SB 475
Grants the President Pro Tem and the Speaker standing to intervene in cases challenging the constitutionality of state law and authorizes individual legislators to hire outside counsel when sued in their official capacity
LR Number:
Last Action:
5/15/2015 - S Informal Calendar S Bills for Third Reading--SS#2 for SB 475-Dempsey
Journal Page:
SS#2 SB 475
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2015

Current Bill Summary

SS#2/SB 475 - This act provides that the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate shall jointly have standing to intervene on behalf of the General Assembly in cases where the constitutionality of the Missouri Constitution, any state statute, rule, regulation, program or policy is being challenged. Additionally, if the Attorney General declines to defend or appeal a ruling regarding a challenged provision of state law or does defend in a manner determined to be inadequate by the General Assembly, then the General Assembly shall have standing to defend the challenged provision alongside the Attorney General or in his or her stead upon an agreement between the Speaker and the President Pro Tempore.

The respective committees of the House and Senate responsible for administration and accounts shall jointly approve the hiring of legal counsel to represent the General Assembly. Any reasonable attorneys' fees, court costs, and related legal expenses incurred because of the intervention shall be paid for by the State Legal Expense Fund, as well as any judgment rendered against the General Assembly.

When the General Assembly is involved in any legal action as provided in the act, then a legislator may file an amicus brief with the court containing objections to the position taken by the General Assembly. The amicus brief shall not be deemed to represent the official position of the General Assembly.

Additionally, the act provides that when the House or the Senate is the named as a party, or an individual legislator is named as a party in his or her official capacity in a civil action then such member or legislative body, subject to the approval of the Speaker or President Pro Tem and the respective committee responsible for administration, shall be authorized to retain private counsel paid for the State Legal Expense Fund.