70% credit for donors of $100 or more. In addition, a parallel 70% tax credit for donations to domestic violence shelters will take effect on July 1, 2022, increasing from the current 50% credit. And finally, as of July 1, 2022, there will no longer be a cap on the amount of these tax credits that can be awarded to donors (the current annual total is $2 million for domestic violence shelters).

It is not expected that legislators will take any further action this session on similar tax credit bills. Those bills include:
Senate Bill 155 (Sen. Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester)
House Bill 1109 (Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, R-Arnold)
House Bill 1129 (Rep. Willard Haley, R-Eldon)
HCS House Bill 1095 (Rep. Dick Deaton, R-Noel)

 

Orders of Protection

Multiple Order of Protection bills advance in House and Senate: all extend duration of orders up to lifetime of respondent, include pets in protection orders
House Committee Substitute for SS SCS Senate Bill 71 (Sen. Elaine Gannon, R-DeSoto)
MCADSV supports
In April, House committees amended and passed a Senate protection order bill, SB 71. The bill would include pets in Orders of Protection (adult and child, ex parte and full), would allow protection orders to be issued for graduated periods of time, up to lifetime of the respondent, and would update the definition of stalking for protection orders that also is in an additional House bill (HB 292).


Senate Committee Substitute for HCS House Bill 744 (Rep. Lane Roberts, R-Joplin)
Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 415 (Sen. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston)
MCADSV supports
A Senate committee in April passed HB 744, the House lifetime protection order bill, and it awaits a Senate floor vote. It is similar to SB 71 as it also includes pets in protection orders but it does not contain the updated stalking definition for orders. No action occurred in April on a similar Senate protection order bill, SB 415.

House committee adds protection order provisions to Senate policing bill 
House Committee Substitute for SS SCS Senate Bills 53 & 60 
(Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, SB 53) (Sen. Brian Williams, D-St. Louis, SB 60)
MCADSV monitoring (MCADSV supports sexual conduct and protection order provisions)
On April 28, a House committee passed a committee substitute for SBs 53 & 60 that included about 20 amendments, including the HB 744 protection order provisions. 


Senate committee combines jury instructions bill with bill that updates stalking definition for protection orders 
Senate Committee Substitute for House Bill 530 & HCS House Bill 292 
(Rep. David Evans, R-West Plains: HB 530) (Rep. Lane Roberts, R-Joplin: HB 292)
MCADSV monitoring (MCADSV supports HB 292 provisions)
A Senate committee in April passed Senate Committee Substitute for HBs 530 & 292. That bill combines the content of HB 530, which deals with jury instructions for included offenses in criminal trials, with HB 292, which updates the definition of stalking for Orders of Protection: “acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through a third party follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person by any action, method, or device.” HBs 530 & 292 awaits Senate floor debate. 


No action on House bill to add “coercive control” to protection order law
House Bill 427 (Rep. Raychel Proudie, D-Ferguson)
MCADSV supports
No action occurred on HB 427 after a House committee passed it in March. HB 427 would add to protection order law an additional definition of abuse by including actions of “coercive control.” The bill also would add another element of abuse by including actions of “disturbing the peace” of a protection order petitioner. 

 

Sexual Assault

House committee amends Senate law enforcement bill that creates crime of “sexual conduct in the course of public duty;” adds protection order bill 
House Committee Substitute for SS SCS Senate Bills 53 & 60 
(Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, SB 53) (Sen. Brian Williams, D-St. Louis, SB 60)
MCADSV monitoring (MCADSV supports sexual conduct and protection order provisions)
On April 28, a House committee passed a committee substitute for SBs 53 & 60 that included about 20 amendments, including the HB 744 protection order provisions. SBs 53 & 60 now is a 114-page, multi-provision “omnibus” bill that has been expanded beyond its original law enforcement provisions to include a wide range of other government systems. The bill retains its original sections, including: 1) provisions that would create the criminal offense of “sexual conduct in the course of public duty” by a law enforcement officer with a detainee, prisoner or offender; and 2) banning law enforcement officers’ use of chokeholds unless deadly force is authorized by law. SBs 53 & 60 also would protect the identity of those who report alleged criminal acts to any kind of a “crime stoppers” organization.

