Missouri State Senate

Introduced

SB 531 - The act removes references to the Missouri State Highways and Transportation Commission from statute and transfers any remaining powers of the Commission to the Superintendent of the Highway Patrol. A provision is removed that requires the Superintendent, members, and certain employees of the Patrol to give bond approved by the Commission.

Under this act, the Superintendent shall no longer be required to reside in Jefferson City or provide an annual report of the activities of the Patrol, in addition to the cost of such activities, to the Governor and the commission. The provision requiring the board of public buildings to provide offices for the Highway Patrol General Headquarters in Jefferson City is also repealed. This act modifies the staffing and administrative requirements that the Superintendent must meet at the general headquarters and troop headquarters.

The act requires the Superintendent to divide the state into troops, rather than districts, and assign members to such troops.

When members of the Patrol collect witness fees for testifying in civil cases, such fees shall be deposited into the fund from which the employee or member's position is funded, rather than being transmitted to the division of collection in the Department of Revenue.

Under this act, the Superintendent shall have the authority to direct members and other employees of the Patrol to carry out any public safety duty or service authorized or appropriated by the General Assembly.

This act allows an arrested person to be brought before a judge or his or her designee, rather than only the judge.

This act requires the Highway Patrol, at the direction of the Governor, to conduct name or fingerprint background investigations of gubernatorial appointees. The Governor's directive shall state whether such background investigation shall be a name or fingerprint background investigation. If a fingerprint background investigation is ordered, the appointee must submit a set of fingerprints. These fingerprints and the accompanying fees are forwarded to the Highway Patrol to search the state criminal history repository and the FBI for a national criminal background check.

In addition to the name and fingerprint background investigations, the Highway Patrol may, at the Governor's direction, conduct other investigations to determine if an applicant or appointee has paid his or her required taxes and establish the person's suitability for positions of public trust.

The background investigations may include criminal history record information and other source information obtained by the Highway Patrol. The information received by the Highway Patrol is confidential and shall not be disclosed except to the Governor or necessary members of the Governor's staff.

Currently, an entity making a request, as required by law, for criminal history record information that is not based on a fingerprint search must pay a fee of not more than $5 per request. Entities making requests not required by law cannot be charged more than $10. Under this act, an entity cannot be made to pay more than $9 dollars for such a request regardless of whether required by law. However, after January 1, 2010, the Superintendent of the Highway Patrol may increase the fee by not more than $1 per year. Under no circumstances shall the fee exceed $15 dollars per request.

Currently, an entity making a request for criminal history record information that is based on a fingerprint search must pay a fee of not more than $14 per request when such request is required by law. When not required by law, the entity may be charge not more than $20 for such request. Under this act, an entity cannot be charged a fee of more than $20 dollars for criminal history record information based on a fingerprint search, unless the request is required by the concealed carry endorsement statute, in which case, the fee shall be $14.

This act allows any state agency to require an applicant to provide fingerprints in specified occupations for the purposes of positive identification and receiving criminal history record information when determining the applicant's ability to serve in such an occupation.

In order to do so, the applicant or employee must submit a set of fingerprints. These fingerprints and the accompanying fees are forwarded to the Highway Patrol to search the state criminal history repository and the FBI for a national criminal background check. All records related to any criminal history information discovered shall be accessible to the state agency making the request.

Certain provisions of this act are similar to HCS/SB 873 (2006).

SUSAN HENDERSON MOORE

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