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MCADSV Legislative Update - March 1, 2018
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First bill "truly agreed to and finally passed" and sent to governor; MCADSV members advocate at the Capitol

There was strong bipartisan support for HB 1246, which was “truly agreed to and finally passed.” The bill would require that posters advertising the national human trafficking website and hotline number be publicly posted. Another highlight of the month was the important public policy advocacy work in the Capitol by advocates from throughout the state who met with their representatives and senators during weekly MCADSV Capitol Advocacy Days events.

Appropriations

House budget chairman files FY2019 state budget bills that include DV/SV federal funding increases
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 constitute the FY 2019 state budget.

On Feb. 14-15, House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick (R-Shell Knob) introduced appropriations bills for state departments’ Fiscal Year 2019 budgets (July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019). The budget bill for the Department of Social Services (DSS) includes using federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds for funding increases specifically for domestic violence and sexual assault services. These proposed uses of VOCA funds do not decrease the funding in the primary VOCA grants’ line item. These increases mirror the governor’s proposal. 

House Bill 2011: Department of Social Services
On Feb. 20, the House Budget Subcommittee on Department of Social Services (DSS) began “mark-up” of its budget including an amendment offered by Rep. Deb Lavender (D-Kirkwood) that would increase the spending authority of DSS in FY 2019 by $20.9 million. This action is needed because DSS only has the authority to spend the current fiscal year amount of $37 million. The current awards exceed this amount because of the nearly $100 million transfer of funds from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to DSS. 

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

Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant program: a total of $40.68 million. This funding is in Section 11.165, page 10 of HB 2011:

  • This includes a $3.4 million increase in authority to spend federal VOCA funds.
  • MCADSV is advocating for a larger increase in spending authority for VOCA grants to ensure DSS can distribute all federal VOCA funds awarded to Missouri.

Domestic violence services: a total of $11.118 million in state and federal funding. This funding is in Section 11.160, pages 9-10 of HB 2011:

  • State funding: $5 million;
  • Federal Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) funding: $2.1 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;
  • Federal VOCA funding designated for domestic violence services: $1.84 million.

Sexual assault services: This funding is in Section 11.170, page 10 of HB 2011:

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

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, page 3 of HB 2008.

Services, Officers, Prosecutors (STOP) grant program, including funds for Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) grant program: $3.294 million in federal funds. This funding is in Section 8.045, page 3 of HB 2008.

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, page 31 of HB 2010.


ACTIONS ON PRIORITY LEGISLATION

HUMAN TRAFFICKING

House bill “truly agreed to and finally passed,” awaiting governor’s action
House Bill 1246 (Rep. Patricia Pike, R-Butler)
Senate Bill 604 (Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
HB 1246 was “truly agreed to and finally passed” on Feb. 20 and sent to the governor. This is the first bill sent to the governor for action. As in bills supported by MCADSV in past sessions, HB 1246 would require that posters advertising the national human trafficking website and hotline number be publicly posted. The posters, to be created by the Department of Public Safety, would be required to be posted at hotels, places of public transportation, strip clubs, health care facilities and truck stops. 

House-passed bill to set 17 as minimum age to obtain marriage licenses
House Bill 1630 (Rep. Jean Evans, R-Manchester)
MCADSV supports
On Feb. 19, the House passed HB 1630 and the Senate gave it a first read. 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 a strategy to address human trafficking of teenagers who are coerced or forced into marriage with a trafficker.

