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MML Comprehensive Legislative Report - a complete listing of all bills  tracked by MML staff including a bill summary and current status (Updated 4/28/17). 

 


Capitol Report - 4/28/2017

 * Note: Attached to this week's Capitol Report is a pdf of the League's Bill Status Report.  This report is always available on the League web site and is linked in the heading above.  

The pace of the First Session of the 99th Missouri General Assembly has become much more hectic as we enter the final weeks of the session. Progression of many bills has been halted by Senate inaction, and bill sponsors of stalled bills attempt to attach their measures to bills further along in the legislative process. Bills once thought dead are moving again, “piggybacked” onto other measures. Nothing is ever truly dead in the Missouri General Assembly until 6:00 p.m. on May 12.

SCS/HCS/HB 656 WIRELESS ANTENNA DEPLOYMENT ACT

A Senate Committee Substitute for a House Committee Substitute (with House floor amendments) for HB 656 has been voted out of the Senate Commerce, Commerce Protection, Energy and the Environment Committee with a “Do Pass” recommendation.  The bill now moves to the full Senate for debate.

HB 656 is the bill we have reported on throughout the session.  This bill changes the rules for the placement of wireless antennas in municipal rights of way and on municipal utility poles.  Negotiations have been long and arduous, with a plethora of concerned entities offering language changes almost daily.

Through negotiations with the wireless industry, MML has been successful in adding some language in the bill to protect municipal authority. However, provisions remain in HB 656 that are detrimental to municipalities.

Action: Please contact your state senator and urge them to:

·         Return Section 67.1830 (6)(f) in the Senate Committee Substitute for HB 656 to its original form. The amended language would require municipalities to grant permits for wireless facilities.

·         Return 67.5102 (4) to the bill’s original language referring to “wireless communication facilities” instead of “communication facilities”.  This seemly simple change would allow any entity with a communication interest to have a right to use the public right of way.

 

HB 608 SHORT TERM RENTAL OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY

The House third read and passed to the Senate HB 608.  This legislation is one of many bills filed by lawmakers to limit local control.  The bill would prohibit cities and other local governments from adopting ordinances or creating zoning restrictions that either ban or limit homeowners from renting out their home to vacationers through sites like Home Away or Airbnb.  Local governments would be able to set the minimum age for a renter, as well as other guidelines for safety and registration.  The bill is expected to receive a cold welcome in the Senate where it will have a difficult time passing in the remaining two weeks of the legislative session. (MML Opposes)

 

HB 130 RIDE SHARING – TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES

Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing companies are just months away from operating statewide in Missouri.  On Monday, the Governor signed the bill into law.  It requires the companies to pay licensing fees to the state and conduct background checks on its drivers.  Drivers must agree to the background checks and carry liability insurance on their vehicle.  The new state law supersedes local ordinances and exempts the ride-sharing companies from paying local and municipal taxes.  It will take effect on August 28, 2017.

SB 182 LEGISLATURE SENDS PROJECT LABOR AGREEMENT BILL TO GOVERNOR

The General Assembly has passed another one of their priority measures and sent it to the Governor.  On Thursday, the House “truly agreed to and finally passed” SB 182, which ends the requirement for parties bidding on public works projects to enter into agreements with labor unions.  State agencies and municipalities cannot require bidders to enter into agreements with labor unions, but if a party wants to work with a labor organization, they still have the ability to do so.  Those who support SB 182 believe that project labor agreements give labor unions an unfair advantage and inflate costs while those who oppose the bill say that these agreements ensure quality work is performed in the State.  The bill is on its way to the Governor and he is expected to sign it very soon.


Capitol Report 4/21/17

The Senate Appropriations Committee was close to finishing work on the Fiscal Year 2018 budget when the Legislature returned from Easter break on Tuesday.  The full Senate, however, still needed to debate a critical piece of legislation known as the “Circuit Breaker bill” which eliminates a tax break for senior and disabled renters in Missouri.  The repeal of this tax break would save the state about $56 million and would prevent funding cuts the Governor proposed on in-home services and nursing homes.  The Senate debated the bill from Tuesday afternoon until around 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning and adjourned without a vote on the bill.  This caused the Senate Appropriations Committee, whose current draft of their budget was based on the passage of this bill, to cancel their meeting on Wednesday.  Everyone was optimistic that the Senate would be able to negotiate a deal to get the Circuit Breaker bill passed so that they could finish the budget in committee and get the bills to the Floor.  Unfortunately, that did not happen.  The Appropriations Committee met most of the day on Thursday trying to figure out how to cut about $52 million from the budget. It is going to be extremely difficult for the Legislature to pass the budget by the Constitutional deadline of May 5.  There is more and more talk of a special session on the budget.  Some speculate that it could be called to run concurrently with the regular session during the final week (May 8-12).  Others say it may be called for the week immediately following the end of the regular session. 