A similar House law enforcement bill that includes the sexual conduct on public duty crime, House Substitute for HCS House Bill 876 (Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin), awaits a final House vote to then advance to the Senate. No action occurred in April on a related House bill, House Committee Substitute for House Bills 457 & 770 (Rep. Dogan: HB 457; and Rep. Jo Ann Doll, D-St. Louis: HB 770).


No action on bills to update telehealth network for sexual assault evidence exams
House Committee Substitute for House Bill 1179 (Rep. Hannah Kelly, R-Mountain Grove)
Senate Bill 550 (Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
In April, no action occurred on either HCS House Bill 1179 or Senate Bill 550. The bills amend current law, passed in 2020 to become effective in 2023, that establishes a telehealth network to ensure every Missouri hospital can provide a sexual assault survivor with a forensic evidence exam when requested. The bills also would clarify content and delivery of trainings through the telehealth network for sexual assault nurse examiners/medical providers, and also clarifies the requirements for Missouri hospitals to provide sexual assault forensic examinations.

 

No hearing held on Senate bill to update Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights
Senate Bill 463 (Sen. Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester)
MCADSV supports
No action occurred during April on SB 463. The bill was filed to correct and enhance certain sections of the 2020 Missouri law that created the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights. Among its many provisions, the bill would update definitions, extend survivors’ rights to have an advocate or support person present with them, and clarify the sexual assault response processes and responsibilities in medical, legal and court systems.
 

 

Unpaid Leave

Senate committee unanimously passes bill that would create unpaid leave from work for victims of domestic and sexual violence
Senate Bill 16 (Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
On Apr. 13, a Senate committee unanimously passed SB 16. The bill would provide unpaid leave for a victim of domestic or sexual violence victim if their employer has at least 20 employees. The leave could be used to get health care, recover from injury, obtain victim services/counseling/legal services, and to participate in safety planning. SB 16 also includes family or household members of victims as eligible for the unpaid leave. SB 16 is similar to legislation supported by MCADSV since 2013.


Child Custody

House bill to establish presumption for 50/50 custody advances in Senate  
Senate Committee Substitute for House Bill 299 (Rep. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau)
Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 459 (Sen. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville)
MCADSV monitoring
On April 28, a Senate committee held a hearing and passed a Senate Committee Substitute for HB 299. The amendment made HB 299 the same as a Senate version, SCS SB 459. Both bills would create a rebuttable presumption in favor of 50/50 custody in all child custody cases, with exemptions for domestic violence victims. The bills await Senate floor debate and vote. 

No action occurred in April on two bills that contain similar 50/50 custody provisions and also contain sections that would limit spousal maintenance awards in divorce cases: Senate Committee Substitute for SB 199 (Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring) and House Bill 947 (Rep. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau). 


MCADSV advocacy message on 50/50 custody bills

For many years MCADSV has advocated in opposition to 50/50 custody bills, informing legislators of the impact of abusers’ use of custody and visitation to continue their abuse against a divorcing parent who is a victim of domestic violence. MCADSV advocacy led to the inclusion of protections for abuse victims in the 2021 bills. Should those protections be lessened or if harmful amendments are added to the bills, MCADSV will oppose the legislation.

 

Firearms

No action in April on bills to restrict firearms from domestic violence offenders, protection order respondents
House Committee Substitute for House Bill 473 (Rep. Ron Hicks, R-Dardenne Prairie)
MCADSV supports
No action on HB 473 occurred in April, despite a unanimous vote by a House committee in March to pass a House Committee Substitute version of the bill. The bill would replicate in state law the two domestic violence firearms prohibitions in current federal law: the prohibition of firearm possession by those convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors and those with full Orders of Protection in effect against them. Two similar bills, House Bill 40 (Rep. Richard Brown, D-Kansas City) and Senate Bill 144 (Sen. Doug Beck, D-St. Louis) have not had committee hearings this session. 


