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MCADSV Legislative Update - May 21, 2021
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End-of-session report:
MCADSV achieved great successes in the 2021 legislative session of the Missouri General Assembly 

MCADSV’s advocacy resulted in the passage of our priority legislation with bipartisan support during a 2021 legislative session that had a slow start due to the impact of COVID. Long-sought legislation passed that provides additional protections in law for victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking. Appropriations bills passed that maintain current funding for all victim services grant programs and new funds for a telehealth network for sexual assault victims. The 2021 legislative session of the Missouri General Assembly began Jan. 6 and ended May 14, 2021.

The bills that were "truly agreed to and finally passed" by the General Assembly next will be reviewed by Gov. Mike Parson's office. Gov. Parson 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 social media channels and through The Latest newsletter.

This legislative session, MCADSV gained passage of bills to: 
  • create a rape crisis center tax credit program that also expands the current domestic violence shelter tax credit program—a bill already signed into law by Gov. Mike Parson (HB 430);
  • combine all three protection order priority bills--to include pets in orders, extend the duration of orders, update the stalking definition for orders (SB 71);
  • create unpaid leave from work for domestic and sexual violence victims—a bill sought since 2013 (HB 432);
  • criminalize sexual misconduct by police officers (SBs 53 & 60); and
  • appropriate more than $6 million in new funding for a statewide telehealth network for sexual assault forensic examinations (HB 10).

Another achievement for MCADSV was a historic debate that occurred in the Senate during the last two days of session. Democrat Senators held the Senate floor for more than six hours in a debate about domestic violence and firearms, discussing a domestic violence gun amendment offered by Sen. Lauren Arthur to a bill (HBs 85 & 310) to nullify federal gun laws in Missouri. The amendment failed and the bill passed. 

 
Appropriations

Legislators pass Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) state budget bills that now await governor's actions
On May 7, the appropriations bills that comprise the state FY22 budget passed both the House and Senate. The final budget includes stable funding for domestic and sexual violence grant programs and $6.1 million in federal funding to support a new statewide sexual assault forensic examination telehealth network. No funding for Medicaid expansion was included in the appropriations bills. The state’s Fiscal Year 2022 begins July 1, 2021.  

 

Department of Social Services (DSS)
VOCA funding unchanged, small increase in federal domestic violence funds in “DVSS” grants; no sexual violence grant earmark 

House Bill 11 (Rep. Cody Smith, R-Carthage)
HB 11 contains the line-items for federal and state grant funding for domestic violence and sexual assault services. FY22 federal funding for Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grants remains at $67 million, with $2 million designated for administrative purposes. The other line-items in HB 11 for domestic violence and sexual assault services funding remain mostly unchanged except for: 1) the DVSS and SVSS grant programs will again be funded with state funds (not federal VOCA); 2) the DVSS grants will include a small increase of federal stimulus funds; and 3) there is no earmark for sexual assault state funding, restoring those funds to a total of $750,000.

  • Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) federal funding: $67 million, with $2 million designated for administrative uses (line items 11.205 and 11.210, pages 21-22)
  • Domestic violence (DVSS) state and federal funding: $9.360 million, which includes a small increase in federal Family Violence Prevention and Services Act funding from federal stimulus funding (line item 11.200, page 21)
  • Sexual assault (SVSS) state funding: $750,000, with no earmarks (line item 11.215, page 22)


Department of Public Safety (DPS)
No change in funding for SSVF, STOP and SASP grants

House Bill 8 (Rep. Cody Smith, R-Carthage)
HB 8 contains the line-items for grants that support crime victim services. There are no funding reductions in the DPS grant programs: State Services to Victims Fund and the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) “STOP” and “SASP” grants.

  • State Services to Victims Fund (SSVF) state funding: $2 million (line item 8.035, page 6)
  • VAWA Services, Training, Officers and Prosecution (STOP) and Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) federal funding: $3.294 million (line item 8.040, page 6)


Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS)
New statewide sexual assault telehealth network to be funded with $6.1 million of federal CARES Act funds 
House Bill 10 (Rep. Cody Smith, R-Carthage)
HB 10 contains the line-item for grants to support sexual violence prevention programs and fund a statewide sexual assault telehealth network (line item 10.720, page 34). The Senate passed HB 10 with $6.1 million in new funding to establish a statewide telehealth network for sexual assault forensic examinations in hospitals. There were no changes to the federal funding for grants to support the Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) grant program in HB 10: $792,134.