There will be a real showdown in the Senate when the budget comes up next week.  All eyes will be on Senator Rob Schaaf (R-St. Joseph).  He has been outspoken all session about his dislike of the state moving from Medicaid fee-for-service to managed care and he wants managed care out of the budget.  He has demonstrated the individual power of a Senator by using the filibuster tactic and kicking all of the House Consent Bills off the Senate Consent Calendar.  Then he got into an unfortunate disagreement with another Senator on the Floor on Thursday that was so bad it caused the Majority Floor Leader to step in and immediately adjourn the Senate until Monday.

The current state of the Senate is starting to have an impact on the House as well.  On Thursday, they kicked two important Senate Consent Bills off of the House Consent Calendar.  They have continued to perfect House Bills rather than working on Senate Bills.  They are upset that the budget is not getting done, and many of their House Bills are sitting in the Senate with little chance of passing at this point.  If the House amends a Senate Bill it still has to go back to the Senate for them to take up and approve and there is little hope that will happen.  The final days of this legislative session should be interesting. Both chambers are scheduled to work Fridays through May 12th. 

Status of Bills of Municipal Interest

·         Wireless Antenna Deployment HB 656 (MML Opposes)

This bill adds wireless antennas to the "Uniform Wireless Communication Infrastructure Deployment Act” passed into law in 2014.

Status: Passed House on April 13.

·         Prevailing Wage HB 104 (MML Supports)

This is a total repeal of Missouri’s prevailing wage law.

Status: Passed House on March 30, currently on the Senate Informal Calendar.

·         Population Threshold, HB 451 and SB 124 (MML Supports)

This provides that once any city, county, or other political subdivision has come under the terms of a statute requiring a specified population, a subsequent change in population will not remove the city, county or political subdivision from application of that law.

Status: Both bills have passed their House of origin.

·         Real ID, HB 151 (MML Supports)

This gives Missourians the option of getting a federal Real ID-compliant Missouri driver license or a non-compliant driver license

Status: Passed the House on March 30, Hearing held in Senate Veterans’ and Military Affairs.

·         Short Term Rental, HB 608 (MML Opposes)

It requires that homeowners who rent their entire home or portion of their home for a period of less than 31 days must conform to all municipal ordinances and remit all applicable local and state licenses, taxes and fees. However, the bill prohibits a municipality from banning short-term residential rentals or from passing restrictions that have the practical effect of banning short term-rentals.

Status: Perfected April 20, currently on the House third reading calendar

·         Municipal Courts SB 81 and SB 520 (MML Supports)

These bills repeal some the provisions enacted in SB 5 (2015) and SB 572 (2016).

Status: SB 81 was reported out the Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee and is currently on the Senate Informal Calendar.

SB 520 a hearing was conducted in the Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence

 Committee on April 3.

 

Transportation Task Force

The House passed HCR 47 on Tuesday evening, April 18, by a vote of 96-36.  This Resolution seeks to create a Transportation Task Force to assess the state’s transportation infrastructure, including both roads and bridges.  The Task Force would consist of 10 lawmakers, the Governor or his designee, the heads of the State Highway Patrol, Department of Transportation, Department of Economic Development, and nine residents of the state.  They would be charged with making recommendations for infrastructure maintenance and improvements, as well as the funding needs.  Transportation funding continues to be a real problem and the struggle remains in how to find this needed money. Over the past few years, lawmakers and voters alike have rejected increasing the state fuel tax or making I-70 a toll road.  Currently, the Department of Transportation is using its reserve fund to maintain the state’s roads and bridges.  This fund is supposed to be used for emergencies and natural disasters.  The Resolution is now in the Senate and was referred to the Senate Committee on Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions, & Ethics.

 


Capitol Report 4/14/17

Deployment of Wireless Antennas on Municipal Rights of Way (MML Opposes)
Thursday before they adjourned for their Easter break (April 14 – 17) the House passed, by a vote of 128 yeah to 20 nay, HCS/HB 656. This bill adds wireless antennas to the "Uniform Wireless Communication Infrastructure Deployment Act” passed into law in 2014. As has been reported, MML has worked with other municipal stakeholders to protect your city from further preemption of municipal right-of-way management, protection of municipal revenue sources or diminished municipal control over public assets. Provisions have been included in HCS/HB 656 to:

·         Protect municipal oversight and permitting in the public right of way;
·         Protect municipal gross receipts taxes;
·         Safeguard local aesthetics and decorative efforts;
·         Require removal of abandoned wireless facilities;

Remaining areas of concern center around antenna and pole attachment fees.  MML will continue to work with stakeholders to advocate for Missouri municipalities.

