HCS/HB 1656 - This act modifies provisions relating to certain public employees.
RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS FOR PUBLIC SAFETY EMPLOYEES (Sections 84.344, 285.040, & 285.043)
Under current law, personnel of the St. Louis municipal police force and other public safety employees are subject to certain residency requirements according to the date such personnel were hired.
This act repeals provisions relating to residency requirements; however, employees appointed by the mayor or city council may still be subject to such requirements.
WHISTLEBLOWER'S PROTECTION ACT (Section 285.575)
Under current law, an employee who has reported to the proper authorities an unlawful act or serious misconduct of his or her employer or who refuses to carry out a directive issued by his or her employer that would violate the law, shall not be discharged by his or her employer.
This act adds all "public employers" to the definition of employers. Additionally, this act repeals provisions that an employee is not protected under this law if:
• He or she is a supervisory, managerial, or executive employee of the employer and the unlawful act or serious misconduct reported concerns matters the employee is employed to report or provide professional opinion; or
• The proper authority to whom the employee makes his or her report is the person whom the employee claims to have committed the unlawful act or misconduct.
These provisions are substantially similar to provisions in HCS/HB 553 (2021).
FIRE PROTECTION EMPLOYEE QUALIFICATIONS (Sections 320.097 & 320.210)
This act provides that no employee of a fire department shall, as a condition of employment, be required to reside within a fixed and legally recorded geographical area.
Additionally, this act repeals the requirements that investigators must:
• Be at least 25 years old and have either a minimum of 5 years experience in fire risk inspection, prevention, or investigation work, or a degree in fire protection engineering;
• Be a taxpaying resident of Missouri for at least three years immediately preceding his or her appointment; and
• Possess ordinary physical strength and pass a physical and mental examination.
Finally, this act provides that a person appointed as an investigator shall be a resident of Missouri at the time of appointment and shall not accept other employment that would pose a conflict of interest while employed as a fire protection inspector or employee.
POSTING PERSONAL INFORMATION OF ELECTED OFFICIALS (Section 575.095 & 578.095)
This act modifies the offense of tampering with a judicial officer if, with the purpose to harass, such person disseminates through any means, including by posting on the internet, the personal information of the judicial officer or the judicial officer's family. This act also adds that a "judicial officer" shall include a commissioner of the state or federal court. If a violation of this offense results in death or bodily injury to the judicial officer or a member of his or her family, the offense shall be a class B felony.
Finally, this act creates the offense of unlawful disclosing of personally identifiable information if he or she knowingly releases, publicizes, or otherwise publicly discloses the name, home address, Social Security number, or other personal information of a law enforcement officer or elected official with the intent to harass, intimidate, or cause death or bodily injury to the law enforcement officer or elected official.
Such offense is a Class A misdemeanor, unless it was done with the intent to influence a law enforcement officer or elected official, in which case it shall be a Class D felony.
MARY GRACE PRINGLE