Sen. Jamilah Nasheed’s Legislative Update for the Week of May 20, 2019

Legislative Actions and Information for the Week of May 20, 2019

On The Floor

The last week of the legislative session began with a nearly 28-hour filibuster, spilling across May 13 and 14. The filibuster was launched by several members of the Senate who were opposed to Senate Bill 68, commonly called the “GM bill.” This bill contains several incentives intended to persuade General Motors to expand its facilities in Wentzville, Missouri. SB 68 also includes the creation of a new adult scholarship program to help individuals pursue an education and ultimately a job in a high-in-demand field. This bill was eventually allowed to come to a vote after the protesting members were promised a vote on House Bill 126, a controversial abortion bill.

House Bill 126 effectively bans abortion eight weeks after fertilization, before many women even know they are pregnant. This nearly-total ban on abortion contains no exceptions for victims of human trafficking, rape or incest. Senator Nasheed believes this is an egregious bill that strips Missouri women of their constitutional right to privacy that was affirmed in Roe v Wade. Without a doubt, this bill puts women’s lives and health at risk. Senator Nasheed strongly opposed this legislation and its intrusion of government into the personal lives of women.

While the week started off rocky, several of Sen. Nasheed’s priorities were able to pass and be sent to the governor’s desk for further consideration. She co-sponsored Senate Bill 1, legislation expanding opportunities for expungement of certain crimes. Senator Nasheed has long been an advocate for expanding expungement opportunities because of the doors it opens for former offenders. For instance, even when an individual has completed their sentence, they can still face barriers to employment and housing for simply being a past offender. Bills like SB 1 work to give these individuals a fresh start and provide more opportunities for offenders to live their lives as law-abiding citizens.

Senator Nasheed also saw her Senate Bill 203  passed the General Assembly, making it easier to pursue actions against the owners of nuisance properties in St. Louis City and St. Louis County. “This is a huge step for the City of St. Louis,” said Sen. Nasheed. “This provides another tool for our city to take care of its neighborhoods and communities and to keep them strong and vibrant for years to come.”

House Bill 499, dealing with transportation, was approved by the Missouri General Assembly. Senator Nasheed included language in this bill naming a portion of Interstate 70 in the City of St. Louis after former Sen. Paula J. Carter, who was a champion for physical and mental health services, especially for African-Americans, minorities and the less fortunate.

Also heading to the governor’s desk is House Bill 192, which works to end debtors’ prisons in Missouri. Senator Nasheed’s Senate Bill 91 was incorporated into HB 192. With Sen. Nasheed’s language, courts may, rather than shall, double the fines for certain traffic offenses when committed in travel safe zones. By giving courts this discretion to evaluate fines on a case-by-case basis, Sen. Nasheed believes we can avoid placing large financial burdens on individuals who may not be able to pay them.

Senator Nasheed was able to add an amendment to House Bill 547, doubling restitution rates for offenders who were wrongfully convicted. This language helps update a portion of state law that has not kept up with inflation rates. HB 547 also heads to the governor’s desk for final approval.

Senator Nasheed added language from her Senate Bill 22 to Senate Bill 224, which was approved by the General Assembly. Through this language, important personal information may be redacted during the discovery process of a court case in order to protect the safety of those cooperating with law enforcement. Senator Nasheed also added an amendment to House Bill 604, which was approved by the General Assembly, allowing the elected St. Louis Board of Education to appoint a hearing officer to conduct administrative hearings.


With the budget now truly agreed to and finally passed, more than a dozen appropriations bills have been sent to the governor for his consideration. Senator Nasheed was successful in securing $18.3 million in the budget for the City of St. Louis. For a more complete breakdown of the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, please look for our End-of-Session report coming soon.

Other News

Missouri Works to End Debtor’s Prisons

On May 13, the House of Representatives voted 138-11 to send legislation to the governor that seeks to further limit the ability of Missouri judges to order jail time for poor defendants due to their inability to pay court fines, fees or so-called “board bills” for previous jails stays. The Senate previously approved the bill by a vote of 32-0 on May 9. House Bill 192 specifies that defendants can’t be jailed for inability to pay fines or fees. It also states that while sheriffs can seek reimbursement from defendants for past jail stays they must do so through civil debt collection and not through threat of imprisonment. The bill would statutorily reinforce a March ruling by the Missouri Supreme Court holding that judges have no legal authority to tax board bills as court costs or to jail defendants for inability to pay.

Missouri House Approves CAFO Bill

Local county health ordinances regulating concentrated animal feeding operations that are more stringent than Missouri’s statewide rules would be outlawed under legislation the House of Representatives gave final approval to May 14 by a vote of 103-44. The Senate previously voted 23-11 in favor of the bill on May 2. Supporters of Senate Bill 391 said Missouri should have a single statewide standard for CAFOs, while opponents said counties should be able to exercise local control and determine what regulations work best for their areas.

Deputy DDS Director to Temporarily Lead Agency

Longtime Missouri Department of Social Services veteran Jennifer Tidball will again serve as the agency’s acting director following the resignation of previous Director Steve Corsi, who announced his planned departure in mid-April. Tidball took over as acting director on May 15. Tidball has worked at the social services department since 1995, most recently as deputy director. She previously did a six-month stint as acting director during the first half of 2017. The governor has yet to announce his plans for choosing a permanent director.