Restricting Municipal Occupancy Permit Authority (MML Opposes)
The House Local Government Committee gave its approval of a bill that prohibits any municipal occupancy permit ordinance from being more stringent than county ordinances or state law.

HCS/HB 1189 will place municipal occupancy permit ordinances in jeopardy.  There is little chance that this bill will pass as a stand alone bill because it is late in the session. However, there is a possibility that the bill sponsor, Representative Cross, will try to attach his bill to bills further along in the legislative process.

Real ID (MML Supports)
HB 151 that gives Missourians the option of getting a federal Real ID-compliant Missouri drivers license or a non-compliant drivers license, was voted out of the Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee with a “Do Pass” recommendation. The bill now moves to the Senate floor for a likely contentious debate by the full Senate.

Selling Municipal Water and Sewer Systems (MML Neutral)
A hearing was held in the Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and Environment Committee on a House bill that would make the public vote requirement to sell a municipally owned water and sewer system the same in both third and fourth class cities. HCS/HB 247 would require a majority of the voters to approve the sale of a municipally owned water or sewer system. Currently, it takes two-thirds of the voters in a fourth-class city to approve a sale and a simple majority of the voters in a third-class city.    

House Rejects Increased Fuel Tax (MML Supports a Fuel Tax Increase)
The House perfected HB 694 this week.  This legislation creates a graduated tax system for propane fueled vehicles.  Tax rates are specified in the bill and the taxes are collected and used for the same purposes as the state road tax.  Political subdivisions that enact local sales or excise taxes after January 1, 2017, under Article IV, Section 30(a) of the Constitution of Missouri are required to use 90% of such funds on the construction, maintenance, or repair of roads and no more than 10% of the tax for policing, signage, lighting, and cleaning roads or streets.  During the debate, an amendment was offered to raise the gas tax by nearly six cents per gallon pending voter approval, but it was defeated by a vote of 51-103.  Lawmakers said that the voters have already spoken by defeating an increased fuel tax at the polls.  According to the Department of Transportation, Missouri has the seventh-largest highway system in the country, but ranks 47th in revenue per mile.

Legislature Sends Ride-Sharing Legislation to the Governor (MML Neutral)
The Senate finally reached a compromise on the ride-sharing legislation (HB 130) this week.  Businesses like Uber and Lyft are currently operating in St. Louis, Springfield, Columbia, and Kansas City, but are anxious to pass legislation that establishes a statewide framework for operating.  The bill requires ride-sharing companies, also known as transportation network companies (TNCs), to pay a $5,000 licensing fee to the state; conduct driver background checks and vehicle inspections; outlines specific restrictions on who may work as a TNC driver based on their driving record; and exempts TNCs from paying local and municipal taxes.  The bill went back to the House for a final vote on Thursday afternoon where it was “truly agreed to and finally passed” by a vote of 144-7.  It is now headed to the Governor’s desk and he is expected to sign it.

 


Capitol Report - 3/31/2017

Deployment of Wireless Antennas on Municipal Rights of Way (MML Opposes)
HCS/HB 656 was voted out of the House Rules Committee for Administrative Oversight on Monday and now moves to floor for debate by the entire House.

We expect several floor amendments to be offered to address some of the concerns expressed by MML, municipal officials, municipal utilities and the cable television industry. These amendments are the result of intense negotiations that have taken place during the past five months.  MML’s efforts have focused on maintaining municipal management and oversight of the rights of way and protection of the municipal gross receipts business license tax and other fees.

 

Prevailing Wage Passed in House (MML Supports)
The House passed HB 104 this week that would repeal the state’s prevailing wage law for public construction projects.  Currently, state law requires municipalities and other political subdivisions to pay a “prevailing” county wage to contract construction workers. However, in most counties wages are not reported to the Missouri Department of Labor; this forces the Department to use the next closest county’s prevailing wage. Typically, the closest county with prevailing wage determinations are Jackson and St Louis counties. This greatly increases the cost of projects that political subdivisions pay for work on roads, bridges, and buildings.

