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MCADSV End-of-Session Legislative Update - May 20, 2016
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MCADSV achieved great successes in the 2016 legislative session of the Missouri General Assembly 

MCADSV’s advocacy resulted in the passage of our priority legislation with bipartisan support during a legislative session in which the Missouri General Assembly filed more bills than any other session in history. Legislation passed that maintains current funding for all victim services grant programs and that provides additional protections in law for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence, trafficking, stalking, elder abuse and child abuse. The 2016 legislative session of the Missouri General Assembly began on January 6 and ended on May 13, 2016.

The bills that were passed by the General Assembly now move to Gov. Jay Nixon's office. Gov. Nixon can veto or sign into law any of the passed legislation. MCADSV does not anticipate vetoes on our priority legislation, but we will keep you updated on this process on our Facebook page and through The Latest newsletter.


These issues were addressed in MCADSV priority bills that were passed by the Missouri General Assembly and sent to the Governor:

  • Protection orders expanded to allow victims to retain cell phone plans separate from their abusers in family plans
  • Sex trafficking offenses enhanced with added element of advertising a person for sexual activities
  • Victim notification required for victims of domestic violence misdemeanor crimes about all court processes/offender release information
  • College/university MOUs required with local law enforcement agencies for responses to domestic, dating and sexual violence, stalking
  • Child custody laws revised with compromise language that did not weaken domestic violence protections 
  • Domestic violence crime reporting clarified for law enforcement agencies
  • Anti-bullying and youth suicide prevention policies and responses required for schools 
  • Stalking crimes were bolstered with added element for aggravated/first degree stalking 
  • Trafficking victims added to Safe at Home address confidentiality program
  • Forensic evidence in child sex abuse cases restricted for privacy protections 
  • Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month established for February
  • Elder abuse laws corrected and expanded to include element of bullying, including cyber-bullying
  • Expungement process expanded for convictions—excludes domestic and sexual violence offenses



Appropriations

Gov. Jay Nixon signed all Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations bills into law on May 6—bills that maintained current funding levels for all domestic and sexual violence grant programs. Those bills were passed by the Missouri General Assembly on April 21. The funding will be effective for the state Fiscal Year 2017 that begins July 1, 2016.

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)
    • 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)
  • 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. 


Priority legislation that PASSED


PROTECTION ORDERS AND CELL PHONE PLANS 

Senate Bill 838: passed on April 20
Sponsor: Sen. Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City
MCADSV supports
SB 838 allows Full Orders of Protection to include provisions so victims can retain their cell phone numbers and wireless services contracts separate from family plans with their abusers. SB 838 provides that, after notice of a protection order with this provision, wireless companies have three business days to transfer family plan contracts solely to victims. 
Status: SB 838 was “truly agreed to and finally passed” on April 20. The bill awaits the Governor’s signature to become law. 

SEX TRAFFICKING OFFENSES, SAFE AT HOME PROGRAM AND VICTIM PROTECTIONS

House Bill 1562: passed on May 10
Sponsor: Rep. Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield
MCADSV supports, gained amendments 
HB 1562 was one of the few bills in the 2016 session that was passed with unanimous votes in the House and Senate. The final version of HB 1562 contained additional provisions that were originally filed as multiple MCADSV priority bills. As passed, HB 1562 includes the following: 

  • Sex trafficking offenses: Adds to current adult and child sex trafficking offenses the element of advertising the availability of an adult or child for sexual activities (original content of HB 1562);
  • Safe at Home program: Adds trafficking victims to the Safe at Home address confidentiality program that currently provides an alternate legal mailing address for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking (HCS SB 888: Sen. Gina Walsh, D-St. Louis); 
  • Stalking offenses: Adds an element to the crime of aggravated stalking (stalking, first degree, as of January 2017) the attempt to obtain the address/contact information of a participant in the Safe at Home program (SB 886: Sen. Walsh); and 
  • Forensic evidence in child sexual abuse cases: Places restrictions on access to forensic evidence in child sexual abuse criminal cases (SCS HCS HB 2202: Rep. Marsha Haefner, R-St. Louis).

Status: HB 1562 was “truly agreed and finally passed” on May 10. The bill awaits the Governor’s signature to become law.


