My Priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session
We have completed the first three weeks of the First Regular Session of the 101st General Assembly. While the past few weeks have been filled with mostly procedural work, this time has allowed my office to get adjusted to life in the Missouri Senate. I am beyond grateful that you chose me to be your voice in the General Assembly’s upper chamber, and I will daily strive to maintain your trust as I represent your views and concerns in the State Capitol.
With each new General Assembly, the first couple of weeks typically consist of electing our caucus leaders and receiving committee assignments. I was selected to serve on five Senate Committees: Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment; Gubernatorial Appointments; Insurance and Banking; Local Government and Elections; and Progress and Development. Each committee focuses on a particular section of law and will be assigned legislation concerning those topics. Committee hearings began on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
Another important part of the beginning of a new session is filing legislation. I wanted to give you a brief overview of the legislation I have filed so far this session.
Senate Bill 266 specifies additional reasons why an absentee ballot might be rejected. A ballot could be rejected if the voter did not sign the oath, the signature on the envelope does not appear to be valid, the oath has failed to be verified, the absentee ballot is rejected for other reasons provided by law or the voter is found otherwise disqualified to vote. The election authority will write “REJECTED” on the ballot, give the reason why it is rejected and inform the voter that their ballot has been rejected and the deadline and procedures needed to fix the ballot.
Senate Bill 267 creates new provisions to establish county commission district political party committees. Each political party will be required to have a county commission district committee for each county commission, county council and county legislative district for each county in the state. This bill also adds requirements for how often these committees must meet.
Senate Bill 268 concerns the transfer of appeals in civil trials if the person is aggrieved by a judgment in a civil case before an associate circuit judge without a jury.
Senate Bill 269 concerns the automatic stay of administrative and court proceedings if a member of the General Assembly is involved in the proceedings. Under SB 269, the automatic stay would also apply if the member is subpoenaed as a witness.
Senate Bill 270 establishes time standards for court proceedings, orders and judgments.
Senate Bill 271 repeals “Lincoln Day,” which is recognized every Feb. 12, and repeals the designation of April 13 as “Jefferson Day.” This act designates the third Monday of February as “Presidents Day” and renames the second Monday in October from “Columbus Day” to “Native Americans’ Day.” This legislation creates a holiday on Dec. 6 called “Emancipation Day” to remember the abolishment of slavery and the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Senate Bill 272 prohibits the State Lottery Commission, their employees or any organization working with the lottery from publishing identifying information of any person who wins the state lottery.
Senate Bill 273 requires financing entities that extend financing to cover state and local sales taxes owed on the purchase of a motor vehicle to remit the amount of such state and local sales taxes to the appropriate taxing authority on behalf of the purchaser.
Senate Bill 274 states in custody cases where the court finds each parent to be unfit, and the court finds that custody, temporary custody or visitation with a third person is in the best interests of the child, the court shall notify the child’s relatives to the fourth degree and anyone the child has lived with in the past five years that they may seek custody, temporary custody or visitation.
Senate Bill 275 requires the General Assembly to allocate funds, staff and office space to newly elected members who were not incumbents at the time of their election. This legislation is designed to assist newly elected lawmakers as they transition into public service.
Senate Bill 276 requires the St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners to establish one ward for each district director of any fire protection district that is located in or adjoins a street light maintenance district with between 1,000 and 3,000 registered voters, or is located completely in a street light maintenance district with between 500 and 1,000 voters.
Senate Bill 277 creates police protection districts, which will be political subdivisions that will provide protection to people and property from crimes, first aid for saving lives and assist in the event of an accident or emergency.
Senate Bill 278 repeals the limitation that historic motor vehicles may be operated for personal use for no more than 1,000 miles per year.
Senate Bill 279 moves elections for street light maintenance districts from the November general election to the April general municipal election.
Senate Bill 363 requires the St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners to establish seven wards to elect directors for certain schools in the county that are located in a street light maintenance district with between 1,000 and 3,000 registered voters, or is located completely in the street light maintenance district with between 500 and 1,000 voters.
Senate Bill 364 establishes the Missouri Board of Home Improvement Contractors. This board will administer the licensure of home improvement contractors and salespersons. In addition, SB 364 makes it illegal for any contractor or salesperson to solicit, canvass, sell, perform or obtain a home improvement contract without a license.
Senate Joint Resolution 22 modifies current law to allow defendants to waive their right to a trial by jury if they receive assent from both the government and the court. If approved by the General Assembly, the proposed constitutional amendment would still need to receive approval from the voters before becoming law.
For more information on Sen. Walton Mosley’s legislative actions, visit her official Senate website at www.senate.mo.gov/Mosley.