Another Missouri legislative session is in the books, with a number of new laws enacted. From license plates honoring black baseball players to prescription drug monitoring and agricultural inspections, here are the laws Gov. Mike Parson has signed so far.
Restricting local governments’ health orders. HB 271, sponsored by Speaker Pro Tem John Wiemann, prohibits local officials from issuing public health orders or restrictions leading to the closure of schools, businesses or places of worship beyond 30 days during a six-month period amid a state of emergency.
Supplemental budget. The supplemental budget bill included more than $2.1 billion in federal and general revenue funds for the state. In addition to funding for government operations, HB 15 also included $50 million for the Municipal Utility Emergency Loan Program, a bipartisan effort assisting local utilities reeling from the cold weather earlier in 2021. An additional provision provided $1 million for the Pretrial Witness Protection Fund approved by the legislature last year.
Second Amendment Preservation Act. The governor signed HB 85 at Frontier Justice, a shooting range and gun store in Lee’s Summit. The bill declares federal gun laws that restrict gun ownership or sale void in Missouri. It also said public officers and employees cannot enforce federal firearm laws that would be void under this law, and those who do could be subjected to a $50,000 penalty.
Inspection of agriculture facilities. HB 574 from Rep. Kent Haden restricts the inspection of certain agriculture facilities to just local sheriffs, law enforcement and the departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Other entities could inspect the facilities if invited.
East Locust Creek Reservoir Project. Parson signed off on a resolution from Sen. Dan Hegeman affirming the legislature’s support of the East Locust Creek Reservoir Project by allocating an annual maximum of $1.5 million toward its construction.
Statewide Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Establishing a statewide program was something Sen. Holly Rehder has long championed in the statehouse, but Parson signed into law her SB 63 her first year in the Senate. Proponents say the program allows healthcare professionals to better monitor and control the distribution of opioids and other prescriptions for their patients.
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum license plates. Sen. Barbara Washington’s SB 189 allows vehicle owners to apply for a special Negro Leagues Baseball Museum license plate upon donating at least $10 to the Kansas City museum. Parson held a ceremonial signing of the bill at Kauffman Stadium.
Adding military jobs to Missouri Works program. Hegeman’s SB 2 included certain military jobs in the Missouri Works program. It allows tax credits to be awarded based on part-time and full-time civilian and military jobs created by the project.
Foster care and adoption support. Championed by Rep. Hannah Kelly, HB 429 allows Missourians who serve as foster parents for at least six months to receive a tax deduction to cover costs associated with the process, capped at $5,000 for married couples or $2,500 for individuals.
Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The first bill of the session to be signed into law allocated more than $324 million in federal funds to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Established by Congress in December amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the program includes up to 12 months of assistance for rental and utility assistance.
Missouri will see additional new laws signed by Parson during the Summer.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice