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MCADSV Legislative Update - February 29, 2016
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Support from both parties for MCADSV’s priorities so far in this session included maintaining current funding levels in appropriations for domestic and sexual violence programs; adding victims of human trafficking to the Safe at Home address confidentiality program; expanding Full Orders of Protection to include provisions allowing victims to keep their wireless plans separate from their abusers while retaining their cell phone numbers; and enhancing community responses to domestic and sexual violence on college and university campuses. In addition, an MCADSV priority bill to allow victims of domestic and sexual violence to take unpaid leave from work will be heard by a Senate committee in early March.


Appropriations

House appropriations committees did not make any changes to current funding for domestic and sexual violence services programs during February hearings. Appropriations bills originate in the House and follow a process of hearings, amendments and floor debate before they proceed to the Senate for similar actions. The House and Senate must agree on final versions of the appropriations bills that comprise the Fiscal Year 2017 state budget. The Missouri General Assembly is required to pass the state budget by May 6, 2016.

All appropriations bills, including those introduced by the House Budget Committee Chairman at the end of February, maintained current funding levels for domestic and sexual violence services in the proposed state budget for Fiscal Year 2017 (July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017). All appropriations bills would then proceed to the Senate for further committee hearings, amendments and passage by the full Senate.
Status: Final House Budget Committee hearings on appropriations bills will occur in early March, with a plan for the House to pass the state budget in mid-March. 


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)
     o    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
SB 907 would allow unpaid leave from work for victims of domestic and sexual violence to attend legal/court proceedings.
Status: SB 907 will have a Senate committee hearing on March 1.

House Bill 2342
Sponsor: Rep. Gina Mitten, D-St. Louis
MCADSV supports
HB 2342 is the House version of the unpaid leave from work bill.
Status: HB 2342 awaits referral to a House committee for a hearing.

PROTECTION ORDERS AND CELL PHONE PLANS

Senate Bill 838
Sponsor: Sen. Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City
MCADSV supports
SB 838 would allow Full Orders of Protection to include provisions so victims could retain their cell phone numbers and wireless services separate 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 unanimously passed by the Senate on Feb. 18. The bill awaits a hearing before a House committee.

House Bill 1972
Sponsor: Rep Sandy Crawford, R-Buffalo
MCADSV supports
HB 1972 is the House version of the protection order/cell phone bill.
Status: HB 1972 was passed on Feb. 24 by the House Rules Committee. The bill awaits placement on the House calendar for floor debate.

TRAFFICKING AND SAFE AT HOME PROGRAM

House Bill 1396
Sponsor: Rep. Tracy McCreery, D-St. Louis
MCADSV supports
HB 1396 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: HB 1396 is on the House calendar for floor debate after it was passed by House committees in February.

Senate Bill 888

Sponsor: Sen. Gina Walsh, D-St. Louis
MCADSV supports
SB 888 is the Senate version of HB 1396. 
Status: SB 888 is on the Senate calendar for floor debate after it was passed by a Senate committee as a non-controversial “consent” bill.


SEX TRAFFICKING OFFENSES

House Bill 1562
Sponsor: Rep. Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield
MCADSV supports
HB 1562 would add to current trafficking offenses the additional element of advertising the availability of an adult or child for sexual activities. The bill contains amendments sought by MCADSV to include the new criminal elements of trafficking offenses in both adult and child sex trafficking offenses.
Status: HB 1562 was passed unanimously by the House on Feb. 4, and it awaits a Senate committee hearing.

Senate Bill 804
Sponsor: Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis
MCADSV supports
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 gained first-round approval in a Senate vote on Feb. 25. SB 804 will have one final Senate vote before it can advance to the House.


RESPONSES TO CAMPUS SEXUAL AND DOMESTIC ASSAULT, STALKING

House Bill 1678
Sponsor: Rep. Sheila Solon, R-Blue Spring
MCADSV supports
HB 1678 would require colleges and universities, including two-year institutions, to develop detailed MOUs with local law enforcement agencies on responses to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
Status: HB 1678 was passed on Feb. 25 by the House Select Education Committee and will advance to the House calendar for floor debate.

Senate Bill 1085
Sponsor: Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg
MCADSV supports
SB 1085 was filed on Feb. 25 and is the Senate version of the campus MOU bill.
Status: SB 1085 has not yet been referred to a Senate committee for a hearing.


CHILD CUSTODY AND VISITATION

Senate Bill 964
Sponsor: Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau
MCADSV monitoring and seeking amendments
SB 964 would change existing custody and visitation laws to a new default standard of “shared parenting.” MCADSV is working in concert with the Missouri Bar Association and legislators to negotiate changes to SB 964 and its companion House bill, HB 2055, to ensure strong custody and visitation legal protections remain for domestic violence victims and their children.
Status: SB 964 was passed by a Senate committee as a substitute bill on Feb. 22 and advanced to the Senate calendar for debate.

House Bill 2055
Sponsor: Rep. Kathy Swan, R-Cape Girardeau
MCADSV monitoring and seeking amendments
HB 2055 is the House “shared parenting bill.” Representatives of the Missouri Bar Association and legislators, along with MCADSV, seek agreement on amendments to the bill. Rep. Swan already agreed with MCADSV’s request that she remove provisions in a substitute version of HB 2055 that would change current custody/visitation laws that provide protection for domestic violence victims and their children.
Status: HB 2055 had a two-part, four-hour hearing on Feb. 16 before a House committee, a measure of the controversy generated by proposals to change child custody and visitation laws. It awaits further House committee actions.


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 is on the House calendar for floor debate after passage by a House committee on Feb. 16.


DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRIME REPORTING

Senate Bill 921
Sponsor: Sen. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane
MCADSV supports
SB 921 would 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.
Status: SB 921 was passed by a Senate committee on Feb. 25. It is on the Senate calendar for floor debate. 

 House Bill 1930
Sponsor: Rep. Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton
MCADSV supports
HB 1930 is the House version of domestic violence crime reporting bill. 
Status: HB 1930 was passed by a House committee on Feb. 25 and will advance to the House calendar for floor debate. 


CRIMINAL CODE REVISIONS: ABUSE OF ELDERLY, DISABLED, VULNERABLE PERSONS

Senate Bill 663
Sponsor: Sen. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield
MCADSV supports
SB 663 is an omnibus “Criminal Code” bill that would revise the 2014 overhaul of all criminal offenses. Those criminal code revisions are to take effect on Jan. 1, 2017. SB 663 contains provisions sought by MCADSV to make technical corrections to the mandatory reporting laws for abuse of elder, disabled and vulnerable persons. The corrections would reinstate a long-standing section of law (that was inadvertently omitted) to clarify that no mandatory reports are required for suspected abuse of 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.SB 663 also contains changes to the offense of aggravated stalking, adding the element of electronically stalking a person in the Safe at Home address confidentiality program. That provision was originally filed as Senate Bill 886, sponsored by Sen. Gina Walsh, D-St. Louis.
Status: SB 663 was passed by the Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on Feb. 15.

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 introduced on Feb. 4.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR EXPERT WITNESS

Senate Bill 591
Sponsor: Sen. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar
MCADSV monitoring
SB 591 would change the legal standards to qualify as an expert witness. The bill 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 passed on Feb. 24 by a House committee. The bill earlier was passed by the Senate on Jan. 21.

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 was passed by a House committee on Feb. 24.

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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