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MCADSV Legislative Update - March 30, 2019
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March brought momentum and action on MCADSV priority bills 

Several MCADSV priority bills gained momentum and support during March, and the Fiscal Year 2020 state budget passed the House with no funding reductions in grant programs for domestic and sexual violence services. Two long-sought measures advanced during the month when committees passed bills that would: 1) increase housing rights for DV/SV victims by allowing them to terminate leases; and 2) allow victims of DV/SV and stalking to take unpaid leave from work to obtain services, and legal or medical assistance. MCADSV continued to work on legislation that would impose a standard of 50/50 custody in all child custody cases, seeking to exempt domestic violence victims and their children from the provision.

MCADSV’s advocacy during March included efforts in concert with public and private colleges and universities to oppose legislation that would significantly change campus proceedings to address sexual assault allegations brought under Title IX. That legislation gained attention and controversy as the proponents of Title IX bills hired nearly 30 lobbyists to help the bills pass. Other bills opposed by MCADSV did not advance in March, specifically those that would limit usage and access to public assistance benefits.

Mid-March marked the halfway point of the 2019 legislative session, and no new bills were able to be filed after March 1. The Missouri House of Representatives has filed 1,255 bills and the Senate has filed 518 bills. The General Assembly was on Legislative Spring Break from March 18-22 and returned to session on March 25.

Appropriations

House passes all Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bills
On Mar. 28, the House passed and sent to the Senate all appropriations bills for state departments’ Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) budgets (July 1, 2019—June 30, 2020)no amendments were made to victim services funding. The bills include either an increase in domestic and sexual violence services funding or level funding from the current fiscal year.

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 FY20 state budget by May 10.


HCS House Bill 11: Department of Social Services (DSS)
Sexual assault services: $910,000, unchanged from Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19)
       • $750,000 state funds and $160,000 federal funds 
Domestic violence services: $10.556 million, unchanged from FY19
       • $5 million state funds and $5.556 million federal funds
Emergency shelter grants: $562,137, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) federal funds, unchanged from FY19
Victims of Crime Act (VOCA): $63.7 million, an $18 million increase from FY19 
       • “VOCA initiatives:” $18 million in VOCA funds are requested for appropriation to 13 projects

HCS House Bill 8: Department of Public Safety (DPS) 
State Services to Victims’ Fund (SSVF): $2 million, unchanged from FY19
Services, Training, Officers and Prosecution (STOP) and Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) grants: $3.29 million federal funds, unchanged from FY19
Crime Victims’ Compensation programs: These funds support direct compensation to victims, the Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) program, and the child abuse forensic exam fund:
       • $2.61 million state funds (matching funds for federal)
       • $4.06 million federal crime victims’ funds
       • $4.837 million federal crime victims’ compensation fund

HCS House Bill 10: Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) 
Rape Prevention and Services Act (RPE): $964,215 federal funds, a slight increase from FY19

 

ACTIONS ON PRIORITY LEGISLATION


Title IX/Higher Education

House committee passes bill that would dramatically change process, procedures and venue for Title IX complaints and hearings
HCS House Bill 573 (Rep. Dean Dohrman, R-La Monte)
Senate Bill 259 (Sen. Gary Romine, R-Farmington) 
MCADSV opposes
On Mar. 12, a House committee amended and passed HCS HB 573 by a vote of 11-6. The House committee substitute includes 23 changes.  Having passed the House Rules Committee on Mar. 14, HCS HB 573 awaits placement on the House floor calendar for debate. SB 259 is on the Senate floor calendar for debate. The lengthy bills, which target Title IX complaints made for rape or sexual assaults, would allow both due process hearings and appeals filings before the Administrative Hearing Commission. These, and other procedures, would remove the Title IX process from an educational setting to a state hearing process governed by the rules of civil procedure. Other provisions allow for new grievance filing procedures for those accused of offenses and would allow a student to file a lawsuit against a college or university on the basis that the institution did not provide due process in a Title IX proceeding as required in the bill. MCADSV and public and private Missouri colleges and universities continued during March to work together in opposition to Title IX bills, noting to lawmakers that the primary campus processes to be changed by the legislation deal with allegations of sexual offenses. Supporters of SB 259 and HCS HB 573 have summarized the bills’ impact as protection of due process rights of students accused in complaints made under Title IX of the Federal Education Amendments. Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs.