HB 104 now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

Local Lobbying Bill Moves to the Senate (No Position)
The House gave their approval to HB 229 that would prevent lobbyists from making expenditures for local government officials and their staff and families.  The bill is now in the Senate where it awaits a hearing by the Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions & Ethics Committee.  A similar bill that would prohibit lobbyists from giving certain gifts to lawmakers was sent to the Senate early in the legislative session, but has stalled in that chamber.

Real ID Passed in House (MML Supports)
The House third read and passed the Real ID legislation this week (HB 151). The Real ID Act was established by the federal government in 2005 as a response to the tragic events of September 11.  The goal is to create a form of identification that would provide more protections from threats of terrorism.  The Missouri General Assembly has been very opposed to implementing Real ID because it would require the Missouri Department of Revenue to create a database of information on anyone with a Real ID, which includes the retention of personal documents such as birth certificates and social security cards.  Missouri is one of only five states that have not adopted Real ID.  Those states that have not enacted Real ID were given several extensions by the federal government; the final extension expires on January 22, 2018.  If the General Assembly does not authorize the implementation of Real ID by that time, Missourians will need a passport to fly (even within the U.S.), or enter any military base, courthouse, or federal building.  A similar bill was debated in the Senate earlier in the legislative session and was ultimately laid over.



Capitol Report - 3/17/2017

When the House and Senate return on March 27 from their spring break there will be seven weeks remaining in the First Session of the 99th General Assembly. Many issues remain unresolved, including the state’s budget.

Deployment of Wireless Antennas on Municipal Rights of Way

House Committee Substitute (HCS) for HB 656 was voted out of the House Utilities Committee with a “do pass” recommendation on March 8. The substitute bill virtually eliminates municipal authority over the public rights of way and places gross receipts business licenses and other fees on wireless communication providers in jeopardy. We have been successful in getting support from key legislators to remove some of the harmful language. However, HCS/HB 656 has many areas of concern (right-of-way management, pole attachments, taxes and fees, collocation). We believe if municipal concerns are not addressed HCS/HB 656 would encourage a haphazard deployment of wireless technology. Most, if not all, municipal officials would like to see high speed wireless technology deployed in their community. However, this deployment must occur in a responsible manner in coordination with municipalities.

Please take time during the legislative recess to urge your state representative to oppose HCS/HB656 until local management of the public rights of way is preserved.

Prevailing Wage and Union Dues

Both the House and Senate continue to debate labor/union legislation this week. The House spent some time on HB 104, which seeks to eliminate the state’s prevailing wage law for public works projects.  The Senate focused on HB 251, also known as the “paycheck protection bill.”  It requires public employees to give annual permission before union dues can be deducted from their paycheck.  Neither bill came to a vote, but we anticipate that both will be revisited sometime after legislators return from spring break.

Short Term Rental of Residential Property

HCS/HB 608 was voted out of the House General Laws Committee with a “Do Pass” recommendation and referred to the House Rules-Legislative Oversight Committee for further consideration. The Rules Committee voted the bill out “Do Pass” on Thursday, March 16. HCS/HB 608 now moves to the entire House for debate. HCS/HB 608 attempts to resolve MML concerns about local zoning compliance. Although the substitute bill does clarify that local zoning regulations must be followed, the bill continues to prohibit a municipality from banning short-term residential rentals or from passing restrictions that have the practical effect of banning short-term rentals.

Real ID

HCS/HB 151 create a form of identification that would provide more protections from threats of terrorism.  Our General Assembly has been very opposed to implementing Real ID because it would require our Department of Revenue to create a database of information that includes the retention of personal documents such as birth certificates and social security cards.  Missouri is one of only five states that have not adopted Real ID. If Real ID is not implemented, Missourians will need a passport to fly (even within the U.S.), enter any military base or federal buildings.

Population Designations in Statute

HCS/HB 451 passed the House and has been referred to the House Local Government Committee. A hearing date has not been set. HCS/HB 451 provides that once any city, county, or other political subdivision has come under the terms of a statute requiring a specified population, a subsequent change in population will not remove the city, county or political subdivision from operation of that law.

Governor Greitens’ Committee on Fair, Simple and Low Taxes

The Governor’s Committee on Fair, Simple and Low Taxes began their work late last week.  They have identified four main goals: (1) assess the economic impact of current tax credit programs; (2) compare these tax credit programs and tax rates to those of other states; (3) assess the possibility of financing cuts to our state tax rates with cuts to the tax credit programs; and, (4) prepare a report containing comprehensive tax reform recommendations to the Governor by June 30, 2017.  The committee also created three subcommittees that will focus on incentives, tax policy, and sales tax.