 


BILLS THAT ARE "TRULY AGREED TO AND FINALLY PASSED"

 

Tax Credits

Governor signs bill into law to create rape crisis center tax credit program, expand domestic violence shelter tax credits
House Bill 430 (Rep. Hannah Kelly, R-Mountain Grove) 
MCADSV supports
In April, Gov. Mike Parson signed HB 430 into law, with an effective date of August 28, 2021. The law will create a new rape crisis center tax credit program with a 50% tax credit that, as of July 1, 2022, increases to a 70% credit for donors of $100 or more. In addition, a parallel 70% tax credit for donations to domestic violence shelters will take effect on July 1, 2022, increasing from the current 50% credit. And finally, as of July 1, 2022, there will no longer be a cap on the amount of these tax credits that can be awarded to donors (the current annual total is $2 million for domestic violence shelters).

No further action occurred on similar tax credit bills. Those bills include:
Senate Bill 155 (Sen. Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester)
House Bill 1109 (Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, R-Arnold)
House Bill 1129 (Rep. Willard Haley, R-Eldon)
HCS House Bill 1095 (Rep. Dick Deaton, R-Noel)

 

Orders of Protection

MCADSV’s priority protection order bills pass: adds pets in orders, lifetime orders, stalking updates 
Senate Bill 71 (Sen. Elaine Gannon, R-DeSoto)
MCADSV supports
On May 3, legislators in the House and Senate voted to “truly agree to and finally pass” SB 71. The bill contains provisions from several Order of Protection bills. SB 71 would allow judges to award possession of pets in Orders of Protection, would allow protection orders to be issued for two to 10 years, and up to a lifetime order against a respondent (HB 744: Rep. Lane Roberts, R-Joplin and SB 415: Sen. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston)), and would update the requirements for law enforcement entry of protection order data into both state and federal databases. The final version of SB 71 also includes HB 292 (Rep. Lane Roberts, R-Joplin) that would update the definition of stalking for protection orders: “acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through a third party follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person by any action, method, or device.”

Finally, two amendments were added to clarify sections of family law: 1) an update to child custody/visitation law to correct the references to other intersecting statutes (Section 452.410 RSMo.); and 2) clarification that a parent, guardian ad litem, or juvenile officer can appeal any order changing or modifying the placement of a child (Section 211.161 RSMo.).

 

Law Enforcement, Sexual Assault

Far-reaching law enforcement, crime and judiciary bill passes with provisions supported by MCADSV
Senate Bills 53 & 60

(Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, SB 53) (Sen. Brian Williams, D-St. Louis, SB 60)
MCADSV supports
On May 13, legislators passed and sent the governor a 170-page, final version of SBs 53 & 60. The multi-provision bill includes its original law enforcement accountability provisions as well as section related to a range of other government systems. 

SBs 53 & 60 retains many original sections, including:

  • New crime of sexual conduct in the course of public duty: provisions that would create this criminal offense by a law enforcement officer with a detainee, prisoner or offender (also passed in SB 26); 
  • Ban of police choke holds: prohibiting law enforcement officers’ use of chokeholds unless deadly force is authorized by law; and 
  • Confidentiality of crime-stoppers reports: protecting the identify of those who report alleged criminal acts to a “crime stoppers” organization through providing privileged communications status to those reports.  
Among the other sections in the final version of SBs 53 & 60 are:
  • Statewide sexual assault telehealth network: clarifications to current law, passed in 2020 and effective in 2023, about training medical providers to implement/continue the statewide telehealth network to ensure every Missouri hospital can provide a sexual assault survivor with a forensic evidence exam (HB 1179: Rep. Hannah Kelly, R-Mountain Grove; SB 550, Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis);
  • “Raise the age” juvenile bill: the provisions would fully implement state law that raised the age of juveniles to those who are younger than age 18 from younger than age 17 (HB 1242: Rep. David Evans, R-West Plains);
  • Changes to protection order law: new sections on protection orders—include pets, extend the duration of orders, update the stalking definition for orders—that passed in SB 71 (Sen. Elaine Gannon, R-De Soto);
  • Prohibiting jailing juveniles with adults: expansion of prohibitions on jailing juveniles in adult jails/prisons pre-trial, pending judgement or appeal (Section 211.072 RSMo.)—this would bring Missouri into compliance with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA);
  • Alternative community-based sentencing for primary caretakers of children: establishes a community corrections program in Department of Corrections to promote local sentencing alternatives and community-based treatment programs for non-violent offenders who are the primary caregivers of their dependent child(ren) (HB 531: Rep. David Evans, R-West Plains);
  • Federal stimulus funds to be used for court-ordered restitution: directs that offenders should make court-ordered restitution payments from any money they receive from federal stimulus and/or COVID-related funds (SB 374: Sen. Luetkemeyer); and 
  • No cost feminine hygiene products in prisons/jails: requires that free, sufficiently available feminine hygiene products are provided to female offenders confined in any correctional center or jail (HB 318: Rep. Bruce DeGroot, R-Ellisville). 
 

