House Committee Substitute

HCS/SCS/SB 631 - The act modifies provisions relating to agriculture.


The act provides that the laws of the state do not give equal or greater rights, privileges, or legal status to animals than that which is given to people under the law. The act does not limit animal welfare laws.

This section is identical to HB 1513 (2012).


The act designates the month of December as "Pet Breeders Appreciation Month."


Currently, the Wood Energy Tax Credit program may not authorize further tax credits after June 30, 2013. This act allow tax credits to be authorized under this program until June 30, 2018. This act also prohibits more than $4,500,000 in tax credits under this program in any fiscal year.

This section is identical to SB 748 (2012) and similar to the same section in SCS/SB 548 (2012).


Under current law, a producer is eligible to receive payments from the Missouri Qualified Biodiesel Producer Incentive Fund for 60 months unless it fails to receive the full amount due to a lack of appropriations, in which case it is eligible for up to 24 additional months. This act removes the 24-month limitation and allows a producer's eligibility to receive payments to continue indefinitely until the full amount has been received.

This section is identical to HCS#2/HB 1462 (2012) and SCS/HB 1073 & HCS/HB 1477 (2012).


The act requires the State Board of Education to establish standards for agricultural education that may be adopted by a private school. The standards must be sufficient to allow a private school to apply to host a local chapter of a national agricultural education association. These local chapters at private schools are not eligible to receive state or federal funding for agricultural vocational education and the private schools must annually reimburse the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for its administrative costs.

This section is similar to HB 1953 (2012) and SCS/HB 1073 & HCS/HB 1477 (2012).


The act provides that agriculture is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri's economy. Individuals have the right to raise livestock in conformance with state and local laws in effect as of either August 28, 2012, or the start date of their livestock operations, whichever is later. The act does not limit any authority of the state veterinarian or Department of Agriculture to carry out their functions.

This section is similar to HCS/HB 1324 (2012).


The act requires the State Fair Commission to permit livestock breeders and qualifying 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) members to exhibit livestock at the Missouri State Fair. The act also requires the governing bodies of any national, state, or local fair, exposition or pet show at which livestock or domestic animals are exhibited, to permit livestock breeders, pet owners, and qualifying 4-H and FFA members to exhibit their animals. The act gives authority to the State Fair Commission and governing bodies of fairs, expositions, or pet shows to establish rules and fees for their events.

These sections are identical to HCS/HB 1363 (2012).


This act allows University of Missouri extension councils to form extension districts made up of cooperating counties for the purpose of funding extension programming. An extension district can be a single-council district or a consolidated district, which would consist of two or more extension councils. A majority vote of each participating council is required to form an extension district.

In a single-council district, the existing University of Missouri extension council will serve as the extension district's governing body. In a consolidated district, the governing board will consist of three to five representatives appointed by each participating council. The powers and authorities granted to a district's governing body are described in the act.

The governing body of a district may submit a question to the voters of the district to institute a property tax levy in the district's counties. A property tax levy cannot exceed thirty cents per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation. In a single-county district, the property tax levy will be imposed if a majority of the voters vote in favor of it. In a consolidated district, the property tax levy will be imposed if a majority of the voters in each county in the district approves it. If one county does not approve it, the council in that county may withdraw from the district by a majority vote; upon such withdrawal, the district would be made up of the remaining counties and the tax would be imposed on them. However, if the county that did not approve the tax does not withdraw from the district, then the tax will not be imposed.

A single-council district for which a tax has not been levied may be dissolved in the same manner in which it was formed. A county may withdraw from a consolidated district at any time by filing a petition, as described in the act, with the circuit court having jurisdiction over the council. The court must hear evidence on the petition, and if it determines it is in the best interest of the county inhabitants, it must submit the question to the voters at the next general municipal election. If two-thirds of the voters vote in favor of withdrawing from the district, the court must issue an order withdrawing the county from the district. However, the withdrawal will not become effective until the following January 1 and the district will remain intact for the purposes of paying all outstanding and lawful obligations and to dispose of the district's property.

The governing body of any district may seek voter approval to increase its current tax rate, provided the tax will not exceed thirty cents per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation. The governing body must submit such a question to the voters at the next general municipal election. In a single-council district, if a majority of the voters in the county approve the question, the tax will be imposed. In a consolidated district, a majority of voters in the district is required.

This section is identical to SCS/SB 865 (2012).


No law or ordinance may prohibit rodeos in the state except that this provision is not meant to supercede local zoning ordinances or limit reasonable restrictions placed on time, place, or manner for rodeos. Rodeo promoters may set fees and rules for the rodeo events.

This section is identical to HCS/HB 1364 (2012).


The act requires the Department of Agriculture to develop and maintain a website to facilitate the purchase of Missouri agricultural products by international buyers. The department is authorized to contract this function out to a private website developer, who must have experience with search engine optimization. Requirements for the website and sellers are provided in the act. The department may terminate a contract for failure by the contractor to operate under guidelines for the project developed by the department.

This section is similar to HB 1793 (2012).


Under current law, certain manufacturers and processors of animal feed are by definition not considered grain dealers under the Missouri Grain Dealer law if, among other things, such individuals do not purchase more than $100,000 worth of grain a year. This act replaces the $100,000 threshold with a 50,000 bushel threshold.