 


Capitol Report - 3/3/2017

Population Designations in Statute
On Thursday, the House third read and passed HB 451. This measure provides that once any city, county, or other political subdivision has come under the terms of a statute requiring a specified population, a subsequent change in population will not remove the city, county or political subdivision from operation of that law. House members heard from many municipal officials about the importance of this bill. Your communications to legislators does make a difference. HB 451 now moves to the Senate.
MML supports.

 

Deployment of Wireless Antennas on Municipal Rights of Way
A Committee Substitute for HB 656 (Rep. Rhoads) Uniform Wireless Communication Infrastructure Deployment Act was scheduled to be voted out of the House Utilities Committee on Wednesday. However, after committee members expressed concerns about the substitute bill, committee chair Rep. Miller postponed the consideration of the bill. We anticipate that the bill sponsor will attempt to “fix” the substitute bill and request a vote on SCS/HB 656 at the Utilities Committee’s next meeting on Wednesday, March 8.

MML is opposed.

 

Prohibiting Municipal Breed Specific Dog Ordinances
On Wednesday, the House Local Government Committee voted out HB 905 (Rep. DeGroot) with a “Do Pass” recommendation. This measure prohibits municipalities from banning or restricting dogs based on their breed.

MML is opposed.

 

Term Limit for Municipal and County Elected Officials
The House Elections and Elected Officials Committee held a hearing on HJR 13 (Rep. Bahr). This proposed Missouri constitutional amendment would limit the total number of years a person could be elected to serve in any one municipal or county office to twelve.

The Missouri Municipal League, Metro League of St. Louis and the Missouri Association of Counties testified in opposition to the resolution. No one testified in support of HJR 13.

MML is opposed.

 

Local Government Lobbying Prohibition
The House Elections and Elected Officials Committee held a hearing on HB 269 which would prohibit municipalities, counties and special districts from using public funds to advocate, support, or oppose any legislation pending before the Missouri General Assembly. The bill further bars local public officials from publicly supporting or opposing legislation.

The Missouri Municipal League, Missouri Association of Counties and the Missouri School Boards testified in opposition to the bill. United for Missouri testified in support of the bill.

 

Local Gas Tax
This week the House Transportation committee held a hearing on HB 651 (Rep. Kolkmeyer). Article IV, Section 30(a) of the Missouri Constitution authorizes municipalities to levy a local motor fuels tax after receiving approval from two-thirds of the voters. Currently, a municipality that has enacted a motor fuels tax may use the revenue generated from the tax to construct, maintain, police and clean streets. HB 651 caps expenditures for police and cleaning streets to 10 percent. It is questionable whether the legislature can enact legislation directing how a constitutional provision is implemented.

MML opposes the bill. The Missouri Petroleum Marketers Association are the main supporters of the bill.

 

Streamline Sales and Use Tax
The Senate Ways and Means Committee voted out with a “Do Pass recommendation a substitute bill for SB 105. As introduced SB 105 authorized the State of Missouri to enter in to the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Compact with other states and to standardize Missouri’s sales and uses tax laws to standards established by the Compact.

In an attempt to make SB 105 revenue neutral, the substitute bill adds a provision that reduces the top state income tax rate by 0.01%


 

2/24/2017

Capitol Report 

(HB – House Bill; HCS – House Committee Substitute; SB – Senate Bill; SCS – Senate Committee Substitute;SS – Senate Substitute)

Deployment of Wireless Antennas on Municipal Rights of Way
Hearings were held on the Uniform Wireless Communication Infrastructure Deployment Act in both the House Utilities Committee and Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Committee. HB 656, sponsored by Rep. Rhoads and SB 354 sponsored by Sen. Rowden, add wireless antennas to the "Uniform Wireless Communication Infrastructure Deployment Act” passed into law in 2013. These bills grant wireless companies the right to use the public right of way to deploy wireless antennas and associated equipment.

MML and officials from the cities of Centralia, Cameron, Carthage, Fulton, Independence and Jefferson City testified in opposition to the bill. The Missouri Public Utility Alliance also testified in opposition.

Sprint and Verizon testified in support of the bill.

 

Short Term Rental of Residential Property
A hearing was held on HB 608 in the House General Laws Committee. HB 608 (Rep. Anderson) requires that homeowners who rent their entire home or portion of their home for a period of less than 31 days must conform to all municipal ordinances and remit all applicable local and state licenses, taxes and fees. However, the bill prohibits a municipality from banning short-term residential rentals or from passing restrictions that have the practical effect of banning short term-rentals.

