The Missouri House has passed a plan to make the Capitol safer for those who work and visit it.
One provision of House Bill 784 would allow the Speaker of the House and the Senate President Pro Tem to appoint marshals in their respective chambers. These marshals would have at least five years of experience in law enforcement, be licensed as a peace officer, and have to have continued training as required by the Missouri Peace Officer Standards and Training commission.
Bill sponsor Lane Roberts (R-Joplin), a former Joplin Police chief and former director of the Department of Public Safety, said the agencies responsible for Capitol security are “fragmented” and the legislature needs a security force that falls under its control.
Another provision would move control of the Capitol Police out of the Department of Public Safety and to a new Capitol Police Board. Representative Ron Hicks (R-St. Charles) has been working on this plan for several years. He shares Roberts’ concern that the public officials who work in the Capitol have no say in its security.
The new Capitol Police Board would be made up of members appointed by the House Speaker, the Senate President, the Governor, the Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court, and the chair of the State Capitol Commission.
If you renew the license plates on your vehicle after August 28* you might not have to get it inspected, under a bill signed into law this month.
Senate Bill 89 will extend from five to ten years the age of a vehicle before it must be inspected every two years, as long as it has fewer than 150,000 miles on it.
That provision was sponsored by Representative J. Eggleston (R-Maysville). He had discussed vehicle inspections with a former representative who wanted to eliminate them altogether. Eggleston initially thought that would go too far, but after doing some research, he felt that there was little connection between requiring regular inspections and ensuring that vehicles on the roads are safe.
Eggleston said the change in law would apply to roughly half of the vehicles that currently would have to be inspected and a third of the total number of vehicles on the road today.
The proposal cleared both chambers, but was met with vocal opposition from some lawmakers who thought it would make Missouri roads less safe. St. Louis representative Donna Baringer (D) said one can look at how many cars are on Missouri roads with expired temp tags to see that people won’t be responsible enough to get vehicle inspections.
Baringer said she doesn’t think vehicles in states that don’t require inspections are as safe as those in states that do, regardless of what statistics might show. She said she sees evidence of that daily in cars that cross into her St. Louis district from neighboring Illinois.
Eggleston’s original bill, HB 451, passed out of the House in March, 102-45.
SB 89 also includes provisions that require the revocation of the driver’s license of a person who hits a highway worker or emergency responder in a work or emergency zone; and require that all homemade trailers be inspected.
An earlier version of this story said the vehicle inspection law changes take effect January 1, 2020. It was learned that provision was not included in SB 89, so the changes take effect August 28, 2019.
The state House has backed off of a proposal to eliminate vehicle inspections in Missouri. Instead it proposes that inspections would not be required until a vehicle is 10 years old or has more than 150,000 miles on it.
An earlier version of House Bill 451 would have done away with inspections for non-commercial vehicles in Missouri. Bill sponsor J. Eggleston (R-Maysville) said he knew his colleagues had a lot of concerns about that idea, so he reworked it.
Eggleston said he talked to more than 100 House members from both parties about their issues with the bill before arriving at the current language. It would push back from 5 years to 10 the age at which regular inspections of a vehicle must be done, and creates the requirement that inspections begin when a vehicle has 150,000 miles on it.
Many lawmakers said they were pleased with the changes and Eggleston’s efforts to step back from his original proposal, but some still opposed the bill.
“How did you make it back here? It must have been dodging all those terrible vehicles that don’t get inspections that are just falling apart constantly. How did you make it back to this body?” a sarcastic Chipman asked.
“You know, it really didn’t look a whole lot different [from] our state,” said Eggleston.
Eggleston stressed that school bus inspections in Missouri would not be changed under his legislation, and used cars will face the same inspection requirements they do now.
The House voted 102-45 to send his bill to the Senate.
The Missouri House has advanced a proposal to join 35 other states in eliminating the requirement that motor vehicles be inspected in order to be licensed.
House Bill 451 is sponsored by Maysville Republican J. Eggleston, who said when the idea was introduced to him he was opposed to it. Then he started doing research and found himself convinced that eliminating the state’s vehicle inspection program wouldn’t make Missouri roads any less safe.
Eggleston said in his research he found no direct correlation between whether a state requires inspections and the number of crashes that occur there or how high its insurance rates are. He said the 15 states that still require inspections actually have a slightly higher rate of fatal accidents.
