Sen. Angela Walton Mosley’s Legislative Column for the Week of April 11, 2022
Thursday, April 14, 2022
Moving Legislation Forward
Recognizing Historically Black Colleges and Universities
This session, I co-sponsored Senate Bill 718, which designates the third week of September as “Historically Black College and University Week” in Missouri. This legislation encourages residents across the state to organize and participate in events that celebrate HBCUs and recognize the impact of these incredible institutions. We are lucky to have two HBCUs in Missouri: Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis and Lincoln University in Jefferson City. This bill was heard by the Missouri House of Representatives Higher Education Committee on April 14, and I am hopeful the committee quickly passes this measure so it can continue moving through the process.
Updates from the Missouri House of Representatives
Our colleagues in the House have been hard at work passing several measures that will soon receive committee hearings in the Senate and potentially come to the floor for full debate. Earlier this month, the House passed legislation to change the requirements to enact proposed constitutional amendments to the Missouri Constitution. Currently, a simple majority of votes statewide is required to ratify a constitutional amendment. House Joint Resolution 132 adds to that a standard of a majority approval in at least 82 of our state’s 163 House of Representatives districts. House Joint Resolution 133 modifies the initiative petition process by requiring approval from a simple majority of all registered voters, as opposed to the current standard of a simple majority of the votes cast. Both of these joint resolutions must receive another yes vote to be sent to the Senate, and they will be placed on the November election ballot if they are approved by both chambers of the Legislature.
The House also gave preliminary approval to House Bill 1860, which ties the maximum number of weeks of unemployment benefits an individual can receive to the state’s unemployment rate. This legislation allows for 20 weeks of benefits, which is the current maximum, if the unemployment rate is above 9%. The maximum number of weeks can go as low as eight weeks if the state unemployment rate is at or below 3.5%.
The House also completed their part of our only constitutionally mandated task for each legislative session: passing their version of the appropriation bills that make up the FY 2023 state operating budget. These bills total nearly $46.52 billion. Due to the challenges of the pandemic, our state also received billions of dollars from the federal government, some of which still need to be appropriated by the General Assembly.
ARPA Town Hall
I hosted a town hall on April 14 to discuss the American Rescue Plan Act and how the funds associated with the legislation may be spent in St. Louis County. I am thankful to everyone who came to this event, and I hope to host more town hall meetings in the future. Receiving community input is one of the most important aspects of my job as your state senator. It is imperative we use these ARPA funds wisely and take full advantage of this opportunity to revitalize and invest in our community. I am grateful for your opinions and interest in state government, as well as your passion to help your neighbors and work hard to improve our community.
Ranken Technical School Scholarship/Loan Program
The St. Louis Auto Dealers Association (SLADA) is currently offering a scholarship for Ranken Technical College’s Certified Dealership Technician Program for those interested in earning professional experience in a dealership setting while earning your degree. You may contact Valerie Tosto, Ranken’s scholarship and financial aid counselor, at 314-286-3388 for more information.
For more information on Sen. Walton Mosley’s legislative actions, visit her official Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Mosley.
Below is an overview of my sponsored legislation.
- Senate Bill 720 states that car dealerships and other financing entities that offer to cover state and local sales tax owed on the purchase of a new vehicle must pay those taxes directly on behalf of the purchaser, allowing the buyer and financing entity to create a payment plan that includes those state and local sales taxes.
- Senate Bill 721 creates the “Show Missouri Film and Digital Media Act” and reauthorizes a tax credit for expenses related to qualified film productions.
- Senate Bill 722 requires orders and judgments on motions, hearings and trials for cases filed in circuit courts to be in writing and entered by the court within 30 days after the matter is fully briefed, submitted to the court and concludes any hearing or trial, as well as other time standards for court proceedings, orders and judgments.
- Senate Bill 796 repeals the limitation that historic motor vehicles operated for personal use may not be driven for more than 1,000 miles per year.
- Senate Bill 797 moves elections for street light maintenance district board members from the November general election to the April municipal election.
- Senate Bill 798 requires the Missouri Department of Social Services to establish a “Restaurant Meals Program” as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
- Senate Bill 857 states the obligation of a parent ordered to pay child support shall abate, in whole or in part, if the other parent has permanently transferred custody of the child to a third party without first obtaining court approval, modifies the definition of “relocation” of a child in a custody arrangement to include the permanent transfer of custody of a child under a court case, among other provisions relating to child custody.
- Senate Bill 858 modifies provisions relating to fire protection districts.
- Senate Bill 859 modifies provisions relating to police protection districts.
- Senate Bill 899 establishes within the Missouri Department of Corrections the “Office of State Ombudsman for Inmates in the Custody of the Department of Corrections” to ensure inmates are receiving adequate care.
- Senate Bill 900 adds other instances in which an absentee ballot may be rejected, such as the voter failing to sign the oath, the signature on the envelope does not appear to be valid, oath was not verified, the ballot is rejected for another reason provided in law or if the voter is otherwise found disqualified to vote.
- Senate Bill 901 creates new provisions establishing county commission district political party committees.
- Senate Bill 926 creates new provisions relating to the instances in which elected officials may be deemed of bad moral character, untrustworthy or unfit to serve in an elected office.
- Senate Bill 927 designates every Dec. 3 as “Betty L. Thompson Day” in Missouri.
- Senate Bill 928 modifies provisions relating to reapportionment within political subdivisions.
- Senate Bill 940 provides that any person aggrieved by a final judgment in a civil case summarily or involuntarily, with prejudice or tried without a jury, before an associate circuit judge or a municipal court; cases in small claims court; and landlord-tenant actions shall have the right of a trial de novo or a direct appeal upon the record to the appropriate appellate court.
- Senate Bill 941 increases the hourly wage of state employees in support care assistance positions for Missouri’s veterans homes to at least $15 and no more than $22 per hour, which will annually increase or decrease based on inflation.
- Senate Bill 942 establishes the Missouri Board of Home Improvement Contractors to administer the licensure of home improvement contractors and to investigate violations of related laws.
- Senate Bill 949 requires the St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners to establish seven wards to elect directors in school districts with certain street light maintenance districts.
- Senate Bill 950 requires that history curriculum taught in grades 7 through 12 include topics of Native American history and African American history.
- Senate Bill 951 modifies provisions relating to special administrative boards for school districts.
- Senate Bill 954 creates new provisions for the reapportionment and redistricting in certain political subdivisions.
- Senate Bill 1197 creates a license for naturopathic medicine practitioners.
- Senate Bill 1198 states that an automatic stay of any administrative or court proceeding where a member of the General Assembly is a necessary witness, while the General Assembly is in session, will only apply when the member is subpoenaed as a witness.
- Senate Bill 1199 provides that the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission may enter into public-private partnerships with private broadband internet service providers to expand and develop the Department of Transportation’s fiber network.
- Senate Joint Resolution 44 proposes a constitutional amendment that, if approved by the voters, adds that a defendant may waive a trial by jury if the receive assent by the government and the court.
- Senate Joint Resolution 45 proposes a constitutional amendment that, if approved by the voters, makes various changes to the Missouri General Assembly.
- Senate Joint Resolution 49 proposes a constitutional amendment that, if approved by the voters, would increase term limits for members of the General Assembly from eight years total in each chamber to 12 years total in each chamber.