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MCADSV Legislative Update - May 29, 2019

End-of-session edition: May legislative actions

The Missouri General Assembly adjourned its 2019 legislative session on May 17 after a last week of Senate filibusters prevented final votes on several bills of interest to MCADSV. Legislators passed a total of 101 bills, including two MCADSV priority bills that passed during the final days of the session: housing rights for victims and the technical fix to the 2018 "revenge porn" law. In the state budget for Fiscal Year 2020, MCADSV was able to secure a federal funding increase while gaining legislators’ support to remove spending earmarks from those victim services grants; state funds for domestic and sexual violence services remained at current appropriations levels.

As much as the passage of priority bills and funding increases are clear markers of legislative success, so also is MCADSV’s 2019 advocacy that halted the passage of harmful legislation. MCADSV was able to forestall the passage of bills that would have: dramatically changed campus Title IX proceedings for sexual assault investigations; weakened protections for victims of domestic violence and their children by establishing a 50/50 custody standard for all child custody cases; and increased work requirements for individuals seeking food and health care through public assistance programs. 

MCADSV continues to receive broad bipartisan support for many legislative issues which is a success to celebrate, but lawmakers did not take action on several priority bills that would have: restricted firearms from domestic violence victims; provided unpaid leave from work for victims of rape, abuse or trafficking; and allowed the one-time issuance of birth certificates without charge to domestic and sexual violence victims.

Bills passed by legislators and signed into law by the Governor will go into effect on August 28, 2019, unless otherwise noted in the legislation. 


Final state budget adds $18 million in Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant funds; level funding maintained for other domestic/sexual violence grants 
The Missouri General Assembly passed the state Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) budget when the Senate cast the final votes during the early morning hours of May 10. 

Federal funding for the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant program increased by $18 million in the budget for the Department of Social Services (DSS). All other existing state and federal grant programs’ funding remained unchanged from current levels in the FY20 budgets for the Departments of Public Safety (DPS) and Health and Senior Services (DHSS). One-time state funding was added in the DSS budget for a St. Louis City pilot housing program intended for sex trafficking victims; no existing funding was decreased through the addition of that project.

The appropriations bills advance to review by Gov. Mike Parson. The Governor has the authority to take various actions for all appropriations passed by legislators: he can sign the budget bills into law as passed; veto a line-item of funding; or withhold funding contained in a line-item in a department’s budget. 

Conference Committee Substitute for SCS HCS House Bill 11: Department of Social Services (DSS)
Victims of Crime Act (VOCA): $63.7 million, an $18 million increase from Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) 
New funds required to be distributed through competitive grants; no earmarks 
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
Sexual assault services
: $910,000, unchanged from FY19
        $750,000 state funds and $160,000 federal funds 
       • Housing/support services pilot project: earmarked funds for St. Louis City (sponsored by Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis)
$250,000 state funds; one-time funding for pilot project in St. Louis
                A House/Senate conference committee compromise agreed to this funding intended for transitional housing and life skills programming for victims of sex trafficking                 This funding does not decrease any existing sexual violence services grant funds

Conference Committee Substitute for SCS 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
Conference Committee Substitute for SS SCS HCS House Bill 10: Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) 
Sexual Violence Victim Services, Awareness and Education Program: $792,134, Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) federal funds, unchanged from FY19


Bills that passed


Housing rights and non-consensual distribution of private sexual images

Bill passes to create domestic violence/sexual assault/stalking victims’ housing rights and correct “revenge porn” law error
SCS HCS House Bill 243 & 544  (Rep. Jim Neely, R-Cameron)
MCADSV supported
With broad bipartisan support, HB 243 & 544 passed on May 17. The bill would provide housing rights protections for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking—allowing victims to terminate leases and have protections from eviction or denial of tenancy. The bill would allow victims to terminate their leases with documentation provided to landlords and would allow a landlord to request a “reasonable termination fee” for terminating a lease. HB 243 & 544 also contains the technical corrections to the 2018 law that created the offense of nonconsensual distribution of private sexual images that was originally contained in HB 925 (Rep. Jim Neely, R-Cameron).

Two Senate bills that contained the housing rights provisions failed to pass:  SB 60 (Sen. Lauren Arthur, D-Kansas City) and SB 37 (Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis). No action occurred during legislative session on similar housing rights bills, SB 404 (Sen. Jamila Nasheed, D-St. Louis) and HB 683 (Rep. Raychel Proudie, D-St. Louis). 



Omnibus children’s issues bill passes, sent to Governor; retains original child sex trafficking sections
Conference Committee Substitute for SS for SCS HCS House Bill 397 (Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, R-Arnold)
MCADSV supported
HB 397 was passed on May 16 and sent to the Governor. The omnibus bill retains the section that would allow expungement of prostitution convictions for persons convicted of the offense when they were younger than 18 or was under 18 and acting under coercion. HB 397 also contains a host of child-focused amendments drawn from 11 separately filed bills. The bills included in the “truly agreed to and finally passed” version of HB 397 are summarized here: Bill summary. These include measures dealing with: child fatality reviews’ confidential records (SB 305), child care facility licensure (SB 336), health insurance for children in foster care (SB 514), medical treatment for disabled infants (SB 406), changes to the Amber Alert system (SB 145), child support enforcement data systems (SB 277), notice of right to file objection to child relocation (SB 83), health care in child support orders (SB 448), offense of prostitution in the first degree (SB 37), limitations on sex offender residences near child care facilities (SB 386), and due diligence to find family members prior to foster home placement (SB 440).