Senate committee amends and passes bill to expunge trafficking victims’ convictions for prostitution and expanded provisions; Senate floor amends the bill onto another Senate bill
SCS Senate Bill 792 (Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis), substitute not yet available online 
Senate Bill 793 (Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R- Cape Girardeau)
MCADSV supports
On Feb. 19, a Senate committee amended and voted on SB 792. On Feb. 28, the Senate floor amended and perfected SCS SB 792 on SB 793, a bill that requires children under the age of 18 to be prosecuted for most criminal offenses in juvenile courts unless the child is certified as an adult. SB 792 would establish a process for expungement of criminal convictions for prostitution by those later determined to be “under the influence of an agent.” This expungement process, unlike others in Missouri law, would not involve court costs to be paid by the person seeking the expungement order. The committee substitute added multiple new provisions to the original bill. It would provide that being under the age of 18 and acting under the influence of an agent is an affirmative defense to the prosecution of the offense of prostitution. It raises the offense of patronizing prostitution from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class E felony when the individual whom the offender patronizes is younger than 18 but older than 14, and raises the offense of patronizing prostitution from a Class E felony to a Class D felony when the individual whom the offender patronizes is 14 or younger. The bill requires any person convicted of patronizing a prostitute, when the person patronized is younger than 18, to register as a sex offender. It raises the penalty for promoting prostitution in the first degree of a person younger than 16 from a Class B felony to a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of no less than 10 years and no more than 15 years, and it raises the penalty for promoting prostitution of a person age 16 or 17 to the offense of second-degree prostitution, a Class D felony.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Senate hearing held on bill to allow local jurisdictions to establish Domestic Violence Fatality Reviews
Senate Bill 976 (Sen. Scott Sifton, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
A Senate hearing was held on Feb. 19. The bill would allow the establishment of Domestic Violence Fatality Reviews through locally convened panels. These 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. SB 976 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. The bill also would allow municipalities to establish Domestic Violence Fatality Reviews. 

FIREARMS

House hearing held on bills that would prohibit firearm possession by domestic violence offenders and protection order respondents 
House Bill 1849 (Rep. Tracy McCreery, D-St. Louis)
House Bill 2276 (Rep. Donna Lichtenegger, R-Jackson) 
MCADSV supports
On Feb. 27, a House hearing was held for both House bills simultaneously. HB 1849 and HB 2276 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. The bills would add these provisions to the Missouri criminal offense of unlawful possession of a firearm. HB 2276 includes an emergency clause, meaning it would immediately go into effect if passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor. 

Senate domestic violence gun bill referred to committee for hearing
Senate Bill 656 (Sen. Scott Sifton, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
SB 656 would also 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. The bill awaits a hearing being scheduled. 

Senate domestic violence gun bills filed
Senate Bill 1051 (Sen. Gina Walsh, D-St. Louis)
Senate Bill 1058 (Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
Filed on Feb. 28, SB 1051 and SB 1058 would include in Missouri law a prohibition of firearm possession by individuals convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor or an equivalent offense in another jurisdiction within the previous five years and those with a Full Order of Protection in effect against them.

House bill still not referred to committee for hearing that would allow law enforcement confiscation of firearms at scene of domestic violence call; prohibits domestic violence offenders and protection order respondents from firearm possession
House Bill 2167 (Rep. Tracy McCreery, D-St. Louis) 
MCADSV supports  
HB 2167 would allow law enforcement officers to confiscate firearms found at the scene of a domestic violence call. The bill also would add to Missouri law the firearms possession prohibition for domestic violence offenders and protection order respondents, which is the same content as in Rep. McCreery’s HB 1849.

SEXUAL ASSAULT

Committees amend and vote on bills that would require reports to law enforcement of sexual assaults of nursing home and long-term care facility residents
Senate Bill 574 (Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau)
HCS House Bill 1635 (Rep. Mike Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City)
MCADSV supports
On Feb.27, a House committee voted to pass HB 1635 with the committee substitute, and the bill awaits perfection on the House floor.  SB 574 was perfected on Feb. 21 and awaits a final Senate vote. Both SB 574 and HB 1635 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. An amendment to SB 574 and HB 1635, supported by MCADSV, added a statutory cross-reference to the definition of “eligible adult” in the section of current law on mandated reporters of abuse of elderly and disabled persons. This is the definition that clarifies that mandated abuse reports are not required for abuse victims who are 60 and older, or disabled, if they are able to obtain needed services and meet their own essential human needs.