Bill would require campus student organizations to designate mandated reporters for reports of domestic and sexual violence
House Bill 131 (Rep. Chris Carter, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV monitoring
No action occurred on HB 131 during March. MCADSV will meet with the bill sponsor to discuss possible unintended negative consequences of HB 131. The bill would require that every public university or college require all student organizations receiving funding from the institution to designate one member of the organization’s “leadership” as a mandated reporter of any student reports of domestic violence or sexual assault. That designated student reporter than would be required to report to the university or college personnel responsible for Title IX complaints and investigations.

 

Housing Rights

Senate committee advances bills that would allow lease termination and other housing rights to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking
SCS Senate Bill 60 (Sen. Lauren Arthur, D-Kansas City)
Senate Bill 404 (Sen. Jamila Nasheed, D-St. Louis)
HCS House Bill 243 & 544  (Rep. Jim Neely, R-Cameron)
House Bill 683 (Rep. Raychel Proudie, D-St. Louis) 
MCADSV supports
On Mar. 28, a Senate committee hearing was held on HCS HB 243 & 544 and no opposition was voiced. On Mar. 7, a Senate committee voted to pass a committee substitute for SB 60 and it is now on the Senate floor calendar for debate. Both bills would allow victims of stalking, domestic and sexual violence to terminate their leases when documentation of their victimization, or risk of victimization if they remain in the dwelling, is provided to a landlord. The documentation could be a police report, protection order or statement from a service provider. The bills also would provide victims with protections from eviction or lease termination. The bills 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. No hearings have been held for SB 404 or HB 683. 

 

Child Custody

House committee passes 50/50 child custody House bill; Senate bill awaits Senate debate
HCS House Bill 229 (Rep. Kathy Swan, R-Cape Girardeau)
Senate Bill 14 (Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau)
MCADSV opposes
On Mar. 7, the House Rules Committee passed HCS HB 229 by a vote of 5-3 and it now awaits placement on the House floor calendar for debate.  SB 14 continues to await Senate floor debate. SB 14 and HCS HB 229, similar to previous bills filed by the same bill sponsors for several years, would establish a legal presumption that it is in the best interest of children that judges award 50/50 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.


Unpaid Leave From Work

Senate committee passes bill to allow unpaid leave from work for domestic and sexual violence victims to obtain assistance and attend court 
SCS Senate Bill 178 (Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis), Senate committee substitute not yet available online
House Bill 944 (Rep. Gina Mitten, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
On Mar. 7, a Senate committee hearing was held on SB 178. The committee then passed the bill as a Senate committee substitute on Mar. 28 by a vote of 7-1. No action occurred during March on HB 44. SCS SB 178 would allow unpaid leave from work for employees who are victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault if their employer has at least 20 employees. Employers would be able to cap unpaid leave at one week/year if there are at least 20 employees, and two weeks/year if there are 50 or more employees. Employees would be required to give employers 48 hours' notice, if possible, and would be allowed to use leave time to obtain support services, go to court/legal proceedings obtain medical care, etc. Employers would be required to notify employees of these rights to unpaid leave. 

 

Non-consensual distribution of private sexual images

House hearing held on bill to correct 2018 law criminalizing “nonconsensual distribution of private sexual images” 
House Bill 925 (Rep. Jim Neely, R-Cameron)
MCADSV supports
On Mar. 25, a House committee hearing was held on HB 925 and no opposition was voiced. The bill would correct an error in the 2018 law criminalizing “nonconsensual distribution of private sexual images” by clarifying that the offense is against a person, not an image of a person.

 

Victim Assistance

Hearing held on bill to allow DV/SV victims to get one-time free copy of birth certificates
House Bill 1135 (Rep. Chris Dinkins, R-Annapolis)
On Mar. 26, a House committee hearing was held on HB 1135. The bill would allow the one-time waiver of costs for obtaining a copy of a birth certificate for victims of domestic violence, abuse and/or sexual assault. These documents, which are often left behind when individuals flee violent partners or situations, are commonly purchased for survivors by domestic violence shelters or domestic and sexual violence programs. MCADSV staff are working with Rep. Dinkins on some clarifying amendments to HB 1135 and expect a committee substitute.