Eggleston said eliminating the program would lift significant burdens from Missourians, who pay $30-million a year in inspection fees, and must take time off from work and make other sacrifices to get inspections done.
Boonville Republican Dave Muntzel said based on reports to the Missouri Highway Patrol from vehicle inspections done in the state, 18-percent of vehicles 5 or more years old do not pass inspection, and 25-percent of vehicles 10 or more years old don’t pass.
Representative Donna Baringer (D-St. Louis) said no one came to testify in favor of this bill before a House committee but many people came from throughout the state to testify against it. She noted that in 2017, 15 people died in accidents related to vehicles with safety defects; and more than 15-thousand people were cited for failure to register a vehicle with the Department of Revenue.
Missouri House Democrats say the fight against opioid abuse is about more than passing a statewide prescription drug monitoring program. They today unveiled a slate of legislation that would attack the problem by addressing a number of other issues.
Democrats continue to support passage of a statewide prescription drug monitoring program to track the use of prescription narcotics. Such legislation has advanced farther through the legislative process in each of the past few sessions, but fallen short of passage. Last year St. Louis Democrat Fred Wessels sponsored such legislation that was combined with a bill sponsored by Sikeston Republican Holly Rehder and fell just short of final passage. Both representatives will sponsor such legislation again this year.
In addition, Democrats have filed bills that would require pharmacies to post information about methods and locations for the safe disposal of unused medication; require for medical professionals with prescribing authority at least four hours of training on the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs and recognizing addiction in patients; require the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to mirror federal regulations for prescribing opioids for chronic pain; require insurance coverage of medication assisted treatment and remove insurer-proposed barriers to addiction services; establish a sterile needle and syringe exchange pilot program; require the Show-Me Healthy Babies program to cover substance abuse treatment for women up to one year post-partum; and expand the use of CBD or hemp oil to include being used as a pain management alternative for those with a history of opioid abuse.
Mitten is sponsoring the bills that deal with safe disposal of abused prescription medication and additional training for prescribers.
Missouri is the only state in the nation without a statewide prescription drug monitoring program. Many counties in the state are participating in a program initially launched in the St. Louis region, and Governor Eric Greitens (R) signed an executive order creating a tracking program for some prescription information handled by one benefits provider.
The legislation discussed today by House Democrats is for the 2018 legislative session, which begins January 3.
A state House member wants to expand on a Missouri law passed in 2014 that allows the use of hemp oil to treat intractable epilepsy to allow the use of that substance in treating other conditions.
Representative Donna Baringer (D-St. Louis) sponsors House Bill 937, which would allow the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil to treat several “serious conditions” as specified in the bill. That list includes cancer, HIV, AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple sclerosis, spinal cord damage, inflammatory bowel disease, as well as other diseases or their symptoms.
The bill would also drop the requirement that a patient’s epilepsy be intractable – defined by the 2014 law as epilepsy that has not responded to three or more treatment options – before he or she may use CBD oil as a treatment.
Baringer testified for the 2014 legislation, House Bill 2238. She told the House Committee on General Laws she wants to expand on that bill after learning that only 64 of about 11,000 eligible Missouri patients are using CBD oil to treat their epilepsy.
The committee heard from John Curtis, the production director for BeLeaf, one of the cultivators of CBD oil licensed by Missouri. He said HB 937 would ease what he called a “bottleneck,” that has resulted in so few patients in Missouri using CBD oil.
He said that bottleneck begins with the 2014 law’s requirement that a neurologist recommend CBD oil for a patient, and only for patients with intractable epilepsy.
HB 937 would change Missouri law to allow a physician to recommend CBD oil for a patient rather than specify that a neurologist must make the recommendation.
The bill would also allow a greater level of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) allowed by law in hemp oil – .9% by weight. The current limit is .3% by weight.
Baringer said increasing the limit on the amount of THC would also allow the treatment of more conditions with CBD oil, and it will still not give a patient a “high.”
HB 937 would also allow the state to issue 10 licenses for the cultivation of cannabis. Currently only two may be issued. Baringer said with only two cultivators in the state, many Missouri users of CBD oil are getting it from out-of-state suppliers.
The committee also heard from Sandra Davis of Imperial who had been using opioid pain relievers after surgery for oral cancer, and then began using CBD oil. She said before using CBD oil she was in so much pain she could not eat or talk, and her doctor was about to put her on a feeding tube.