Sen. Jamilah Nasheed Legislative Update for the Week of April 2, 2018

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Legislative Actions and Information for the Week of  April 2, 2018

Lawmakers have returned from spring break to resume their work in Jefferson City. Now that the legislative session is halfway over, the hours spent in the Capitol will become longer and there is sure to be more discussion and time spent on the Senate floor. Important work remains to be done including approving Missouri’s 2019 operating budget as well as several of Sen. Nasheed’s legislative priorities. Overall, Sen. Nasheed is committed to finishing this legislative session strong.

On The Floor

Last week, the Missouri Senate perfected and third read Senate Bill 802. This legislation, sponsored by Sen. Nasheed, allows nonprofit organizations to be designated by the Commissioner of Administration as a minority business enterprise or a women’s business enterprise for the exclusive purpose of competing in other states. This allows qualified nonprofits to use these special designations when applying for projects in other states. Senate Bill 802 has been referred to the House’s Economic Development Committee.

Another one of Sen. Nasheed’s legislative priorities is Senate Bill 652, which was perfected and passed by the Missouri Senate last week. This legislation allows deputies with the Office of the Sheriff of the City of St. Louis to be eligible for training and licensure by the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission. Ultimately, the goal of this legislation is to ensure the sheriff and their deputies in the City of St. Louis can be on the same level playing field as other officers across the state. This certification process will allow them to carry out their duties more effectively and open up additional opportunities for these officers. This bill has been referred to the House Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee after being approved by the Missouri Senate.

Before leaving for spring break, the Missouri Senate perfected Senate Bill 870, which deals with emergency medical services. Senator Nasheed had Senate Bill 803, her anti-shackling bill, amended onto SB 870. The amendment language prohibits shackling pregnant offenders in custody during delivery, medical visits and transportation. After returning from spring break, the Missouri Senate approved SB 870 and sent it to the Missouri House of Representatives for consideration.

In addition, the Senate recently discussed Senate Bill 663, which deals with an important venue in the City of St. Louis. The Scottrade Center is owned by the City of St. Louis and leased out to private organizations, in what is known as a public-private partnership (P3). Senate Bill 663 helps facilitate this cooperative partnership by providing crucial funds for improvements and ensuring the partnership holds strong for years to come. With a small investment from the state, along with help from the City of St. Louis and private partnerships, this venue can continue to contribute a large amount of revenue to the St. Louis economy. Ultimately, Sen. Nasheed sees this bill as an investment in the City of St. Louis that will help its citizens. After discussing the bill on the Senate floor, it was laid on the informal calendar for possible debate at a different time. Senator Nasheed supports this bill and hopes to see it continue to move through the legislative process.

Legislation on the Senate floor this week provided an opportunity for Sen. Nasheed to bring back legislation she introduced from a previous session. As the Senate discussed Senate Bill 949, an early reading intervention bill, Sen. Nasheed proposed an amendment that contains the language of Senate Bill 747 introduced in 2016. This amendment requires all public schools in the St. Louis City School District and Kansas City School District, including charter schools, to use a response-to-intervention tiered approach to reading instruction. As specified by the amendment, students who fall below benchmarks must be provided with intensive reading instruction in the hopes of raising their assessment scores. The amendment also allows for students who fall below these benchmarks to advance to the next grade, only if certain requirements are met, such as participating summer reading instruction. Senate Bill 949 was ultimately laid over with Sen. Nasheed’s amendment pending.

While Sen. Nasheed is pushing forward with her priorities, she is also pushing back against certain policies she believes are harmful to Missourians. For instance, Sen. Nasheed is pushing back against Senate Bill 553, which deals with several provisions related to local and municipal ordinances. This bill aims to remove several of the municipal court reforms that came in the wake of the protests in Ferguson, Missouri. Senator Nasheed opposes removing these reforms which protect people from harsh, unnecessary penalties because she believes these reforms address real problems facing our communities. As a result of the legislation, she proposed an amendment to SB 553 to remove these detrimental changes. Ultimately, SB 553 was laid on the informal calendar, and it could potentially be discussed at a further date.

Bills and Committees

Several pieces of Sen. Nasheed’s priorities continued to move through the legislative process this week, either as stand-alone bills or as amendments to other bills.

Senate Bill 652 – This legislation allows deputies with the Office of the Sheriff of the City of St. Louis to be Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certified. This bill was third read and approved by the Missouri Senate. It is now in the Missouri House of Representatives, where it has been referred to the House Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee.

Senate Bill 802 – This bill awards “women’s business enterprise” and “minority business enterprise” statuses to certain nonprofit corporations. It has been third read and is now in the House of Representatives waiting for a committee hearing before the House Economic Development Committee.

Senate Bill 803 – This bill prohibits the use of shackles on pregnant offenders during transportation, medical visits and labor. Senate Bill 803 was amended onto Senate Bill 870, which was sent to the Missouri House of Representatives and is scheduled for a hearing on April 10 in front of the House Government Efficiency Committee.

