Senator Rusty Black's Legislative Column for the Week of March 25, 2024

Monday, April 1, 2024

April 2, 2024



This week, the Missouri General Assembly came back from spring break and the Senate was able to perfect eight bills, ranging from child care and protection to protecting Missourians from rising taxes.


  • SB 1111, which I sponsored, would allow children with medical complexities to access private duty nursing service in a child care setting as opposed to in the home. This bill would allow these children to socialize with other children, and allow parents to continue to work if they choose. This bill would also allow for a nurse to care for more than one child at a time when there are widespread nurse shortages.
  • SJR 50 would prohibit the Missouri General Assembly from raising the state income tax to 5.5% without a vote of the people. Currently, there is no restriction in the Missouri Constitution that would prevent the Legislature from attempting to raise the state income tax. While this is not been an issue since I’ve been elected, I see this as a protection for citizens in a worst-case scenario.
  • SB 834 modifies reinsurance and insurance company examination provisions. It extends confidentiality provisions to records used in market conduct investigations, allowing regulated entities 30 days to submit requested records. The bill also outlines procedures for the disposition of reinsurance contracts related to insurers under conservation, rehabilitation or liquidation. Additionally, it establishes guidelines for mutual insurance companies, including their regulation, reinsurance requirements and procedures for department review of mergers and examinations.
  • SB 1359, the “Protecting Missouri’s Mutual Insurance Companies Act,” has similar provisions as SB 834. Additionally, SB 1359 states Chapter 380 of the Missouri Statutes would govern the Department of Commerce and Insurance over Missouri mutual insurance companies, clarifying the provisions of that chapter could not be waived.
  • SB 835 would adjust financial transaction regulations, increase the state treasurer’s Linked-Deposit investment threshold and modify allocation percentages for different borrowers. It would prohibit public entities from using environmental, social and governance scores, sometimes referred to as ESG, in procurement decisions and from accepting central bank digital currency.
  • SB 872 would adjust utility infrastructure taxation regulations by broadening the definition of “video service” to include wireline facilities in public right-of-ways and exclude internet-based content. It would extend the expiration date of the Uniform Small Wireless Facility Deployment Act and expand income tax deductions for broadband grants to include state and local funds. Additionally, this measure would introduce a state and local sales tax exemption for utilities, requiring utilities to report savings to the Public Service Commission and pass them on to consumers.
  • SB 862 – Currently, when a child comes into custody of the Missouri Children’s Division, money in the child’s account, may be used by the Children’s Division to pay for care or services for the child. Under this legislation, the money would be set aside and retained by the child.
  • SBs 894 & 825 introduces measures to promote business development. The Right-to-Start Act requires annual reports on contracts awarded to businesses operating for fewer than three years and recommends improvements for supporting new businesses, including those owned by minorities and women. Additionally, the legislation establishes the Office of Entrepreneurship to foster entrepreneurship, and creates the Regulatory Sandbox Act, allowing exemptions from certain regulations for businesses demonstrating innovative products, overseen by a Regulatory Relief Office and Advisory Committee.
  • HB 1495 wasn’t perfected by the Senate but was voted out of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs, and Pensions. House Bill 1495 says the Missouri Veterans Commission must review the provisions of the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act of 2019. It adds the commission, in collaboration with the Department of Mental Health, must provide recommendations and make efforts to adopt procedures, programs, treatment options, additional aid and any other assistance deemed necessary by the commission to assist in the efforts to prevent veteran suicide.


On the other side of the Capitol, the Missouri House of Representatives is set to finalize its portion of the state’s budget next week. Once approved by the House, the budget is sent to the Senate, where the Appropriations Committee can make changes. With the May 10 deadline quickly approaching, the Senate will swiftly begin markup once those bills.


As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is 573-751-1415, my email is and my mailing address is
 201 W. Capitol Ave., Room 331, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.