Missouri Senate
97th General Assembly
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Bob Dixon

Serving the People of the
30th Senatorial District

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Senator Bob Dixon
Missouri Senate
State Capitol, Room 332
201 W. Capitol Avenue
Jefferson City, MO 65101



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Senate Enters Final Weeks of Session

The constitutional deadline for the General Assembly to complete its work is fast approaching, and only two weeks remain in this year's legislative session. Resolutions to a number of important issues will likely emerge in these closing weeks. Out of 1,581 bills and resolutions introduced, 30 have been Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed (TAFP) by the legislature and will be sent to the governor for his approval or veto. Three bills have been signed into law by the governor: SB 20 (benevolent tax credits), SB 10 (amateur sporting events tax credit), and HB 14 (supplemental appropriations). 


2014 State Budget


The annual process of drafting and approving the budget is a lengthy one, stretching from October of last year (when state departments submitted their budget requests) until July 1, 2013 (the deadline for the governor to sign the appropriations bills). However, only one week remains for the General Assembly to conclude its work on the budget for fiscal year 2014. On Monday, April 22, the Missouri Senate spent just under eight hours debating the 13 bills that make up the FY14 operating budget. Those bills were returned to the House, which requested that conference committees be appointed to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions. Those conference committees, made up of five senators and three representatives, have been appointed. They will meet this week to craft a compromise budget for the final consideration of each chamber. Anyone interested in seeing the specific differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget can view the FY2014 Conference Worksheets online.   

Some highlights of the FY2014 proposed budget approved by the Senate include: 

  • $10 million to fund a cooperative medical training program between the MU School of Medicine and CoxHealth and Mercy Health Systems in Springfield;
  • $1.3 million to fund an Occupational Therapy program at Missouri State University;
  • A 2.4 percent increase of funding over FY 2013 to Elementary and Secondary Education, including a $65.8 million increase to fund the foundation formula;
  • A $34 million funding increase to public higher education institutions;
  • $66 million to fund Access Missouri Financial Assistance Fund;
  • $35 million to fund the A+ Schools Program;
  • $73.2 million to fund Missouri Veterans Homes;
  • $1.6 million to fund the Veterans Service Officers programs;
  • $12.6 million to fund Medicaid Home and Community Bases Services; and
  • A reduction of the Department of Revenue's budget by approximately $11 million.

DOR Investigation


Last Wednesday, in two related hearings, the Senate continued its investigation of Department of Revenue activities. In the morning, I and other members of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules conducted a hearing on the failure of DOR to promulgate rules regarding the issuance of driver's licenses and the scanning of its source documents. Despite the absence of Acting Director John Mollenkamp, whose presence had been requested, committee members questioned Legislative Director Paul Harper and General Counsel Trevor Bossert. Department representatives admitted that rulemaking should have taken place previously, and provided a draft rule that would prohibit the scanning and retention of most source documents. Nevertheless, the question remains: Why was a rule not promulgated when the policy was first initiated? Failure to follow the rulemaking process allowed the department to circumvent the required public comment period. Later that same day, the Senate Appropriations Committee heard testimony from Agent Keith Schilb (Office of the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration), the agent in charge of an SSA investigation on disability fraud. Audio from the hearing is available on the Senate Appropriations Committee webpage.       


Other Senate Activity

Nearly 20 Senate bills were Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed last week, including:  

  • Senate Bill 16, which would exempt farm work performed by children under the age of 16 from certain child labor requirements;
  • Senate Bill 28, which would define two terms used when examining reasons to disqualify an individual for unemployment benefits, "misconduct" and "good cause";
  • Senate Bill 186, which would allow funeral establishments and coroners that have unclaimed cremated remains of Armed Service members to release them, upon proper verification, to a veterans' service organization for burial at a state or national veterans' cemetery;
  • Senate Bill 188, which would address civil commitments of sexual violent predators by defining "sexually violent offense," adding the prosecuting attorney of the jurisdiction where the sexually violent predator is released to the list of individuals who would be served with a petition for conditional release, and providing access to real-time and recorded information of an electronically monitored sexually violent predator to certain law enforcement agencies while the offender is on conditional release;
  • Senate Bill 287, which changes Missouri's current captive insurance law to allow for the formation of sponsored captive insurance companies - insurance companies that are created and wholly owned by one or more non-insurance companies to insure the risks of its owner or owners;
  • Senate Bill 376, which would allow hospital districts to permit higher education institutions to use space for health care education or training; and
  • House Bill 159, which would exempt proof of residency when a student living in Missouri registers for school and his or her family moves because one or both of the student's parents are serving in the military.

The Senate also sent several revised bills back to the House for consideration. The House will either accept the changes made to each bill by the Senate or request conference committees to negotiate compromise bills. These bills included:   

  • House Bill 34, which would modify several terms found in Missouri's current prevailing wage laws (including "collective bargaining agreement," "labor organizations," "unions," "construction," and "maintenance work") and reconfigure the basis for determining the prevailing wages for certain counties; 
  • House Bill 698, which relates to several economic development incentives and reforms various tax credit programs;
  • House Bill 256, 33 & 305, which extends the expiration date of an exemption to the Sunshine Law relating to the disclosure of the operational guidelines, policies, and specific response plans by any public agency responsible for law enforcement, public safety, first response, or public health for use in responding or preventing any critical incident that is terrorist in nature and has the potential to endanger individual or public safety or health; and
  • House Bill 436, which creates the Second Amendment Preservation Act and modifies other laws relating to firearms.

Take Time to Share Your Thoughts

During these last two weeks, a great deal can happen to various bills in a short amount of time. Certain bills may have caught your attention this session. If you have concerns about them, or support their passage, please take time to share your thoughts with me. I look forward to hearing from you. As always, it is a privilege to serve as your senator in Jefferson City and represent your interests.