 

Poverty

Senate bill to increase food stamp work requirements awaits floor action 
Senate Bill 4 (Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville)
House Bill 475 (Rep. Hannah Kelly, R-Mountain Grove)
MCADSV opposes
No legislative action occurred on SB 4 or HB 475 during March.  The bills would increase work requirements and non-compliance penalties for those who receive food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The additional SNAP work requirements would, for lack of work compliance, penalize SNAP recipients—including children in the household—from food stamp eligibility for a range of three months to permanent disqualification. 

House committee vote pending on bill prohibiting use of TANF or SNAP benefits cards to obtain cash
HCS House Bill 474 (Rep. John Eggleston, R-Maysville)
House Bill 475 (Rep. Hannah Kelly, R-Mountain Grove)
MCADSV opposes
No action occurred in March on HCS HB 474 or HB 475. The bills would prohibit public assistance and food stamp recipients from using their electronic benefit cards to obtain cash from their benefit accounts for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and/or SNAP. The bills also would create new disqualifications from TANF or SNAP for purchases of prohibited goods. Since 2017, MCADSV has opposed similar legislation because cash is still required to meet many basic needs of those living in poverty. 

Senate floor debate awaits on bill to increase work requirements for Medicaid recipients 
SCS Senate Bill 76 (Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville)
No action occurred on SCS SB 76 during March. The bill would increase work requirements for able-bodied adults to remain eligible for Medicaid health care coverage. SCS SB 76 contains exemptions in the bill from the work requirements for domestic violence victims. SCS SB 76 would require Medicaid recipients to use this system to document their work activities. Similar recent Medicaid work requirements coupled with call center failures in Arkansas led to loss of Medicaid coverage for thousands of work-compliant, eligible recipients.

 

Human Trafficking

Senate hearings held on bills to strengthen child trafficking laws
Senate Bill 361 (Sen. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane)
HCS House Bill 397 (Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, R-Arnold)
MCADSV supports
On Mar. 7, SB 371 had a Senate committee hearing and was passed on Mar. 13. On Mar. 27, HCS  HB 397 had a hearing before the same Senate committee. The bills would provide an affirmative defense to the charge of prostitution for anyone younger than 18, without the current law’s requirement that the young person be acting “under the influence of an agent.” Both bills would allow expungement of prostitution convictions for persons convicted of the offense when they were younger than 18—provisions supported by MCADSV in past legislative sessions.

 

Orders of Protection

Amendment needed for initial language in bill to specifically include pets in Orders of Protection
House Bill 370 (Rep. David Gregory, R-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports with amendment
No action occurred on HB 370 during March. The intent of HB 370 is to allow those seeking Orders of Protection to gain legal custody and protection of their pets from the person who has harmed them. MCADSV proposes that HB 370 be amended so that custody and control of pets is specifically included in the law detailing the relief a court could grant to a petitioner through a protection order. 

Hearing cancelled on bill that would require victims to make police reports to be able to obtain an Order of Protection
House Bill 839 (Rep. Dottie Bailey, R-Eureka)
MCADSV opposes
HB 839 was originally scheduled for a hearing on Mar. 25. However, the bill sponsor requested to cancel the hearing after discussions with MCADSV. HB 839 would require a person seeking an Order of Protection to make a police report in order to be eligible to file the petition for the protection order. The bill would require, in Section 455.020 RSMo, “Such petition shall be accompanied by a police report that details the incident that prompted the order of protection petition.”

 

Firearms

Bill would prohibit gun possession by domestic violence offenders and protection order respondents
House Bill 960 (Rep. Tracy McCreery, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
No action occurred on HB 960 during March. HB 960, similar to bills filed for several years by Rep. McCreery, 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 bill was filed on Feb. 14.

Bill would allow judges to order surrender of firearms through Orders of Protection and prohibit firearm possession by domestic violence offenders and protection order respondents
Senate Bill 41 (Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
No action occurred on SB 41 during March. SB 41 would modify the crime of unlawful possession of a firearm by including those who are convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense during the previous five years or who is the respondent to a Full Order of Protection. The bill also would require that, upon conviction for any domestic violence offense, a court must order the respondent to surrender any firearms in his or her possession to local law enforcement authorities. The content of SB 41 is similar to legislation supported by MCADSV in 2018.