MML, Municipal League of Metro St. Louis, Missouri Hotel and Lodging Association, Missouri Realtors Association and several vacation home owners testified in opposition.

Expedia, Americans for Prosperity and several property owners testified in support of the bill.

 

Prohibiting Municipal Breed Specific Dog Ordinances
The House Local Government Committee held a hearing on HB 905 (Rep. DeGroot). This measure prohibits municipalities from banning or restricting dogs based on their breed. Pit bull owners and breeders are the bill’s main proponents.

Jeff Hancock, City Administrator of Camdenton testified in opposition on behalf of the MML. Thank you, Jeff!

 

Prohibits the Use of Municipal Funds to Support or Oppose Legislation
HB 548 (Rep. Curtman) prohibits the use of public funds to advocate, support or oppose legislation.  A hearing on the bill was held this week in the House Special Committee on Government Oversight.

MML opposes.

 

Term Limit for Municipal and County Elected Officials
HJR 13 (Rep. Bahr) This proposed Missouri constitutional amendment would limit the total number of years a person could be elected to serve in any one municipal or county office to twelve.

MML opposes.

 

House and Senate Debate Real ID Bills
On Tuesday, the House spent several hours debating the HCS HB 151 before finally perfecting it on a voice vote.  It requires one more vote on third reading before it is sent to the Senate for their consideration.  The Senate tested the waters on Wednesday by debating a similar bill, SS SCS SBs 37 & 244, for a few hours before laying it over for further debate.  The Real ID Act was established by the federal government in 2005 as a response to the tragic events of September 11.  The goal is to create a form of identification that would provide more protections from threats of terrorism.  Our General Assembly has been very opposed to implementing Real ID because it would require our Department of Revenue to create a database of information on anyone with a Real ID which includes the retention of personal documents such as birth certificates and social security cards.  Missouri is one of only five states that have not adopted Real ID.  The state was given extensions by the federal government in the past and, currently, we are on our last extension that is set to expire on January 22, 2018.  If we do not implement Real ID by that time, Missourians would need a passport to fly (even within the U.S.),  enter any military bases, courthouses, or federal buildings.  While we expect the House to pass their bill to the Senate next week, the Senate is rumored to have tabled further discussion on their bill until after the Legislative spring break scheduled for March 17-24.

 


2/17/2013

This Week at the Capitol

Although no “Be My Valentine” cards were exchanged, the two hundred and sixty municipal officials who attended the MML Legislative Conference this week did hear from legislators about key legislative issues. Municipal officials also had an opportunity to meet with their legislative delegation to express their views on the many bills affecting municipalities.

The Senate Local Government and Elections Committee held hearings on two bills of municipal interest:

·         SB 47 – (Sen. Libla) Public Notices - Allows legal notices to be published on a website established and maintained by the Secretary of State instead of publishing notices in a newspaper.

The Missouri Municipal League and Missouri Association of Counties testified in support of the bill.

The Missouri Press Association and Missouri Realtors Association testified in opposition.

 

·         SB 186 – (Sen. Emery) Municipal Broadband – The bill sponsor offered a Senate Committee Substitute for SB 186 (SCS/SB 186). The substitute bill requires a municipality to first receive voter approval before offering broadband services.

CenturyLink testified in support.

The Missouri Public Utility Alliance, Missouri Municipal League, Google, city of Independence, Carthage Water and Electric and Missouri Realtors Association spoke in opposition to the bill.

 

The House General Laws Committee held hearings on two bills of municipal interest:       

·         HB 380 - (Rep. Plocher) Municipal Courts - This bill allows a municipal court to order credit for time served when an individual has been held in custody for any matter related to a minor traffic violation. Further, the bill requires any summons for a minor traffic violation to include the date and time a defendant is to appear in court when the defendant is first provided the summons. If the summons does not include such information when first given to the defendant, the summons will be void.

·         HB 424 - (Rep. Cornejo) Open Meetings and Records Law (“Sunshine Law”) – The Missouri Municipal League, Missouri School Administrators Coalition and others have worked with the bill sponsor and the Missouri Press Association to clarify provisions of the “Sunshine Law”.

HB 424 is the results of those discussions. The bill clarifies the wording and intent of the “Sunshine Law. Discussions are still taking place which will likely result in the committee offering a substitute bill.

The Missouri Press Association testified in support. There was no testimony in opposition.