Senate Bill 804 – This proposal reauthorizes the Donated Food Tax Credit until December 31, 2026. This language has been amended onto House Bill 1288, which has been voted out of the Senate’s Economic Development Committee and is making its way to the Senate floor for discussion and debate.


The Senate Appropriations Committee approved House Bill 2014, which is the supplemental budget bill. This legislation provides more than $700 million of state, federal and other funds to state governmental agencies to help sustain programs until the end of the current fiscal year. The bill was truly agreed and finally passed by the General Assembly on March 29. It has been signed by the governor

Additionally, the Missouri House has sent their budget plan to the Senate and these bills have been referred to the Senate Appropriations committee. In the coming weeks, this committee, which Sen. Nasheed sits on, will be analyzing the House’s budget plan and recommending changes as needed to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and appropriately.

Other News

Missouri House Approved State Budget

On March 29, the House of Representatives passed its version of the state’s $28 billion operating budget for the 2019 fiscal year. Education funding was one of the major components of the House’s budget plan. The House budget prevents the $68 million cut to higher education proposed by the governor in exchange for a pledge from higher education leaders not to raise tuition more than one percent. In addition, the House plan provides a $98 million increase in basic state funding for local public school districts. The 13 appropriation bills now head to the Missouri Senate for further discussion and negotiation. The General Assembly must approve the budget by the constitutional deadline of May 11.

Missouri Senate Perfects Tax Cut Bill

The Missouri Senate has given initial approval to what is being called the largest tax cut in Missouri history. Senate Bills 617, 611 & 667 would cut the highest income tax rate from 5.9 percent to 5.25 percent and also cut corporate taxes down to 5.25 percent. The bill aims to offset these cuts by raising the gas tax and placing a tax on online purchases. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have expressed concerns about the possible impact this bill could have on the state’s bottom line. Another vote by the Senate could send the measure to the House of Representatives in the coming weeks.

Missouri House Approves Its Own Tax Cut Plan

On April 4, the House of Representatives granted first-round approval to a sweeping overhaul of Missouri’s tax laws. The initial version of House Bill 2540 that was taken up for debate was estimated to cost the state as much as $800 million a year in lost revenue. A dozen amendments were amended to the bill, and the fiscal impact of those amendments on the bill is known at this time. An updated cost estimate must be prepared before the House takes final action on the bill. Another vote is necessary to send the tax plan to the Missouri Senate.

Community College Degree Opportunity Expanded

The Missouri General Assembly recently passed legislation expanding degree offerings at community colleges. House Bill 1465, passed by the Missouri House of Representatives on March 28, allows community colleges to offer bachelor degrees if authorized by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education. Currently, community colleges are only allowed to offer associate degrees. The legislation now heads to the governor’s desk for his consideration.

Investigation Committee Expected to Release Report Soon

The House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight is expected to release its report regarding the allegations against the governor. Currently, the governors is facing a felony invasion of privacy charge in St. Louis. The committee chairman had previously said the report would be made public on April 9, however House leadership said the release would be delayed a few days. The report could serve as the basis for the House to pursue some type of action against the governor if lawmakers deem it appropriate, although the committee has stressed that its mission was to gather facts, not to determine if further action is warranted.

Missouri Supreme Court Upholds Felon Gun Ban

On April 3, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that a state law prohibiting all felons from possessing firearms is indeed constitutional. The case marks the fourth time in recent years the state’s highest court has upheld the felon-in-possession law. In 2008, the General Assembly passed legislation making it illegal for anyone with a felony conviction to own or possess a firearms.

Revenue Collection is Up

Year-to-date net state general revenue collections increased 3.8 percent through the first nine months of the 2018 fiscal year compared to the same period in FY 2017, going from $6.47 billion last year to $6.72 billion this year. Net collections have increased 4.4 percent through the first eight months of FY 2018.

Organizations Receive DED Funds

Several St. Louis area organizations have been awarded funding through the Youth Opportunity Program (YOP) from the Missouri Department of Economic Development. These groups include:

·         St. Louis Crisis Nursery – $200,000 in tax credits to prevent child abuse and ensure families in need receive vital care, support and other services.

·         Kingdom House – $200,000 in tax credits for its after school and summer youth development programs for low-income and at-risk youths.

·         Gene Slap’s Girls and Boys Club of St. Louis – $200,000 in tax credits for its after school and summer programs for at-risk youths.

·         Father’s Support Center, St. Louis – $200,000 in tax credits to renovate a vacant property to serve as a meeting place and activity area for its Youth Leadership and Development program.

·         Mission St. Louis – $131,723 in tax credits for its academic support and trauma-sensitive social/emotional learning activities and community engagement for at risk-youths attending two St. Louis public charter schools.

·         Places for People – $192,616 in tax credits for psychiatry and therapy services for at risk-youth.

Congratulations to these groups for their hard work and their hard-earned YOP funds. Senator Nasheed is excited to see these groups continue helping youth in the St. Louis area.