Similar law enforcement bills that include the sexual conduct on public duty crime and failed to pass: 
House Subs &titute for HCS House Bill 876 (Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin)
House Committee Substitute for House Bills 457 & 770 (Rep. Dogan: HB 457; and Rep. Jo Ann Doll, D-St. Louis: HB 770).

 

Unpaid Leave

Unpaid leave for domestic and sexual violence victims and update to telehealth network for sexual assault evidence exams pass in multi-provision child welfare bill
House Bill 432 (Rep. Hannah Kelly, R-Mountain Grove) 
MCADSV supports
HB 432, a multi-provision bill primarily focused on child welfare, was finally passed on May 13. Sections of the bill would provide unpaid leave for a victim of domestic or sexual violence if their employer has at least 20 employees. The leave could be used to get health care, recover from injury, obtain victim services/counseling/legal services, and to participate in safety planning. The unpaid leave sections also include family or household members of victims as eligible for the unpaid leave. These unpaid leave provisions are similar to legislation sought by MCADSV since 2013 and were included in Senate Bill 16 (Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis). 

HB 432 also has sections that include:
  • Statewide sexual assault telehealth network: the same provisions as passed in SBs 53 & 60;and); and
  • Unaccompanied/homeless youth services: increasing unaccompanied and homeless youth’s access to services by modifying child abuse reporting law so the youth's status as an unaccompanied youth is not the sole cause for making a hotline report (HB 1276: Rep. Patricia Pike, R-Adrian).

 

BILLS OF INTEREST THAT ARE "TRULY AGREED TO AND FINALLY PASSED"

 

HIV Prevention/Treatment

Legislators pass bill to allow pharmacists to dispense HIV post-exposure medication without a doctors’ prescription
House Bill 476 (Rep. Derek Grier, R-Chesterfield)
On May 6, HB 476 was finally passed and sent to the governor. HB 476, primarily focused on licensure of various professions, includes the added provisions to increase access to HIV-related medications. Those sections allow post-exposure HIV medication to be dispensed by pharmacists without a physician’s prescription—this is the content of HB 370 (Rep. Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Peters) and SB 79 (Sen. Greg Razer (D-Kansas City). The bill requires pharmacists to prescribe the medication in accordance with written protocols from a physician, and in accordance with CDC guidelines. 

 

Child Welfare

Bill passes to regulate religious reform/boarding schools for children
House Bills 557 & 560 (Rep. Rudy Veit, R-Wardsville; Rep. Keri Ingle, D-Lee’s Summit)
On May 13, legislators passed and sent the governor HB s 557 & 560, which will end Missouri’s status as one of only two states without any regulations of “religious” residential children’s boarding/reform schools. The bill would require religiously based children’s residential homes to be regulated by the Department of Social Services, to conduct background checks on staff, and to be inspected for compliance with local health and safety regulations. 

 

BILLS THAT FAILED

 

Firearms

Bills fail that would restrict firearms from domestic violence offenders, protection order respondents
House Committee Substitute for House Bill 473  (Rep. Ron Hicks, R-Dardenne Prairie)
MCADSV supports
HB 473 failed to pass. The bill would replicate in state law the two domestic violence firearms prohibitions in current federal law: the prohibition of firearm possession by those convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors and those with full Orders of Protection in effect against them. Two similar bills, House Bill 40 (Rep. Richard Brown, D-Kansas City) and Senate Bill 144 (Sen. Doug Beck, D-St. Louis) have not had committee hearings this session. 

However, Senators debated an amendment on domestic violence and firearms for six hours, a historic marker of the longest period of time for such a discussion. 
On May 13, Democrat Senators held the Senate floor for more than six hours on a debate/discussion about domestic violence and guns. The historic discussion was initiated by an amendment from Sen. Lauren Arthur (D-Kansas City) to include in Missouri law the federal law prohibiting gun possession by those convicted of domestic violence misdemeanor crimes. 

The amendment was to a bill (HBs 85 & 310), titled the “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” that prohibits the enforcement of federal gun laws in Missouri. Sen. Arthur’s domestic violence amendment failed in the Senate, and, after another brief discussion about domestic violence and guns on the House floor the next day, the bill passed on May 14. 