Abortion bill passes and is signed into law by Gov. Parson: New law makes no exceptions for rape, incest, abuse, or human trafficking 
Senate Substitute for SCS HB 126 (Rep. Nick Schroer, R-O’Fallon)
MCADSV monitored
HB 126 passed on May 17 and Gov. Mike Parson signed it into law on May 24. This new law bans abortion after eight weeks without exceptions for victims of rape, incest, abuse or human trafficking. Supporters acknowledge the legislation/state law is specifically designed to provide a court challenge to the legality of abortion. Opponents identify the lack of exceptions for rape or incest as an element in an expected lawsuit to challenge the new Missouri law as unconstitutional.

For almost 40 years, MCADSV has worked with lawmakers at the federal and state level to develop public policies necessary to protect the health and safety of victims of domestic and sexual violence. Our public policy work has been—and will always be—focused on the needs of survivors and supporting the service providers that assist them. We understand that survivors of rape, incest, human trafficking and abuse deserve access to a range of healthcare and well-being options. Survivors know better than anyone the need for options for their long-term health and well-being, for themselves and their families who live with the impact of trauma.


Bills that failed


Victim Assistance

Bill failed to pass that would provide free birth certificate for domestic/sexual violence victims, homeless youth
HCS House Bill 1135 (Rep. Chris Dinkins, R-Annapolis)
MCADSV supported
HB 1135 failed while awaiting a final vote in the Senate. The bill would allow the one-time waiver of costs for obtaining a copy of a birth certificate for victims of domestic violence, abuse, sexual assault and for unaccompanied youth, homeless children/youth.


Child Custody

Bills failed to create rebuttable presumption for 50/50 child custody  
SCS HCS House Bill 229 (Rep. Kathy Swan, R-Cape Girardeau)
Senate Bill 14 (Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau)
MCADSV opposed
HB 229 and SB 14 failed to pass. HB 229 was amended in the House to include compromise language on domestic violence—it would have established domestic violence as a primary cause to rebut the presumption that it is in the best interest of children for judges to award 50/50 parenting time to both parents in all custody cases. SB 14 did not contain the compromise language on domestic violence.


Title IX/Higher Education

Bills fail after news stories reveal lobbyist's son expelled from school in Title IX case
SS Senate Bill 259 (Sen. Gary Romine, R-Farmington), Senate Substitute not available online
HCS House Bill 573 (Rep. Dean Dohrman, R-La Monte)
MCADSV opposed
SB 259 and HB 573 failed. Legislative support for these Title IX bills lessened after news stories revealed the main lobbyist and backer of the bills has a son who was expelled from a Missouri university as a result of a Title IX investigation. Each of 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.

Bill failed to require mandated reporters designated in campus student groups
House Bill 131 (Rep. Chris Carter, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV monitored
HB 131 failed. 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.



Bills failed that would increase food stamp work requirements  
Senate Bill 4 (Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville)
House Bill 475 (Rep. Hannah Kelly, R-Mountain Grove)
MCADSV opposed
SB 4 and HB 475 failed. 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 a lifetime ban. 

Bills failed that would prohibit 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 opposed
HB 474 and HB 475 failed. 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. Since 2017, MCADSV has opposed similar legislation because cash is still required to meet many basic needs of those living in poverty. 

Bill fails to pass that would increase work requirements for Medicaid recipients 
SCS Senate Bill 76 (Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville)
MCADSV opposed
SB 76 failed. It 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.


Unpaid Leave From Work

Bills failed that would allow unpaid leave from work for domestic and sexual violence victims
SCS Senate Bill 178 (Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis), Senate Committee Substitute not available online
House Bill 944 (Rep. Gina Mitten, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supported
SB 178 and HB 944 each failed to pass. The bills would allow unpaid leave from work for employees who are victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault 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.


Orders of Protection

No action on bill that would specifically include pets in Orders of Protection
House Bill 370 (Rep. David Gregory, R-St. Louis)
MCADSV supported with amendment
HB 370 failed. It would allow those seeking Orders of Protection to gain legal custody and protection of their pets from the person who has harmed them.

Bill failed that required police reports prior to seeking a protection order
House Bill 839 (Rep. Dottie Bailey, R-Eureka)
MCADSV opposed
HB 839 failed. It 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. MCADSV advocacy with the bill's sponsor led to her request to cancel the hearing on HB 839. 



Domestic violence gun bill fails after positive responses in House hearing
House Bill 960 (Rep. Tracy McCreery, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supported
HB 960 failed to pass but did have positive responses from legislators during a House committee hearing that featured the powerful testimony of advocates from MCADSV member programs. HB 960 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. 

No action on bill that would allow courts to order domestic violence offenders' surrender of firearms
Senate Bill 41 (Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supported
SB 41 failed. It 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. 

Bills fail that would add domestic violence offenders to unlawful possession of firearms crime 
Senate Bill 94 (Sen. Scott Sifton, D-St. Louis)
House Bill 163 (Rep. Richard Brown, D-Kansas City)
MCADSV supported
SB 94 and HB 163 failed. Both bills would amend the crime of unlawful possession of a firearm to include those who are convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors and those who are respondents to Full Orders of Protection.

No action on bills that 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 supported
SB 42, HB 40, HB 545 and HB 695 failed. Each of the bills 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. All bills would make it a felony offense for a person subject to an extreme risk protection order to possess a firearm.

Bill fails that would establish “firearms restraining orders”
Senate Bill 23 (Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supported
SB 23 failed. It would create “firearms restraining orders” which would be similar by function and structure to the extreme risk protection orders in SB 42, HB 40, HB 545 and HB 695. 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 fails
House Bill 760 (Rep. Cora Faith-Walker, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supported
HB 760 failed. It 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. 

Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies (CARE) Act fails
House Bill 800 (Rep. Ian Mackay, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supported
HB 800 failed. It 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.

No action on bill that would require hospitals to provide sexual assault forensic exams
Senate Bill 456 (Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis)
MCADSV supported
SB 456 failed. It 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.





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