Senate bill filed, and House votes on bill that creates a criminal offense for “nonconsensual distribution of private sexual images” and “the threat of nonconsensual distribution of private sexual images”
House Bill 1558 (Rep. Jim Neely, R-Cameron)
Senate Bill 1014 (Rep. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
On Feb. 21, SB 1014 was filed and, on Feb. 22, it was assigned to committee. It is similar to HB 1558. On Feb. 26, the House amended and voted on HB 1558. It now awaits Senate action. The bills would create the 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.” It also adds “the threat of non-consensual distribution of private images.”

Hearings held on bills that would require protocols for statewide tracking system for sexual assault forensic evidence
Senate Bill 958 (Sen. Jeanie Riddle, R-Fulton)
House Bill 2259 (Rep. Donna Lichtenegger, R-Jackson)
MCADSV supports
A Senate committee held a hearing on SB 958 on Feb. 10. A House committee held a hearing on HB 2259 on Feb. 20. SB 958 and HB 2259 would require the attorney general’s office to create protocols to implement a statewide tracking system for sexual assault forensic evidence. MCADSV is identifying amendments to propose for these bills to ensure survivors’ personally identifying information is protected through any tracking system and that survivors, themselves, have access to their information in the system.  

Hearings held on bills would require school curricula on sexual harassment, sexual violence and consent
Senate Bill 788 (Sen. Jamila Nasheed, D-St. Louis)
HCS House Bill 2234 (Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston), substitute not yet available online
House Bill 2285 (Rep. Crystal Quade, D-Springfield) 
MCADSV supports
On Feb. 21, a Senate hearing heard SB 788. On Feb. 27, a House committee amended and voted on HB 2234. HB 2234, HB 2285 and SB 788 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.

Hearings held on bills to remove the statute of limitations for sexual offenses against children
House Bill 1987 (Rep. Brandon Ellington, D-Kansas City)
House Bill 2185 (Rep. Clem Smith, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
On Feb. 6, a House committee hearing was held on HB 1987 and HB 2185. A House committee is scheduled to vote on the bills on March 1. Both bills would eliminate the 30-year statute of limitations for prosecuting sexual offenses against children (those younger than 18), allowing the prosecution of such cases at any time. Current law sets the time limit for prosecution of these cases at 30 years after the victim is 18. 

House Bill 1590  (Rep. Cody Smith, R-Carthage) 
MCADSV supports
A Feb. 6 House committee hearing also was held on HB 1590. A House committee is scheduled to vote on the bill on March 1. In addition to removing the statute of limitations for prosecution of sexual offenses against children, the bill would eliminate the time limits for prosecution of cases with DNA evidence that has been processed by a crime lab. 

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
HB 2462 was introduced on Feb. 14. 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.

CRIME VICTIMS’ COMPENSATION AND SEXUAL ASSAULT FORENSIC EVIDENCE 

Hearings held on omnibus criminal justice bills to include crime victims’ compensation reforms and time limits for processing sexual assault forensic evidence
Senate Bill 966 (Sen. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia)
House Bill 2397 (Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin)
MCADSV supports
On Feb. 26 a Senate hearing was held on SB 966. On Feb. 27, a House hearing was held on HB 2397. SB 966 and HB 2397 would make reforms to the crime victims’ compensation (CVC) program and set time limits for the processing of sexual assault forensic evidence. The bill contains these provisions as part of a larger criminal justice and prison/probation system reform measure containing recommendations from the Missouri State Justice Reinvestment Task Force. The CVC changes would open up eligibility for compensation by removing time limits for reporting an offense, expanding reporting requirements from law enforcement reports to include obtaining a forensic evidence exam or getting a protection order, allowing victims’ sworn statements to prove eligibility, and changing the filings for compensation from a notarized and paper-based system. SB 966 and HB 2397 also would set time limits for the processing of sexual assault forensic evidence (“rape kits”): law enforcement agencies would take possession of completed evidence kits from hospitals within 14 days; law enforcement agencies then would be required to send the evidence to a crime lab within 14 days. Finally, law enforcement agencies would be required to retain sexual assault forensic evidence for 30 years for unsolved cases.

