Senator Karla May's May Report for Feb. 3, 2023

Friday, February 3, 2023


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Feb. 3, 2023

On the Floor

This week, my colleagues and I began discussing legislation on the Senate floor. We perfected Senate Bills 3 and 69, establishing the Regulatory Sandbox Act, which creates the Regulatory Relief Office in the Missouri Department of Economic Development. This office will identify state laws or regulations that could potentially be waived or suspended for participating businesses during a two-year period in which the participating business demonstrates an innovative product offering to consumers.


We perfected Senate Bill 25, which exempts from state taxes any federal grant money used for providing or expanding broadband internet in our state. We also passed Senate Bill 51, which allows physical therapists to examine and treat certain conditions without a prescription or referral. After 10 visits or 30 days, whichever is first, the physical therapist will consult with an approved health care provider to determine if continuing physical therapy is necessary.


Additionally this week, we began debate on Senate Bills 4, 42 and 89. This legislation creates the “Parents’ Bill of Rights Act of 2023” and the Missouri Education Transparency and Accountability Portal to give residents access to each school district’s curriculum, textbooks, source material and syllabi. This bill also prohibits the teaching of “divisive” concepts, such as critical race theory.


Bills and Committees

Governmental Accountability Committee:

I presented Senate Bill 35 on Feb. 2 to the Senate Government Accountability Committee. I have been working on this legislation for several years now, and it remains one of my top priorities. This bill would give individuals who are behind on child support payments and lose their driver’s license or professional license as a result the opportunity to have an evidentiary hearing to determine if the suspension of the license should remain. If an individual is behind on child support payments and loses their driver’s license, they are often unable to get to and from work, and if they lose their professional license, they can no longer work in their chosen profession. Either way, the license suspension can further exacerbate the issue of the individual’s late child support payments, so this legislation provides an opportunity for the individual to submit evidence or cause for their missed payments.


Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee:

My legislation, Senate Bill 120, would establish post-traumatic stress disorder as an occupational disease eligible for workers’ compensation when diagnosed in first responders. Senate Bill 103 modifies the expiration dates for provisions relating to court automation.

Senate Bill 119 would repeal a provision mandating a salary range for the Kansas City chief of police.


Education and Workforce Development Committee:

My Senate Bill 34 is scheduled for a committee hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 8:00 am. This legislation authorizes school districts to offer a social studies course on the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament of the Bible or the New Testament of the Bible. The bill requires that these courses follow any applicable laws regarding religious neutrality. 


Appropriations Committee:

The following departments and offices shared their funding requests for the FY ‘24 state operating budget:

  •           Department of Commerce and Insurance;
  •           Department of Mental Health;
  •           Office of State Public Defender;
  •            Department of Transportation; and
  •            Department of Natural Resources.

The committee also heard the governor’s FY ‘23 early supplemental budget recommendation.


Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee:

The committee heard four Senate concurrent resolutions this week:

  •         Senate Concurrent Resolution 3 expresses support for public awareness on the issue of motorcycle profiling;
  •         Senate Concurrent Resolution 6 establishes Feb. 24 of each year as “SCN2A Awareness Day” in Missouri;
  •         Senate Concurrent Resolution 7 creates the America 250 Missouri Commission to plan, promote and implement public celebrations and commemorations of the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and the 250th anniversary of the United States of America; and
  •         Senate Concurrent Resolution 8 designates Campbell, Missouri, as the Peach Capital of Missouri.


Other News

House votes to change initiative petition requirements

The Missouri House of Representatives on Feb. 2 advanced House Joint Resolution 43, a proposed constitutional amendment that would require a three-fifths supermajority of voters to approve future constitutional amendments proposed by the initiative petition. However, if this particular measure clears the Legislature and makes it on the statewide ballot, only a simple majority would be needed for ratification. This legislation now advances to the Senate. If approved by the upper chamber, it automatically would go on the November 2024 statewide ballot, unless the governor exercises his constitutional authority to set an earlier election date.


Legal recreational marijuana sales begin Feb. 6 in Missouri

Recreational marijuana sales to adults may begin at some Missouri dispensaries by Monday, Feb. 6 – the last day state regulators have to approve the first round of license conversion requests by existing medical marijuana sellers seeking to expand into the recreational market.


Missouri voters ratified a constitutional amendment legalizing recreational marijuana use and possession for those age 21 and older in November, and it took effect Dec. 8. However, legalized sales for recreational use didn’t begin instantly since the amendment gives the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, which oversees the state’s marijuana industry, up to 60 days to approve licenses for recreational sales.


All of those initial licenses will go to facilities that currently are approved to sell medical marijuana. For those that applied to convert their licenses on Dec. 8, the department must approve those applications no later than Feb. 6. Facilities that filed after Dec. 8 will be authorized to sell recreational marijuana no later than 60 days after their filing date. Initial marijuana sales are subject to a 6% state sales tax. However, cities and counties are also allowed to levy additional sales taxes of up to 3%, subject to local voter approval.



Thank you for your interest in the legislative process. I look forward to hearing from you on the issues that are important to you this legislative session. If there is anything my office can do for you, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (573) 751-3599.