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MCADSV Legislative Update - January 31, 2016
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The 2016 session of the Missouri General Assembly began on January 6 and will conclude on May 13, 2016. The state budget must be passed by May 6, 2016. The legislative session has begun at a quick pace, with more bills filed by the end of January than in the entire 2015 session.  

Among MCADSV’s priorities for the 2016 session are:  appropriations for domestic and sexual violence programs; adding victims of human trafficking to the Safe at Home address confidentiality program; allowing 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 unpaid workplace leave for victims of domestic and sexual to attend legal/court proceedings.


Appropriations

Gov. Jay Nixon presented his proposed state budget for Fiscal Year 2017 on Jan. 20. House Budget Chairman Tom Flanigan (R-Carthage) filed all FY 2017 appropriations bills on Jan. 27. Both of these budget proposals maintain current funding levels for domestic and sexual violence services.

House appropriations committee hearings began in January, with an accelerated schedule for all budget bills to be “marked up” and amended. 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.

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 state; $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


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 bill will have a hearing before a House committee on Feb. 3. The Safe at Home program currently provides an alternate legal mailing address for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Senate Bill 888
Sponsor: Sen. Gina Walsh, D-St. Louis
SB 888 is the Senate version of HB 1396. It will be heard by a Senate committee on Feb. 2.


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. The bill has been referred to a Senate committee but no hearing has been scheduled.

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. The bill awaits referral to a committee.


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 services separate from family plans with their abusers. The court’s order within the protection order would permit a wireless service provider to transfer the victim’s, and the victim’s minor children’s, cell phone service to a new account where they can retain their wireless services and associated telephone numbers. SB 838 is on the Senate calendar for debate. It was passed as a committee substitute by a Senate committee on Jan. 26. MCADSV continues to work on amendments to clarify how wireless companies can obtain information from protection orders to quickly transfer family plan contracts solely to those granted Full Orders of Protection.  

House Bill 1972
Sponsor: Rep Sandy Crawford, R-Buffalo
MCADSV supports
HB 1972 is the House version of the protection order/cell phone bill. A hearing on the bill is scheduled for Feb. 3 before the House Telecommunications Committee.

SEX TRAFFICKING OFFENSES

House Bill 1562
Sponsor: Rep. Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield
MCADSV supports
HB 1562 would add to current child and adult sex trafficking laws an additional element of a person advertising the availability of an adult or child for sexual activities. The bill advanced to the House calendar for debate after a substitute version of the bill was passed by a House committee on Jan. 27. The House Committee Substitute for HB 1562 contains amendments sought by MCADSV to address adult sex trafficking offenses in addition to child sex trafficking offenses as in the original version of the bill.  

Senate Bill 804
Sponsor: Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis
MCADSV supports
SB 804 is the Senate version of trafficking legislation. It had a hearing before a Senate committee on Jan. 26. MCADSV testified in support, requesting the same amendments as in HB 1562.


SCHOOL ANTI-BULLYING PROGRAMS

House Bill 1583
Sponsor: Rep. Sue Allen, R-Town and Country
MCADSV supports
HB 1583 would expand the anti-bullying policy, prevention and response requirements for school districts. The bill contains language MCADSV sought to allow student peer-to-peer programs and initiatives as part of school district anti-bullying programs. MCADSV testified in support of HB 1583 during a House committee hearing on Jan. 25.


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 (the “Criminal Code”). 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 the aggravated stalking changes in Senate Bill 886 that would create the offense of electronically stalking a person in the Safe at Home program.



DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRIME REPORTING

Senate Bill 921
Sponsor: Sen. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane
MCADSV supports
SB 921 would set new monthly 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. SB 921 has been scheduled for a committee hearing on Feb. 2.

House Bill 1930
Sponsor: Rep. Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton
MCADSV supports
HB 1930 is the House version of the SB 921. It was referred to a House committee on Jan. 28 but no hearing has been scheduled.


QUALIFICATIONS FOR EXPERT WITNESSES

Senate Bill 591
Sponsor: Sen. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar
MCADSV monitoring
SB 591 advanced to the House after it was passed by the Senate on Jan. 21. The bill would change the standards required to qualify as an expert witness in court proceedings. SB 591 exempts family and juvenile courts, including domestic violence and protection order cases, from the new standards. This exemption is a change sought by MCADSV.

House Bill 1676
Sponsor: Rep. Kevin Corlew, R-Kansas City
MCADSV monitoring
HB 1676 is the House version of the expert witness bill. It was referred to a House committee on Jan. 26 but no hearing has been scheduled.

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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