The bill is in response to instances of abuse in Missouri, such as those coming to light from the Agape Boarding House in Stockton. Adams was a victim of abuse at a facility in Mississippi that was run by a couple who later operated a facility in Missouri.
Missouri schools and teachers would receive a number of boosts in the state spending plan approved last week by the legislature; a state budget that is one of the largest ever. The final total proposed to go to K-12 schools exceeds $10-billion.
Black, who was an agriculture teacher throughout his career, was excited by proposed increases to match programs to benefit career technical schools. Local districts could upgrade equipment or facilities if they come up with 25-percent or 50-percent of the cost.
Burnett said she was glad to see this level of support proposed for Missouri K-12 education. She said past years, when less money was appropriated, were like when she was teaching and would be confronted by an angry parent.
Black and other lawmakers stressed that much of the funding in the spending plan comes from non-recurring sources, like federal stimulus and COVID response. Part of the challenge in appropriating that money is in finding targets that will give schools the best chance of long-term benefit, rather than supporting programs that might go unfunded in future years when those funding sources aren’t available.
The Fiscal Year 2023 budget would also provide grants or reimbursements of up to $1,500 to parents and guardians to cover tutoring and other services meant to catch up K-12s students who fell behind due to the COVID pandemic, and would provide pay increases to providers of the Parents as Teachers and First Steps programs.
That spending plan is now before Governor Mike Parson (R). If he approves it, it would take effect July 1.
The Missouri House has passed legislation aiming to allow people to keep getting multiple tax breaks when trading in more than one vehicle on a new one.
The chamber’s Republicans say the language of House Bill 1 will allow Missourians to keep doing what they’ve been doing and say it will help all consumers. Many House Democrats voted for the bill, though some in that caucus decried it as “corporate welfare” and said it was a topic unworthy of a special session.
The House voted today, 126-21, to send the bill to the Senate.
Governor Mike Parson (R) called a special session to coincide with today’s annual veto session to deal with the issue in response to a Missouri Supreme Court ruling in June. The Court said state law allows a tax break to be awarded only on one vehicle, when multiple vehicles are traded in toward a new one.
Ruth argued that the law needed to be clarified, and addressing it in a special session makes sure no eligible vehicle trades will happen without the award of tax credits, thanks to a window of 180 days before or after a new vehicle purchase in which to offset the owed sales tax.
Haahr said he has asked members of his caucus to research what some other cities in the nation have done to reduce violent crime, with the aim of preparing a legislative proposal for the regular session that begins in January.
As for Medicaid enrollment, Haahr said decreases in enrollment are due to factors including an improved economy and changes in 2016 to the Affordable Care Act (ACA); and a review of Medicaid eligibility that has seen ineligible recipients being taken off the program’s rolls. He said if a need for hearings on the issue is presented to him, he will call for them.
The Missouri House voted to override the governor’s vetoes of four items in the state operating budget that became law in July. The Senate has opted not to take up those items for consideration, so the governor’s vetoes will stand.
The House voted to override Governor Mike Parson’s (R) vetoes on line-items that support juvenile advocacy units in the Kansas City and St. Louis offices of the state public defender; time-critical centers for heart attack and stroke patients in Missouri hospitals; independent reviews by the Office of Child Advocate of local offices that serve troubled youths; and the oversight of grants to organizations that serve the deaf and blind. The four items totaled more than $785,000.
House budget leaders said those items will be brought up for consideration when the legislature meets again in January, for the start of its regular session.
The House voted only on five budget items during its annual veto session, which began and ended Wednesday. On the fifth budget item, $50,000 for grants to law enforcement agencies for the purchase of tourniquets for officers, the House fell short of the constitutional majority needed for an override.
Money for inspections of state-certified heart attack and stroke trauma centers
House Budget Committee Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick (R-Shell Knob) said after the governor vetoed money to fund inspections and certification of time-critical trauma centers for heart attack and stroke patients, his administration then said those inspections would be conducted anyway. Fitzpatrick said he wants to see the inspections continue, but for them to be funded by pulling money from parts of the budget not intended for them violates the role of the legislature in the budget process.
Money for Office of Child Advocate review of local abuse investigations
$100,000 for the Office of Child Advocate would pay for two people that St. Charles Republican Kurt Bahr said would conduct a thorough review of how child abuses cases are processed. He said the office needs those two additional staff members to keep up with that extra work.
Money for oversight of grants to organizations serving Missouri’s deaf and blind
The $45,000 for the Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing would pay for a person to oversee grants to organizations serving the deaf and blind. That position was created as part of House Bill 1696 passed in 2016, which was sponsored by Representative Lyle Rowland (R-Cedarcreek). He said those grants have been fully funded for the past two years.
Money for public defenders for juveniles in Kansas City and St. Louis
Fitzpatrick said the $487,000 for juvenile advocacy units in the St. Louis and Kansas City offices of the public defender system would ensure that the constitutional right to counsel for juveniles in those regions would be met.
The state House has voted twice this session to relax Missouri’s law requiring that helmets be worn by motorcycle riders.
Members voted earlier this month to pass House Bill 576, and on Tuesday voted for an amendment to Senate Bill 8, both containing the same language. They would allow riders 21 and older who have completed a motorcycle safety course or who have had their motorcycle license for at least two years to ride without a helmet if they have insurance.
Missouri legislators have for years debated easing the state’s helmet law. While both measures received favorable votes, the issue stirs passion in both proponents and opponents, and both sides of the issue are bipartisan.
The amendment to SB 8 was offered by Cedar Hill representative Shane Roden, who said he rides motorcycles himself. He said he would wear a helmet most of the time even if the law is changed, but he wants the freedom to ride without it.