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MCADSV Legislative Update - March 30, 2018
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March milestones: Domestic violence gun bill passed by House committee and state budget advances with increased federal funding for DV/SV services 

In March, MCADSV marked a legislative milestone of achievement when a House committee passed a bill to restrict firearm possession by domestic violence offenders and some protection order respondents. For more than 20 years, MCADSV has supported replicating the federal firearm prohibitions for domestic violence offenders into state law, but past legislation always met with opposition. This led to infrequent hearings on filed bills and never a scheduled committee vote. The recent vote to pass a domestic violence gun bill is an accomplishment to celebrate and reinforces why advocates’ conversations and relationships with legislators are critical to change laws and lives.

In addition to the milestone on the gun bill, March legislative actions also included the passage of federal funding increases for domestic and sexual violence services in the Fiscal Year 2019 state budget. Many other bills advanced that would address sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking.  



Appropriations

 

House passes FY2019 state budget bills that include DV/SV federal funding increases
On March 29, the House passed 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 specifically for funding increases 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.

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 and must pass the FY19 state budget by May 11.

HCS House Bill 2011: Department of Social Services

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

Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant program: a total of $45.68 million. This includes a $5 million increase in authority to spend federal VOCA funds to ensure DSS can distribute all federal VOCA funds awarded to Missouri. The VOCA funding is in Section 11.165 of HB 2011.

Domestic violence services: a total of $11.11 million in state and federal funding. This funding is in Section 11.160 of HB 2011:

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

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

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

HCS 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 of HB 2008.

Services, Officers, Prosecutors (STOP) grant program, including funds for Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) grant program: $3.29 million in federal funds. This funding is in Section 8.045 of HB 2008.

HCS 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 of HB 2010.


ACTIONS ON PRIORITY LEGISLATION


FIREARMS

House committee passes amended bill to prohibit firearm possession by domestic violence offenders and some protection order respondents 
HCS House Bill 2276 (Rep. Donna Lichtenegger, R-Jackson) 
MCADSV supports with amendment request
On Mar. 15, a House committee passed an amended version of HB 2276. The bill retained the prohibition of firearms possession by those convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault but was amended to prohibit protection order respondents from gun possession only if a judge specifically included that written prohibition in a Full Order of Protection. The House Committee Substitute for HB 2276 additionally removed some elements of the offense of misdemeanor domestic assault and made them elements of felony domestic assault offenses. MCADSV continues to seek an amendment to restore the firearms prohibition for all respondents to full protection orders. The February House committee hearing on HB 2276 also included a similar bill, HB 1849 (Rep. Tracy McCreery, D-St. Louis), but the committee did not vote on that bill. 

No hearings scheduled for House and Senate “domestic violence gun bills”
House Bill 2167 (Rep. Tracy McCreery, D-St. Louis) 
Senate Bill 656 (Sen. Scott Sifton, D-St. Louis)
Senate Bill 1051 (Sen. Gina Walsh, D-St. Louis)
Senate Bill 1058 (Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
No hearings were scheduled for several House and Senate bills that would include in Missouri law a prohibition of firearm possession by individuals convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor or those with a Full Order of Protection in effect against them. An additional provision in HB 2167 would allow law enforcement officers to confiscate firearms found at the scene of a domestic violence call.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Domestic Violence Fatality Review bill advances as amendment to Senate Bill 966
Senate Bill 976 (Sen. Scott Sifton, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
On Mar. 27, the content of SB 976 was amended onto another Senate bill. Those provisions, now in Senate Bill 966, would allow the establishment of Domestic Violence Fatality Reviews through locally convened panels. The 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. The legislation 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. Municipalities also would be allowed to establish Domestic Violence Fatality Reviews.

CRIME VICTIMS’ COMPENSATION AND SEXUAL ASSAULT FORENSIC EVIDENCE 

Senate gives first-round approval to omnibus criminal justice bill with CVC reforms, time limits for processing rape kits and allowing local domestic violence fatality reviews; House version passed by committee
SS SCS Senate Bill 966 (Sen. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia)
HCS House Bill 2397 (Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin)
MCADSV supports
On Mar. 27, the Senate amended and gave first-round approval to SB 966. During Senate floor debate, an amendment was added that would allow the local establishment of domestic violence fatality reviews (the content of Senate Bill 976). SB 966 retained the provisions that would make reforms to the crime victims’ compensation (CVC) program to expand victims’ access, and set time limits for law enforcement agencies to take possession of completed rape kits and submit them to crime labs for testing. 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. On Mar. 8, a House committee passed the House version of the justice reinvestment bill, HB 2397. 

CHILD CUSTODY

House gives first-round approval to equal parenting time bill; Senate committee amends Senate bill to include presumption against equal time when domestic violence occurs
HCS House Bill 1667 (Rep. Kathy Swan, R-Cape Girardeau)
SCS Senate Bill 645 (Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau), substitute not yet available online
MCADSV opposes
On Mar. 28, the House gave first-round approval to HB 1667. One more House vote is required before HB 1667 advances to the Senate. No action was taken in March on SB 645, the Senate version of the bill to establish a presumption for equal parenting time in custody cases. SB 645 was amended by a Senate committee in late February to add a rebuttable presumption against equal time when domestic violence has occurred. Both House and Senate 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 presumption is a “preponderance of evidence” that includes the occurrence of domestic violence by one parent against the other. No hearing has been scheduled for an additional parenting time bill, HB 2591 (Rep. Chris Dinkins, R-Annapolis).

