Senator Rusty Black's Legislative Column for the Week of April 8, 2024

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024


This week, the Missouri Senate passed a crucial piece of legislation that is aimed at putting an end to Planned Parenthood receiving state funds. House Bill 2634 was passed by a vote of 23 to 10 early Wednesday morning and will need one more vote of approval from the Missouri House of Representatives before the governor could consider this legislation for signing into law. In previous years, the General Assembly has attempted to ban public funds from going to Planned Parenthood through the appropriations bills, by including a line item to spend $0 for any Medicaid-covered services if the provider performs abortions or is connected with a provider who performs abortions. These measurers have been struck down by the Missouri Supreme Court.


The Senate was also able to pass a somewhat omnibus retirement bill that would affect individuals who are members of LAGERS, PSRS/PEERS and the St. Louis Police Retirement Systems. Senate Bill 898 would allow for an additional multiplier of .05% in their retirement benefit if that member has 33 years of service or more. Currently, it is capped at 2.55%. Additionally, SB 898 would fix a problem for retired members working after retirement. Current law provides that if a member of PSRS/PEERS is in excess of the limitations, the member is not eligible to receive the retirement allowance for any month so employed. This legislation says either the member would not be eligible to receive the retirement allowance for any month so employed, or the retirement system would recover the amount earned in excess of the limitations, whichever is less. Most of the other language in SB 898 would update and standardize the LAGERS board structure and procedures.


Senate Joint Resolution 74 is the initiative petition legislation that, upon voter approval, would change the process by which the state’s constitution is amended. Currently, 50% plus one is enough to change the constitution in Missouri. This measure proposes a more stringent requirement: for any amendment to pass, it must garner approval from 50% plus one and receive more than 50% from five out of the eight congressional districts. This joint resolution would make sure that rural districts, like the 12th Senatorial District, would have a voice when changing the constitution. This legislation is currently awaiting a vote by the entire Missouri House of Representatives. If passed, it would most likely have to go through the conference committee process by both chambers to work out the differences.


As I’ve mentioned in past columns, the Senate is beginning to make changes to the Missouri House’s version of the budget. I am hopeful that we can begin the Senate committee process next week, or the following, in order to have it finalized before the May 10 constitutional deadline.


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.