2016 Legislative Session has Ended

The 2016 legislative session is now behind us, having come to a close when the gavel fell on May 13. The General Assembly passed 143 pieces of legislation this session, with my colleagues and I working together for the benefit of all Missourians. We now have some measures that will help the economy, assist education and build a better business environment in Missouri. In addition, we have fought governmental overreach and implemented legislation directed at ethics reform.

House Bill 1979 will create a six-month waiting period for former members of the General Assembly, former statewide elected officials and former holders of any office that required Senate confirmation to become lobbyists; the measure applies to all current and future legislators. This means that legislators will not be able to become lobbyists immediately upon leaving office, as has happened in the past.

In addition, House Bill 1983 specifies that no statewide elected official or member of the General Assembly shall serve as a paid political consultant.

Finally, House Bill 2203 will help curb corruption of campaign funds by requiring former public officials to dissolve their candidate campaign committees before registering as lobbyists.

Frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits have increased exponentially in the last few years. Senate Bill 847 establishes a recovery amount that is in line with actual medical expenses of the plaintiffs. This will encourage medical professionals to keep their practices in Missouri.

The Legislature also passed Senate Bill 572, which adds non-moving violations to the limits at which a municipality may collect revenue from fines and tickets simply to increase revenue.

High school students in the 2017-2018 school year may now add a Career and Technical Education (CTE) certificate to their diploma under Senate Bill 620, which will give them more options upon graduation from high school. CTE programs will produce a highly skilled workforce right out of high school, or as an addition to a continuing education program.

These are just a few of the measures that have passed the General Assembly this session. For a complete list of legislation, visit senate.mo.gov and click the Legislation link.

As always, I encourage my constituents to contact me throughout the year with comments, questions or suggestions by calling my office at (573) 751-5713. To find more information about the bills I sponsor, visit www.senate.mo.gov/brown. Thank you for reading this and for your participation in state government.