House and Senate bills advance that would terminate parental rights of men found to have fathered a child through rape 
House Bill 1399 (Rep. Bruce DeGroot, R-Chesterfield)
Senate Bill 800 (Sen. Doug Libla, R-Poplar Bluff)
SCS Senate Bill 795 (Sen. Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester), substitute not yet available online
MCADSV supports with amendment request
On Mar. 27, a House committee held a hearing on HB 1399, a bill that would terminate parental rights of a man found to have fathered a child through rape. The Senate version of the bill, SB 795, was passed on Mar. 5 as an amendment to SB 800, a bill to terminate parental rights related to adoptions. Each of the bills would allow a court to terminate a father’s parental rights if it finds by “clear, cogent and convincing evidence” that he committed an act of rape that resulted in the birth of the child. The bills also would allow orders of child support and other financial supports to the child subsequent to the parental rights termination. MCADSV’s position on all of the related bills is to seek the removal of those financial and support provisions, as they are modifiable and could subject the mother to ongoing court processes with the man who raped her. 

POVERTY

House passes bill restricting TANF or SNAP recipients from getting cash from EBT cards 
HCS House Bill 1443 (Rep. J. Eggleston, R-Maysville)
MCADSV opposes
On Mar. 15 the House passed HB 1443, which prohibits recipients of public assistance from using their electronic benefit cards (EBT) at ATMs or otherwise used to access cash. The bill adds these restrictions to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP—food stamps). HB 1443 also would further limit where EBT cards may be used as well as the items that may be purchased with TANF/SNAP benefits.

SEXUAL ASSAULT

House bill criminalizing “nonconsensual distribution of private sexual images” awaits Senate hearing; Senate bill awaits hearing
House Bill 1558 
(Rep. Jim Neely, R-Cameron)
Senate Bill 1014 
(Rep. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
No Senate committee hearings were held in March for HB 1558, which passed the House in February. Both HB 1558 and SB 1014 would create a 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.” HB 1558 also would create a Class E felony offense for threats to distribute the private images. SB 1014 would make those threats a misdemeanor. 

Hearings held on bills that would require protocols for statewide tracking system for sexual assault forensic evidence
HCS House Bill 2259 
(Rep. Donna Lichtenegger, R-Jackson)
MCADSV supports
A House committee passed an amended version of HB 2259 on March 27. As amended, HB 2259 would require the attorney general’s office to create protocols and an “electronic platform” to implement a statewide tracking system for sexual assault forensic evidence. MCADSV continues to work with legislators on refining the bill to ensure survivors’ personally identifying information is protected through any tracking system and that survivors, themselves, have access to their information in the system. On Mar. 8, a Senate committee passed the Senate version of the bill, SB 958 (Sen. Jeannie Riddle, R-Fulton).

House bill advances that would require school curricula on sexual harassment, sexual violence and consent
HCS House Bill 2234 (Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston)
Senate Bill 788 (Sen. Jamila Nasheed, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
On Mar. 14, HB 2234 was passed by the House Rules Committee and awaits placement on the House calendar for floor debate. No action occurred in March on the Senate version of the bill, SB 788. These House and Senate bills 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. No hearing has been scheduled on a similar House bill, HB 2285 (Rep. Crystal Quade, D-Springfield).

House and Senate pass bills to require reports to law enforcement of sexual assaults of nursing home and long-term care facility residents
HCS House Bill 1635 (Rep. Mike Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City)
SCS Senate Bill 574 (Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau)
MCADSV supports
On Mar. 15, the House passed and sent HB 1635 to the Senate. The Senate version of the bill, SB 574, was passed by the Senate on Mar. 1 and now awaits a House committee hearing. 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. HB 1635 was amended in the House to include provisions allowing care facility residents to have electronic monitoring devices installed in their rooms. 

House committee combines and passes bills to remove the statute of limitations for sexual offenses against children, cases with DNA evidence processed by a crime lab
HCS House Bill 1987 & 2185 (Rep. Brandon Ellington, D-Kansas City)
MCADSV supports
Two bills to eliminate the statute of limitations on prosecution of sexual offenses against children were combined and passed by a House committee on Mar. 6 as House Committee Substitute for HBs 1987 & HB 2185 (HB 2185 was sponsored by Rep. Clem Smith, D-St. Louis). The bill 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
On Mar. 6, a House committee passed HB 1590. 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
No action occurred on HB 2462 during March. 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.

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. 

HUMAN TRAFFICKING

House-passed bill to set 17 as minimum age to obtain marriage licenses
House Bill 1630 (Rep. Jean Evans, R-Manchester)
MCADSV supports
A Senate committee hearing was held Mar. 14 on HB 1630, which passed the House in February. 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 promoted as a strategy to address human trafficking of teenagers who are coerced or forced into marriage with a trafficker.

Bill to expunge trafficking victims’ convictions for prostitution advanced to House as amendment to Senate juvenile justice bill 
Senate Bill 793 (Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R- Cape Girardeau)
SCS Senate Bill 792 (Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis), substitute not yet available online 
MCADSV supports
A House committee hearing is scheduled for SB 793, which would require children younger than 18 to be prosecuted for most criminal offenses in juvenile courts and not confined in an adult jail unless the child is certified as an adult. In February, the bill was amended by the Senate to also include the provisions of SB 792, which would establish a no-cost process for expungement of criminal convictions for prostitution by those later determined to be “under the influence of an agent.” SB 792 also would increase penalties for promoting prostitution. 

UNPAID LEAVE FROM WORK

No action in March 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
No action occurred in March on SB 739, after a Feb. 21 Senate committee hearing was held. The 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 

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
No hearings have been scheduled for HB 2166. The bill 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