Legislative Column for Sept. 16, 2015

JEFFERSON CITY - Recently the General Assembly gathered in Jefferson City for the annual veto session and after one day of debate we voted to override 10 measures vetoed by the governor. When added to Senate Bill 24 and House Bill 63, which were overridden during the regular session, the final count for the 2015 legislative session comes to 12 veto overrides. The much-discussed Right to Work veto was not overridden.

The 10 vetoed measures successfully overridden by the Missouri Legislature include:

  • House Bill 150 tying the duration of unemployment benefits to the state’s unemployment rate. The idea is that when the economy is in trouble, the state will provide more weeks of unemployment but when the economy is providing many jobs, the state will provide fewer weeks of unemployment. This change will ultimately shore up the state’s unemployment insurance fund, which went into a deficit during the recession;
  • House Bill 618 regarding the disposition of human remains and the electronic vital records system;
  • House Bill 722 prohibiting cities and counties from adopting certain types of ordinances, including minimum wage increases that exceed state standards and bans on plastic shopping bags;
  • House Bill 878 relating to the licensing and commissioning of corporate security advisors by the Department of Public Safety;
  • House Bill 1022 authorizing a return of premiums paid by insureds;
  • House Bill 1098 modifying provisions relating to trust companies;
  • Senate Bill 20 creating a tax exemption for materials and utilities used by commercial laundries;
  • Senate Bill 142 requiring the Department of Natural Resources to prepare an implementation impact report when submitting certain plans to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The prepared report will contain certain criteria and be delivered to the governor, Joint Committee on Government Accountability, President Pro Tem of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, along with the proposed plan, 45 calendar days prior to submission to the EPA. The report and proposed plan will also be posted on the department's website home page. These kinds of reports are important so the legislature can keep a close eye on federal and state regulations.
  • Senate Bill 224 requiring a student to be a United States citizen or permanent resident in order to be eligible to receive reimbursements from the A+ Schools Program; and
  • Senate Bill 345 allowing lenders to increase the fee on loans lasting 30 days or longer from $75 to $100. This means that most consumer credit loans over $750, not secured by a mortgage, could see a fee increase. Consumer credit loans of $1,000 or more could have a $100 fee.

A successful veto override requires a two-thirds majority vote in each chamber. Veto session gives legislators a final opportunity to enact legislation into law despite the governor’s objections. In both chambers, a two-thirds vote is required to override a veto. In the House, that amounts to 109 votes. Twenty-three votes are needed in the Senate to successfully complete an override motion.

I always appreciate hearing from you. If you have any questions about the topics discussed above, or any other issues, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

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