This section is similar to SCS/HB 1073 & HCS/HB 1477 (2012).


Under current law, it is considered theft of motor fuel to pump fuel into a vehicle at a gas station and then leave the premises without paying. This act also makes it theft of motor fuel to dispense or remove motor fuel from a 10-gallon or greater storage tank at a residence, farm, or on agricultural property without permission. This does not apply to the retrieval of stolen motor fuel.

This section is similar to HB 1194 (2012) and HB 1195 (2012).


Under current law, the total gross weight of a vehicle or combination of vehicles hauling livestock on U. S. Highway 36 from St. Joseph to U. S. Highway 65 and on U. S. Highway 65 from the Iowa state line to U. S. Highway 36 cannot exceed 85,500 pounds. This act removes the references to the specified highways and expands the weight limitation to agricultural products so that any vehicle or combination of vehicles hauling livestock or agricultural products (excluding local log trucks) may have a total gross weight not to exceed 85,500 pounds on any highway of this state. The expanded gross weight limits shall not apply to vehicles operated on the interstates. Any vehicle hauling greater than 80,000 pounds must apply annually for a permit from the Department of Transportation and pay a $25 fee. Upon renewal, the applicant must submit a list of roads traveled and the number of miles traveled on each road during the year. The act also allows a vehicle weighing 85,500 pounds or less to haul milk from a farm to a processing facility on highways other than the interstate highway system.

This section is identical to HCS/HB 1212 (2012).

SECTION 537.345 TO 537.351 - TRESPASSING

The act modifies trespassing laws. It adds a definition for "trespasser," which is any person who enters onto property without permission or invitation regardless of whether or not notice of trespass is given or if the property is posted. The act provides that no owner or occupant of real property owes a duty of care to a trespasser except to not harm the trespasser by an intentional, willful, or wanton act. An owner or occupant of real property may use justifiable force to repel a trespasser in the same manner as other current allowances of justifiable force. The act provides exceptions to the immunity from liability for injury or death to a trespasser in certain circumstances.

The act contains provisions similar to those in HB 1194 (2012), HB 1196 (2012), HB 1286(2012), HCS/HB 1256 (2012), and HCS/HB 1860 (2012).


The act creates the Agritourism Promotion Act. Registered agritourism operators are required to post certain warning notices and include warning language in contracts. The act provides that registered agritourism operators are not liable for injuries to, or the death of, a participant in agritourism that result from the inherent risks of agritourism activities. The liability of an agritourism operator who engages in willful or wanton conduct or has actual knowledge of a dangerous condition in the land, facilities, or equipment is not limited.

These sections are similar to HB 1254 (2012), HB 633 (2011), and HB 2362 (2010).


The act changes the penalty for the crime of trespass in the first degree from a class B misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor.


The act provides a definition for "public servant" in Chapters 575 and 576, RSMo, which relate to offenses against the administration of justice and offenses affecting government.

Under current law the penalty for the crime of false impersonation is a Class B misdemeanor, unless impersonating a law enforcement officer, in which case the penalty is a class A misdemeanor. The act increases these penalties to a class A misdemeanor and Class C felony, respectively.

No person shall threaten or use violence against an employee of the Department of Agriculture to hinder the employee from carrying out his or her lawful duties. A violation of this provision is a Class B misdemeanor, unless it is a second or subsequent violation, which is a Class A misdemeanor.


Current law allows an authorized public health official or law enforcement official to seek a warrant to enter private property for the purpose of inspecting or confiscating abused or neglected animals. The act removes the authority of a public health official to do this. Current law requires an affidavit to accompany the warrant request which states the probable cause for believing that a violation of a certain crime or crimes has occurred. The act expands the range of crimes referenced to include dogfighting.

The act prohibits confiscated animals from being sterilized prior to a disposition hearing unless necessary to save life or relieve suffering.

Current law allows confiscated animals to be placed in the care of a veterinarian, an animal control authority, or an animal shelter. The act also allows such animals to be placed with a third party approved by the court.

Owners of confiscated animals are not responsible for the costs of caring for the animal during the time of confiscation if the court determines that the animal was taken unlawfully.

The act modifies current law regarding the posting of a bond or security by an owner of a confiscated animal to cover the costs of care for the animal while awaiting a court's decision. The act requires the bond amount to be "reasonable" and requires it to be posted within 72 hours of the disposition hearing.

Confiscated animals must receive proper care as required under law for that type of animal. Entities caring for confiscated animals are liable to the animal's owner for damages from negligence or abuse.

Unless otherwise specified by agreement or judgement, owners of confiscated animals may demand the return of their animals if the owner is acquitted or the case is finally discharged without conviction and provided the owner posted a sufficient bond. Such owners are not responsible for the costs of care of the animal during the period of confiscation.

The act makes it a Class B misdemeanor to intentionally euthanize or sterilize a confiscated animal prior to a disposition hearing or during any period of time for which a reasonable bond has been posted for the animal's care. A second or subsequent offense is a Class A misdemeanor and the violator is additionally subject to license sanction. Each animal is considered a separate offense.

Law enforcement officers must comply with the act's confiscation requirements when confiscating animals in conjunction with an arrest of a person for activities relating to dogfighting.

These sections are almost identical to HCS/HB 1444 (2012) and are similar to SB 850 (2012).


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