Sen. Mike Bernskoetter’s Legislative Column for May 7, 2021

The Final Countdown

The end of the 2021 legislative session is fast approaching. With only one week of session left, lawmakers are busy trying to get their priorities across the legislative finish line, whether as stand-alone measures or as amendments to other bills.

This week, I’m happy to announce the General Assembly passed House Bill 476, which I handled in the Senate. This occupational licensing bill includes an important piece of legislation that will help members of the armed services translate the skills they acquire in the military into jobs back here at home. The bill allows military occupational specialties to qualify under our state’s license reciprocity laws, allowing for easier access to employment opportunities for our returning military professionals. Also included in the bill is language from my Senate Bill 491, which works to keep pesticide applicators in compliance with federal law.

The General Assembly has also taken up and passed House Bill 574, dealing with agricultural inspections. This bill specifies that the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the Department of Natural Resources, the USDA, the county sheriff and certain other federal or state agencies have exclusive authority to inspect ag facilities in Missouri. With this clarity, farmers will have a better idea of who is – and who is not –allowed to inspect their facilities. Far too often, I believe out-of-state individuals and others without the best of intentions have wandered onto farms, aiming to “inspect” the facility when they have no grounds to do so. House Bill 574 hopes to put a stop to this by creating clear guidelines for our farmers. Ultimately, HB 574 protects farmers and their livelihoods from trespassers and ensures the important work of farming continues unimpeded in our state.

We’ve managed to complete some important work already this session, but I’m eager to see what other bills we can pass in the coming week to help make Missouri an even better place to live, work and raise a family. As always, it is an honor to serve the 6th Senatorial District. If my office can be service to you, please feel free to contact us at (573) 751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at