Bills would amend unlawful possession of firearms crime by adding gun possession by domestic violence offenders and protection order respondents 
Senate Bill 94 (Sen. Scott Sifton, D-St. Louis)
House Bill 163 (Rep. Richard Brown, D-Kansas City)
MCADSV supports
No action occurred on SB 94 and HB 163 during March. The crime of unlawful possession of a firearm would be amended by SB 94 and HB 163 to include those who are convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors and those who are respondents to Full Orders of Protection. The content of these bills is similar to legislation supported by MCADSV in 2018.

Bills would create “extreme risk protection orders” to allow courts to order surrender/seizure of guns
Senate Bill 42 (Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis)
House Bill 40 (Rep. Deb Lavender, D-St. Louis)
House Bill 545 (Rep. Alan Green, D-Florissant)
House Bill 695 (Rep. Ian Mackey, D-St. Louis) 
MCADSV supports
No action occurred on these bills during March. SB 42, HB 40 and House Bill 545 each would establish a new type of protection order to require the surrender of firearms by persons found by a court to be at extreme risk of harming themselves or others. A family or household member of the person, or a law enforcement officer or agency, could file for the order. As with current protection orders, the court could issue an immediate Ex Parte order and would be required within 14 days to hold a hearing on issuing a Full Extreme Risk Order of Protection. Respondents to the order would be required to surrender their firearms to a local law enforcement agency or they could be seized by a law enforcement officer after a search. A gun seizure warrant could be issued if the respondent to the order did not surrender firearms as ordered. Those with orders issued against them could file a motion to have them modified or rescinded. SB 42 and HB 40 would establish extreme risk protection orders within the current protection order statutes in Chapter 455. HB 545 would establish create the orders in Chapter 571. All bills would make it a felony offense for a person subject to an extreme risk protection order to possess a firearm.

Bill would establish “firearms restraining orders” similar to extreme risk protection orders
Senate Bill 23 (Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
No action occurred on SB 23 during March. SB 23 would create “firearms restraining orders” which would be similar by function and structure to the extreme risk protection orders in SB 42, HB 40 and HB 545. The firearms restraining orders in SB 23 would be established in Chapter 455, which contains current laws protection orders for domestic and sexual violence, dating violence and stalking.

 

Sexual assault

Bill to create Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights and extends some statutes of limitations for prosecution of sexual offenses
House Bill 760 (Rep. Cora Faith-Walker, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
No action occurred on HB 760 during March. HB 760 would create a “Survivor’s Bill of Rights” which specifies the rights of a person who was victimized by a sexual offense. The rights include: being able to shower onsite after a forensic exam; being provided with a sexual assault advocate or support person, contraception, clean clothes after a hospital exam, and copies of police reports; the right to an attorney and protection from prosecution for an alcohol or drug offense based on evidence from a forensic exam. The bill would extend the statute of limitation for prosecution of a sex offense to within 10 years if the victim reported the offense within three years of its occurrence. 

Bill to create the Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies (CARE) Act
House Bill 800 (Rep. Ian Mackay, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supports
No action occurred on HB 800 during March. HB 800 would establish the standard of care for any health care facility that provides emergency care to a sexual assault victim by requiring victims be informed of, and when requested, provided emergency contraception at the hospital and provided prophylactic treatment after HIV/STI screening based on federal protocols. The Department of Health and Senior Services would be required to create rules to implement these provisions. HB 800 is similar to bills supported by MCADSV for several years.

Bill would require hospitals to provide sexual assault forensic exams; allows Telehealth services
Senate Bill 456 (Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis)
SB 456 was introduced on Feb. 27 and no action occurred on the bill in March. The bill would require hospitals located within 50 miles of a college or university to provide sexual assault forensic evidence exams if a sexual assault victim requests and consents to one. SB 456 would allow the use of telehealth services to provide guidance and support through a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), or other similarly trained physician or nurse, who shall observe the live forensic examination and communicate with and support the onsite provider. MCADSV is conferring with the bill’s sponsor and the Missouri Hospital Association on possible amendments to SB 456.

 

 

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ONLINE RESOURCE LINKS FOR 2019 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

The links below will provide online access to information on bills, legislators, committees and actions of the Missouri General Assembly during the 2019 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” menu to find bills

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