MCADSV advocacy message on firearm bills

It is important to clarify MCADSV’s support for specific domestic violence firearms bills, which differ from other “red flag” gun bills and “extreme risk protection order” legislation. The domestic violence firearms bills are specifically focused on those who were judged by the courts and convicted or found to have harmed family members and intimate partners.

 

Public Assistance

No action in April on bills that would increase penalties/denial of food stamp benefits for recipients not in compliance with 30-hour per week work requirements
House Committee Substitute for House Bill 217 (Rep. Chad Perkins, R-Bowling Green)
Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 138 (Sen. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville)
MCADSV opposes
No action occurred in April on bills that would limit eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food stamp benefits. HCS HB 217 now awaits House floor debate and vote. The similar Senate bill, SCS SB 138, continues to await Senate floor debate and vote. Both bills would increase penalties and loss of SNAP food assistance benefits for nonexempt adults who fail to meet 30-hour/week work requirements. The penalties for work noncompliance would increase the loss of SNAP benefits from three months to six months to a lifetime loss of eligibility.  


House floor debate awaits bill to link food stamp eligibility to cooperation with child support enforcement 
House Bill 451 (Rep. Dottie Bailey, R-Eureka)
HB 451 awaits House floor debate and vote after being passed by a House committee in early April. The bill would require cooperation with Child Support Enforcement for an adult parent or non-custodial parent/caretaker, to be eligible for SNAP food assistance benefits. The occurrence of domestic violence is a “good cause exemption” from child support cooperation that can be granted by the Missouri Family Support Division. Victims are not always informed of this.  


No action on bill that would reduce Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits if children of household not in school for 90% of school days
House Bill 247 (Rep. Jeff Porter, R-Montgomery City)
MCADSV opposes
HB 427 has not been referred to a committee for a hearing. The bill would reduce TANF benefits by 65% for six months for families whose children did not attend school for 90% of the school days in the prior six months. The bill exempts excused absences from the calculation of school attendance. Missouri Family Support Division would be required to check school attendance every six months for families receiving TANF benefits.

 

Local Nuisance Orders

No action on bill to prohibit “nuisance” ordinances from penalizing domestic and sexual violence victims’ calls for emergency assistance
House Bill 426 (Rep. Raychel Proudie, D-Ferguson)
MCADSV supports
HB 426 has not been referred to a committee for a hearing. The bill would prohibit cities or counties from passing ordinances that would classify as “nuisance” any calls for law enforcement or emergency assistance by residents, tenants or landlords who are victims of abuse or crime. The bill would allow a civil suit to be filed against a unit of local government by a victim who was penalized under a nuisance ordinance for making calls for assistance. Previously, some local ordinances did allow eviction or other penalties for tenants who made repeated calls for law enforcement assistance, including violence victims, by including the calls in the definition of a local nuisance.

 

Crime Victims' Compensation

No action on bill that would clarify eligibility for family members’ counseling services after homicide/victims’ death
House Bill 1105 (Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove, D-Kansas City)
MCADSV supports
HB 1105 has not been referred to a committee for a hearing. The bill would clarify that survivors of a homicide or deceased crime victim are eligible for Crime Victims’ Compensation for counseling services, even if they do not reside in the same household. The new definition would be: "Survivor", the spouse, parent, legal guardian, grandparent, sibling or child of the  deceased victim [of the victim's household] at the time of the crime.” The brackets delete the words in current law. 

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ONLINE RESOURCE LINKS FOR 2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

The links below will provide online access to information on bills, legislators, committees and actions of the Missouri General Assembly during the 2021 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” field to find bills

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