On the Floor
On March 8, the Senate began discussing Senate Bill 775, The legislation modifies provisions relating to sexual offenses and makes several changes to the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights. As the Senate debated the issue, a senator attempted to add an amendment to the bill to criminalize “obscene” material in schools, which some characterized as attempting to derail the underlying legislation. As a result, debate on the bill stalled, and the legislation was laid over. The following day the sponsor of SB 775 called a press conference to discuss the issue. With over 20 senators in attendance, myself included, SB 755’s sponsor called for an end to the procedural motions and filibustering which has delayed legislation action over the past several months.
Despite the tension earlier in the week, the Senate was still able to third read several bills and send them to the Missouri House of Representatives for further consideration on March 10. These included:
- Senate Bill 678, which requires Kansas City to spend one-fourth, rather than one-fifth, of its general revenue on policing.
- Senate Bill 652, which authorizes a sales tax exemption for the sale of tickets to matches of the 2026 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament held in Jackson County.
- Senate Bill 655, which modifies provisions relating to Missouri Local Government Employees’ Retirement System in order to provide for coverage of certain employee classes.
- Senate Bill 681, which modifies provisions regarding educational outcomes.
- Senate Bill 799, which adds escaping or attempting to escape from custody after being arrested for a probation violation to the offense of escape from custody.
Bills and Committees
Sen. May’s Legislation:
Two pieces of legislation I filed continue moving through the legislative process this week:
- Senate Concurrent Resolution 27, which recognizes a need for mental health awareness training for high school pupils in public schools and charter schools, was approved by committee and is now waiting for debate on the Senate floor.
- Senate Bill 685, which seeks to introduce due process into hearings regarding the suspension of a business, occupational, professional or other license for not complying with a child support order, was approved by the Senate’s Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee.
This week, the Senate’s Appropriations Committee spent time reviewing several pieces of gambling legislation, including my Senate Bill 686. My legislation would establish what I believe are equitable and commonsense rules allowing video lottery terminals (VLTs) to operate in our state, while ensuring the revenue goes toward education. Also heard in committee was Senate Bill 642, dealing with VLTs, and three separate measures (Senate Bill 643, Senate Bill 1046 and Senate Bill 1061) authorizing sports wagering in Missouri.
The committee also discussed funding for the Department of Revenue, the State Tax Commission, the Department of Transportation, statewide real estate, reappropriations as well as capital improvements and repair projects.
The Senate’s Judiciary and Civil & Criminal Jurisprudence Committee heard three bills on March 7:
- Senate Bill 948 modifies provisions relating to terms of probation.
- Senate Bill 964 modifies provisions relating to conditional release.
- Senate Bill 1023 modifies provisions regarding the supervision of adult offenders on probation or parole from other states.
The Senate’s Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee heard two resolutions this week:
- Senate Concurrent Resolution 34 urges the U.S. Congress to include the Newtonia Battlefields in the National Park Service
- Senate Concurrent Resolution 36 creates the Missouri USA Semiquincentennial Commission to help celebrate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the founding of the United States.
The Senate’s Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Committee met on March 9 to discuss two bills:
- Senate Bill 989 modifies provisions relating to assessments against public utilities.
- Senate Bill 923 requires internet service providers to authenticate access to obscene websites and provide subscribers the ability to create an authentication to access such websites.
Ameren Names New Chief Sustainability and Diversity Officer
Effective March 1, Gwen Mizell was named chief sustainability and diversity officer for Ameren Corporation, further aligning her leadership, expertise and engagement to oversee and advance the company’s impacts across these interconnected areas. The role is an expansion of Mizell’s previous duties as the company’s chief sustainability officer, a position she has held since last fall.
Mizell is a seven-year veteran of Ameren. She has served as Ameren’s chief sustainability officer since 2021 and vice president of sustainability and innovation since 2019. She joined Ameren in 2015 as director of diversity and inclusion. Mizell holds a master’s degree in management and public policy analysis from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In addition, she completed certificate programs at the Harvard JFK School of Government as well as Georgetown University. She serves on the board of directors for Gibraltar Industries, the national board of directors of the American Association of Blacks in Energy and the St. Louis County Workforce Investment Board.
Join the Adopt-the-Shoreline spring cleanup at the Lake of the Ozarks
The Adopt-the-Shoreline program enables interested groups and residents to “adopt” portions of the Lake of the Ozarks shoreline for litter control. Since 1991, more than 13,000 volunteers have removed more than 5 million pounds of trash from the lake’s shoreline. Each adopting group is responsible for safely cleaning a minimum of five shoreline miles and participating in at least two shoreline cleanup events. Volunteers are always welcome and needed to make the program a success. Ameren Missouri, is the event’s primary sponsor. For more information about the Adopt-the-Shoreline program, visit Ameren’s website.
Ameren Program To Reduce Energy Bills For Families Hit Hardest By The Pandemic Recognized For Prestigious Award
Throughout the pandemic, Ameren Missouri’s Multifamily Low Income Energy Efficiency program, in partnership with Spire, offered area residents a financial incentive to temporarily relocate while the International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology (ICAST) performed energy efficiency upgrades to income-eligible multifamily properties – minimizing both families’ and workers’ COVID-19 exposure risks. The work earned the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s Inspiring Efficiency Award for innovation.
The Inspiring Efficiency Awards recognize Midwest companies and individuals accomplishing meaningful achievements in energy efficiency. Awards are broken down into five categories: innovation, leadership, marketing, impact and education. The awards were presented at the 18th annual dinner and gala on Feb. 2 during the 2022 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference in Chicago.
Find Employment with the State of Missouri
Interested in working for the state? Missouri has career opportunities throughout the state and you can find them here mocareers.mo.gov. Interested applicants can search by agency or position or location. This week, I would like to highlight opportunities with the Missouri Department of Mental (DMH). I worked with individuals with disabilities as a DMH employee for six years, and it was rewarding work. If you like people, this may be a good fit for you interested in direct support positions. Learn more about the department at dmh.mo.gov.