CHILD CUSTODY

Hearings held and committees amend and vote on equal parenting time bills; Senate bill adds a rebuttable presumption against equal time when domestic violence occurs
SCS Senate Bill 645 (Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau), substitute not yet available online
HCS House Bill 1667 (Rep. Kathy Swan, R-Cape Girardeau)
House Bill 2591 (Rep. Chris Dinkins, R-Annapolis)
MCADSV opposes
These bills would establish that it is in the best interest of children that judges award equal parenting time to both parents in all custody cases. The standard for rebutting this was lowered from past versions of the bills to “preponderance of evidence” that includes the occurrence of domestic violence by one parent against the other. The language in the bills is: “There shall be a rebuttable presumption that an award of equal or approximately equal parenting time to each parent giving the child equal or approximately equal access to both parents is in the best interests of the child. Such presumption is rebuttable only by preponderance of the evidence. …” A House committee voted to pass HB 1667 on Feb. 28. HB 2591 was filed on Feb. 27. On Feb. 21, the Senate amended and voted to add a rebuttable presumption against equal time when domestic violence has occurred.

House and Senate bills would terminate parental rights of men found by clear and convincing evidence to have fathered a child through rape; amendments to be sought for some provisions
House Bill 1399 (Rep. Bruce DeGroot, R-Chesterfield)
SCS Senate Bill 795 (Sen. Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester), substitute not yet available online
MCADSV supports
A Senate committee amended and voted to pass SB 795 on Feb. 14. HB 1399 awaits a House hearing. Both HB 1399 and SB 795 would allow a court to terminate the parental rights of a biological father if it finds by “clear, cogent and convincing evidence” that he committed an act of rape that resulted in the conception and birth of the child. The bills also allow orders of child support and other financial supports to the child subsequent to the parental rights termination. MCADSV will seek the removal of those financial and support provisions, as they are modifiable (i.e. could subject the mother to ongoing court processes), do not comport with the legal structure of parental rights termination and are opposed by those who have children conceived through rape. HB 1399 was assigned to a House committee and awaits a hearing.

UNPAID LEAVE FROM WORK

Hearing held 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
On Feb. 21, a Senate hearing was held on SB 739. This 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. MCADSV is working with Sen. Schupp to ensure that all sections of the bill provide the right to unpaid leave from work for domestic violence, sexual assault and trafficking victims.

SAFE AT HOME PROGRAM

Committees amend and vote to pass on bills that would require confidentiality of addresses for Safe at Home participants in child custody cases 
HCS House Bill 1461 (Rep. Sonya Anderson, R-Springfield)
SCS Senate Bill 923 (Sen. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia), substitute not yet available online
MCADSV supports
House and Senate committees amended and voted on both HB 1461 and SB 923. Both bills would require courts, in the records and reports related to child custody proceedings, to order that the street address not be revealed for a parent with custody if that parent is a participant in the Safe at Home address confidentiality program. The bills 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. 

POVERTY

House committee votes to pass limiting TANF or SNAP recipients from using benefits cards at ATMs or to access cash
HCS House Bill 1443 (Rep. J. Eggleston, R-Maysville)
MCADSV opposes
On Feb. 20, a House committee amended and voted to pass HB 1443, which prohibits temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) benefit cards from being used at ATMs or to access cash, and limits the items that may be purchased with TANF benefits.

HOUSING RIGHTS

Bill would allow lease termination, other housing rights to victims of sexual and domestic violence
House Bill 2166 (Rep. Lauren Arthur, D-Kansas City)   
MCADSV supports
HB 2166 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