 

Sexual Assault

Bill fails that would update Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights
Senate Bill 463 (Sen. Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester)
MCADSV supports
SB 463 failed to pass. The bill was filed to correct and enhance certain sections of the 2020 Missouri law that created the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights. Among its many provisions, the bill would update definitions, extend survivors’ rights to have an advocate or support person present with them, and clarify the sexual assault response processes and responsibilities in medical, legal and court systems.

 

Orders of Protection

Bill fails that would add “coercive control” to protection order law
House Bill 427 (Rep. Raychel Proudie, D-Ferguson)
MCADSV supports
HB 427 failed to pass. The bill would add to protection order law an additional definition of abuse by including actions of “coercive control.” The bill also would add another element of abuse by including actions of “disturbing the peace” of a protection order petitioner. 

 

Child Custody

Bills fail to establish presumption for 50/50 child custody
Senate Committee Substitute for House Bill 299 (Rep. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau)
Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 459 (Sen. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville)
MCADSV monitoring
HB 299 and SB 459 failed to pass. Both bills would create a rebuttable presumption in favor of 50/50 custody in all child custody cases, with exemptions for domestic violence victims. 

Two similar 50/50 custody bills failed to pass that also contain additional sections that would limit spousal maintenance awards in divorce cases: Senate Committee Substitute for SB 199 (Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring) and HB 947 (Rep. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau).  

 

Public Assistance

Bills fail that would increase penalties/denial of food stamp benefits for recipients not in compliance with 30-hour per week work requirements
House Committee Substitute for House Bill 217 (Rep. Chad Perkins, R-Bowling Green)
Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 138 (Sen. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville)
MCADSV opposes
Bills that would limit eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food stamp benefits fail to pass. Both bills would increase penalties and loss of SNAP food assistance benefits for nonexempt adults who fail to meet 30-hour/week work requirements. The penalties for work noncompliance would increase the loss of SNAP benefits from three months to six months to a lifetime loss of eligibility.  


Bill fails to link food stamp eligibility to cooperation with child support enforcement 
House Bill 451 (Rep. Dottie Bailey, R-Eureka)
HB 451 failed to pass. The bill would require cooperation with Child Support Enforcement for an adult parent or non-custodial parent/caretaker, to be eligible for SNAP food assistance benefits. The occurrence of domestic violence is a “good cause exemption” from child support cooperation that can be granted by the Missouri Division of Family Services. Victims are not always informed of this.  


Bill fails that would reduce Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits if children of household not in school for 90% of school days
House Bill 247 (Rep. Jeff Porter, R-Montgomery City)
MCADSV opposes
HB 427 failed to pass. The bill would reduce TANF benefits by 65% for six months for families whose children did not attend school for 90% of the school days in the prior six months. The bill exempts excused absences from the calculation of school attendance. Missouri Family Support Division would be required to check school attendance every six months for families receiving TANF benefits.

 

Local Nuisance Orders

Bill fails that would prohibit “nuisance” ordinances from penalizing domestic and sexual violence victims’ calls for emergency assistance
House Bill 426 (Rep. Raychel Proudie, D-Ferguson)
MCADSV supports
HB 426 failed to pass. The bill would prohibit cities or counties from passing ordinances that would classify as “nuisance” any calls for law enforcement or emergency assistance by residents, tenants or landlords who are victims of abuse or crime. The bill would allow a civil suit to be filed against a unit of local government by a victim who was penalized under a nuisance ordinance for making calls for assistance. Previously, some local ordinances did allow eviction or other penalties for tenants who made repeated calls for law enforcement assistance, including violence victims, by including the calls in the definition of a local nuisance.

 

Crime Victims' Compensation

Bill fails that would clarify eligibility for family members’ counseling services after homicide/victims’ death
House Bill 1105 (Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove, D-Kansas City)
MCADSV supports
HB 1105 failed to pass. The bill would clarify that survivors of a homicide or deceased crime victim are eligible for Crime Victims’ Compensation for counseling services, even if they do not reside in the same household. The new definition would be: "Survivor", the spouse, parent, legal guardian, grandparent, sibling or child of the  deceased victim [of the victim's household] at the time of the crime.” The brackets delete the words in current law. 

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ONLINE RESOURCE LINKS FOR 2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

The links below will provide online access to information on bills, legislators, committees and actions of the Missouri General Assembly during the 2021 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” field to find bills

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