Sen. Wayne Wallingford Pre-files Several Bills for the 2020 Legislative Session

Monday, Dec. 2 was the first day members of the General Assembly could file legislation for the upcoming legislative session. I pre-filed nine pieces of legislation, including a few bills that did not pass during last year’s legislative session. I would like to give you an overview of the nine bills I have filed so far:

Senate Bill 531 adds a rebuttable presumption when determining child custody arrangements that awarding equal or approximately equal parenting time to each parent is in the best interest of the child. However, if the court finds a history of domestic violence or any other factor that affects the child’s well-being, the court will determine custody arrangements that are in the best interest of the child.

Senate Bill 532 extends the prohibition of texting while driving to drivers of all ages. Current law only prohibits drivers under the age of 22 from texting while driving. This legislation exempts emergency vehicles and other motor vehicles responding to a request for roadside assistance from the texting ban. The act also allows for the use of a cellphone to contact emergency services while driving.

Senate Bill 533 requires licensed hospitals to adopt workplace violence prevention plans that are designed to protect health care employees and hospital personnel from aggressive and violent behavior. Under this act, the hospital is required to maintain records of any violent incidents and report them to the Department of Health and Senior Services. If passed, this legislation requires these plans to be adopted by Aug. 28, 2021.

Senate Bill 618 modifies the definition of “gas utility plant projects” as it relates to the infrastructure system replacement surcharge for gas corporations.

Senate Bill 619 requires any public water system or public water supply district that intends to start or stop fluoridation of its water supply on a continuing basis to seek information about the impact of public water fluoridation from its local health department. The public water system or public water supply district must inform the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Health and Senior Services that it has received the information about water fluoridation before submitting notification of the intent to start or stop fluoridation of the water supply.

Senate Bill 620 modifies the definition of “surviving spouses” under the merit system by including the unmarried spouses of deceased, disabled veterans; the unmarried surviving spouse of any person killed while on active duty in the Armed Forces; or an unmarried surviving spouse of a National Guard veteran who was killed as a result of active service to the state.

Senate Bill 693 reforms workers’ compensation proceedings. It also allows for the Second Injury Fund to issue payments for all death benefits and ongoing medical expenses prior to any liability set forth in the priority schedule.

Senate Bill 694 relates to the probationary periods for unemployment benefits. Under current law, changes cannot be made to the unemployment benefits account of an employer with respect to the unemployment benefits paid to any individual unless that individual has been employed for longer than the probationary period of 28 days. This act extends the probationary period to 90 days.

Senate Bill 771 concerns solid waste management districts. Under this bill, if a county applies to the Department of Natural Resources to be placed with another regional grouping of solid waste management districts, it must be placed with a regional grouping adjacent to the county. This legislation also modifies policies relating to audits of grants performed by the Department of Natural Resources.

Thank you for reading this legislative column. I hope you found this information helpful. I look forward to returning to the Capitol in January to begin the 2020 legislative session.

Contact Me

I always appreciate hearing your comments, opinions, and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-2459. You may write me at Wayne Wallingford, Missouri Senate, State Capitol, Jefferson City, MO 65101, or email at or

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