CAMPUS RESPONSES TO SEXUAL AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE; DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRIME REPORTING, VICTIM NOTIFICATION

Senate Bill 921: passed on May 12
Sponsor: Sen. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane
MCADSV supports, gained amendments
SB 921 was passed with multiple MCADSV priority provisions that originally had been filed as separate bills. These include: 

  • Domestic violence crime reporting: Clarifies requirements for law enforcement agencies to report incidents of domestic violence, whether or not an arrest is made, and domestic violence homicides/suicides for compilation in the Uniform Crime Reports by the Department of Public Safety (original content of SB 921, and HB 1930: Rep. Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton);
    • These DV crime reporting provisions also were contained in the truly agreed and finally passed version of SB 732: Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown;
  • Campus responses to domestic and sexual violence: Requires colleges and universities to develop detailed MOUs with local law enforcement agencies on responses to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking (HB 1678: Rep. Sheila Solon, R-Blue Springs; and SB 1085: Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg);
  • Victim notification: Requires notification of victims of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses, in additional to victims of felony crimes, of all court proceedings and offender release actions involving the offense against them (HB 2133: Rep. Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton);
  • Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month: Designates the month of February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in Missouri (HB 2481: Rep. Donna Pfautsch, R-Harrisonville); 
  • Crime Victims’ Compensation program: Allows Crime Victims’ Compensation program payments for services to crime victims provided by Board-certified psychiatric mental health clinical nurse specialists and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (HB 1403: Rep. Jeanne Kirkton, D-St. Louis).

Status: SB 921 was “truly agreed and finally passed” on May 12. The bill awaits the Governor’s signature to become law. 


ABUSE OF ELDERLY, DISABLED, VULNERABLE PERSONS 

House Bill 2332: passed on May 13
Sponsor: Rep. Kevin Corlew, R-Kansas City
MCADSV supports
HB 2332, a multi-provision bill that updates the revised Criminal Code, adds firefighters, EMTs and all first responders as legally mandated reporters of elder and vulnerable person abuse. MCADSV gained an amendment to the bill that reinstates a long-standing provision of law, mistakenly omitted from statutes, to clarify that no mandatory reports are required for suspected abuse of the 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.
Status: HB 2332 was “truly agreed and finally passed” on May 13. The bill awaits the Governor’s signature to become law. 

Senate Bill 732: passed on May 12
Sponsor: Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown
MCADSV monitored/gained amendment
SB 732, an omnibus bill addressing a range of emergency response issues, contains a section that added an element of bullying, including cyber-bullying, to the offense of elder abuse. The bill also contains the provisions on domestic violence crime and homicide reporting that were passed in SB 921.
Status: SB 732 was “truly agreed and finally passed” on May 12. The bill awaits the Governor’s signature to become law. 


CHILD CUSTODY AND VISITATION 

House Bill 1550: passed on May 10
Sponsor: Rep. Jim Neely, R-Cameron
MCADSV monitored, gained amendments
HB 1550 was passed as a significant compromise from earlier versions that would have required “50/50 shared parenting” in custody and visitation cases. The final version of HB 1550 requires written notice to divorced parents on the availability of Family Access Motions to address visitation issues. The bill also increases parents’ access to information on the development of parenting plans and requires a judge to issue written findings of fact in cases when the parents cannot agree on child custody, child support and visitation. Earlier versions of related legislation weakened protections for domestic violence victims in custody cases, but none of those provisions are contained in the final version of HB 1550.
Status: HB 1550 was “truly agreed and finally passed” on May 10. The bill awaits the Governor’s signature to become law.

Note: “50/50 shared parenting” child custody and visitation bills that failed:

  • SB 964: Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau; and
  • HB 2055: Rep. Kathy Swan, R-Cape Girardeau


SCHOOL ANTI-BULLYING AND YOUTH SUICIDE PREVENTION PROGRAMS 

House Bill 1583: passed on May 11
Sponsor: Rep. Sue Allen, R-Town and Country
MCADSV supports
HB 1583 expands the anti-bullying and youth suicide prevention policies required of all school districts. The final version of HB 1583 changes the definition of harassment as an aspect of bullying as actions that are “repetitive or is substantially likely to be repeated.” HB 1583 contains language MCADSV proposed to allow student peer-to-peer programs and initiatives as part of school anti-bullying programs. In addition, HB 1583 contains youth suicide prevention and awareness requirements for school districts and teacher training: 1) By July 1, 2018, each district must adopt a policy with strategies that can help identify students who are at possible risk of suicide; and 2) requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to develop guidelines for up to two hours of youth suicide awareness and prevention training for teachers as part of professional development required for teacher certification. The youth suicide prevention provisions were originally filed as SB 646: Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis.
Status: HB 1583 was passed “truly agreed and finally passed” on May 11. The bill awaits the Governor’s signature to become law. 


PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS 

Senate Bill 607: passed on May 12
Sponsor: Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville
MCADSV monitored
SB 607 establishes a “Joint Committee on Public Assistance” comprised of legislators who will hold hearings and study all public assistance programs in Missouri. The committee will meet during the interim before the 2017 legislative session. SB 607 also requires the Department of Social Services (DSS) to contract with a business that would conduct eligibility reviews for public assistance applicants, including TANF, food stamps, child care assistance and MO HealthNet. DSS retains the authority to make all final determinations of an applicant’s eligibility for public assistance programs and benefits.
Status: SB 607 was “truly agreed and finally passed” on May 12. The bill awaits the Governor’s signature to become law. 


EXPUNGEMENT OF CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS 

Senate Bill 588: passed on May 11
Sponsor: Sen. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield
MCADSV monitored/gained amendments
SB 588 establishes an expanded expungement process that seals the public records of criminal convictions through a court process. MCADSV gained amendments to the bill that do not allow expungement of domestic violence misdemeanor and felony offenses, including violations of Orders of Protection. Expungement of convictions for sexual offenses are not allowed. SB 588 allows expungement of one felony conviction per lifetime after five years with no other convictions and expungement of up to two misdemeanor convictions after three years with no other convictions.
Status: SB 588 was “truly agreed and finally passed” on May 11. The bill awaits the Governor’s signature to become law. 

QUALIFICATIONS FOR EXPERT WITNESSES

Senate Bill 591: passed on April 27
Sponsor: Sen. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar
MCADSV monitored
SB 591 changes the legal standards of qualification as an expert witness. MCADSV gained an amendment to the bill that 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 “truly agreed and finally passed” on April 27. The bill awaits the Governor’s signature to become law. 


Priority legislation that passed in other bills

TRAFFICKING AND SAFE AT HOME PROGRAM

Senate Bill 888
Sponsor: Sen. Gina Walsh, D-St. Louis
MCADSV supports
The content of SB 888 passed in HB 1562. It adds victims of human trafficking to the Safe at Home address confidentiality program. 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRIME VICTIMS' RIGHTS

House Bill 2133
Sponsor: Rep. Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton
MCADSV supports
The content of HB 2133 passed in SB 921 and requires that victims of misdemeanor domestic assault crimes, in addition to victims of felony crimes, receive notification of all court proceedings and offender release actions involving the offense against them.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRIME REPORTING

Senate Bill 1085
Sponsor: Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg
MCADSV supports
The contents of HB 1678 and SB 1085 passed in SB 921. It require colleges and universities to develop detailed MOUs with local law enforcement agencies on responses to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. 

CONFIDENTIALITY OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE FORENSIC EVIDENCE 

House Bill 2202
Sponsor: Rep. Marsha Haefner, R-St. Louis
MCADSV supports
The content of HB 2202 passed in HB 1562. It provides additional restrictions on the sharing of photos or recordings obtained in child abuse forensic examinations or investigations, requiring court orders for sharing the information, and adding these materials to those that are redacted from public court records. 

TEEN DATING VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH 

House Bill 2481
Sponsor: Rep. Donna Pfautsch, R-Harrisonville
MCADSV supports
The content of HB 2481 passed in SB 921. It designates the month of February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in Missouri. 

Priority legislation that FAILED

UNPAID LEAVE FOR DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE VICTIMS 

Senate Bill 907 
Sponsor: Sen. Gina Walsh, D-St. Louis
MCADSV supports, gained amendments
SB 907 would have allowed unpaid leave from work for victims of domestic and sexual violence to attend legal/court proceedings and obtain needed services. MCADSV negotiated a compromise on the bill that gained the support of industry groups, but the Missouri Chamber of Commerce remained opposed to SB 907. The compromise retained the legal right for employees to take unpaid leave but removed provisions in the bill that specifically allowed a "private cause of action" for employees to sue their employers if they were fired for taking unpaid leave. 
Status: SB 907 never advanced from a Senate committee. 

 

HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE POSTERS 

House Bill 2561
Sponsor: Rep. Cloria Brown, R-St. Louis
MCADSV supports
HB 2561 would have required some businesses to display posters with information on the national trafficking hotline (1-888-373-7888) and other resources for victims of human trafficking. The types of businesses that would have been required to do so included airports, truck stops, bus stations, strip clubs, emergency rooms, etc.  
Status: HB 2561, which was passed by the House and a Senate committee, failed to pass the General Assembly.


CRIMINAL CODE REVISIONS 

Bills that failed with Criminal Code revisions and elder abuse provisions:


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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