 

 

State Budget

With the budget discussions well under way at the Capitol, many organizations are starting to voice their concerns about the Governor’s budget recommendations. While there are many cuts that have been recommended, nonprofit organizations that serve senior citizens and people with disabilities find themselves facing the possibility of losing $52 million a year in state funding.  This would affect about 20,000 people who currently qualify for nursing home care or in-home care.  Higher education is facing a cut of around $159 million if the budget committees stick to Governor Greitens’ recommendations.  Lawmakers say that the higher education budget is an easy target because it is one area of the budget where they know that revenues can be raised through other means like tuition and fee increases.  According to the Auditor’s office, tuition and fees have risen about 138 percent over the past six years and cover about 30 percent of a university’s budget.  Pursuant to Missouri law, colleges and universities cannot raise their tuition above the rate of inflation without receiving a waiver from the Department of Higher Education.

 

 

 

 


 

2/3/2017 

Capitol Report

Governor Greitens Releases Proposed Budget

On Thursday, Governor Eric Greitens released his proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget.  This $27.6 billion proposal estimates a 3.8% growth in revenue.  It also makes more than $572 million in cuts across state government and eliminates 188 state employee jobs.  His budget maintains funding for K-12 education and includes $3.3 billion for the school foundation formula.  It also contains several million dollars for vulnerable children; specifically, $13 million for special education services, $10.7 million to care for children who have been abused, neglected and removed from their home, and $1.8 million for foster care and adoption resources centers.  Other highlights include: $5.5 million for veterans’ services, homes, and cemeteries; $56.8 million to fully fund the state employee pension fund and maintain state employee health benefits; $2.5 million for drug courts and veterans’ treatment courts; $11 million to help fight the opioid epidemic; and $2.5 million in funding for the Public Defenders’ Office.  A complete copy of the Governor’s proposed budget can be viewed at: https://oa.mo.gov/fiscal-year-2018-executive-budget.

 

House Committee Conducts Hearing on Prevailing Wage

The House Economic Development Committee held a hearing several bills (HB 78, HB 104, HB 132, HB 309 and HB 476) pertaining to prevailing wage. These bills ranged from a total repeal of the prevailing wage statutes to exempting projects under a specified dollar amount. The Missouri Municipal League testified in support for all these bills, highlighting the need to reform a broken prevailing wage program.

Please contact your state representative and senator giving them examples of projects on hold or costs that were affected by Missouri’s prevailing law and urge them to support reforms to prevailing wage.

 

Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program Under Attack

The historic preservation tax credit program has never seen the pressure which is being applied during this session.  Several bills have been introduced which would severely impact this important revitalization tool.  Two Senate bills pushed by Senator Koenig will devastate the program. SB285 would reduce the cap by $90 million and would limit total projects by nearly $450 million annually.  This bill has been heard in the Senate Ways and Means committee.  SB226 which would eliminate the sale, transferability or assignment of tax credits would in all reality kill the program. The bill is waiting for referral.  One additional bill which is problematic is SB6 which would cut the cap by $60 million.  This bill has been voted out of the Senate Economic Development committee and will be placed on the Senate Calendar.  This bill could limit potentially $300 million in projects.  Senator Richard, President Pro Tem is the sponsor.   The historic preservation tax credit program has been one of the most effective economic development tools available to cities and towns across the state.  Projects have been built in over 80 cities and has resulted in $8.2 billion in total project costs since the start of the program in 1998.  The program generates an average of $500 million in projects annually.

We urge you to contact your state representative and senator and inform them how the historic preservation tax credit program has helped your city.

 

Uniform Wireless Communication Infrastructure Deployment Act

HB656 (Rep. Rhoads) and SB 354 (Sen. Rowden) - These bills add small wireless facilities to the "Uniform Wireless Communication Infrastructure Deployment Act" passed into law in 2013 and grant wireless companies the right to use the public right-of-way to deploy wireless antennas. These bills limit a municipality’s ability to control the placement of antennas and “adjacent” equipment.

Hearings dates have not been set for these bills. MML staff, the Missouri Public Utility Alliance and city representatives are working with the bill sponsors and telecom industry representatives to remove language restricting municipal oversight and control over the public rights of way.


 1/27/2017 

Capitol Report

Senate Passes Right-to-Work Legislation

After three days of debate, the Senate passed SB 19, the right-to-work legislation, by a vote of 21-12.  Those who oppose the bill spent ample time discussing their concerns. SB 19 now moves to the House where a hearing is expected to be held soon.

Senate Takes First Steps Toward Advancing Prescription Drug Monitoring Legislation

The Senate Committee on Health and Pensions held a hearing on the prescription drug monitoring bills (SB 74 and SB 231).  These measures create a list of prescribed medications that individuals are currently taking in order to alert doctors of patients who are going to multiple doctors to acquire certain prescribed drugs.  The committee voted the SCS SB 74 “do pass” by a vote of 5-2.

Municipally-Owned Water or Sewer

The House Local Government Committee held a hearing this week on HB 247, a bill sponsored by Representative Alferman.  HB 247 reduces the number of votes required in 4th class and special charter cities to authorize the sale of a municipally-owned water and sewer facility.  Currently, two-thirds of the voters must ratify a sale; the bill changes that to a majority vote.  Also, the bill provides that a municipally owned water or sewer system may be sold without voter ratification when the municipally-owned water or sewer system serves less than fifty percent of the city's population.

Testifying in opposition to the bill were the Missouri Municipal League, Missouri Public Utility Alliance and the Missouri Rural Water Association. Missouri American Water Company testified in support of the legislation.

 

Population Designations in Statute

HB 451 (Rep. Austin), also heard in the House Local Government Committee, provides that once any city, county, or other political subdivision has come under the terms of a statute requiring a specified population, a subsequent change in population will not remove the city, county or political subdivision from operation of that law.

Those testifying Support were the Missouri Municipal League, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry; St. Louis Regional Chamber; Municipal League of Metro St Louis; Missouri American Water Company, City of Springfield; Greene County; and Missouri Association of Counties. No on one testified in opposition.  

Transportation Network Companies (Uber, Lyft)              

The House passed the ride-sharing legislation (HB 130) this week by a vote of 140-16. This bill creates statewide regulations for companies like Uber and Lyft to operate in the state.  It now moves to the Senate where it awaits referral to committee.

Internet Sales

There has been a lot of discussion this week about Amazon’s decision to begin collecting taxes on internet purchases made by Missouri residents.  This development further illustrates the importance of cities passing a local use tax. In order for municipalities to take advantage of Amazon’s sales a municipality must have first enacted a voter approved use tax. This will also be needed when Congress authorizes the levying of state and local taxes on all internet and catalog sales. Once Congress has acted, each state must standardize their sales and use tax laws. This will present some problems for Missouri cities due to differences in state and local sales tax statutes.  These differences must be standardized. Streamline sales tax legislation has been introduced this session to standardize Missouri’s sales tax statutes (SB105, sponsored by Senator Wallingford). We have met with Senator Wallingford and other groups interested in this issue to work toward a bill without unintended consequences.

Other News around the Capitol

The Governor created the Committee on Simple, Fair & Low Taxes this week.  It will consist of four members appointed by the Governor, three members appointed by the Speaker of the House and three members appointed by the Senate Pro Tem.  They will examine the tax laws, including tax credits, in the states contiguous to Missouri and make recommendations regarding how to simplify our tax structure.


1/20/2017

MML Capitol Report       

Prevailing Wage

The Senate Committee on General Laws heard testimony this week at its hearing on two Prevailing Wage bills.  Senate Bill 29 defines maintenance and repair and exempts this type of work from the prevailing wage law. Senate Bill 20 would simply repeal the law and eliminate prevailing wages.    The Missouri Municipal League testified in support of these bills, highlighting the need to reform a broken system. Also, testifying in support were the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, Show-Me Institute, HGH Companies, Missouri School Boards Association and the City of Nevada.  We expect that the Prevailing Wage bills will be voted out of committee next week in the Senate.

 In the meantime, just before the Senate adjourned on Thursday, the Senate Minority Floor Leader announced, “The filibuster starts now.”  It will be a long week in the Senate next week.

Municipal Courts

On Tuesday, the Senate-Judiciary/Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee held a hearing on SB 81 (Sen. Dixon), relating to municipal court community service alternative provisions enacted in 2016 in

SB 572. Currently no associated costs for community service can be charged to a defendant. This bill would allow defendants to be charged for costs. MML staff testified in support. There was no opposition testimony.

The MML and others are working with Senator Dixon to make other changes to correct disruptive provisions enacted into law by SB 5 (2015) and SB 572 (2016).

 

Transportation Network Companies (Uber, Lyft)

The Senate-Transportation/Infrastructure/Pub. Safety Committee held a hearing on SB 185 (Sen. Onder) which enacts a regulatory scheme for "Transportation network companies" ("TNCs"). The bill provides that TNCs and TNC drivers are not common carriers, contract carriers, motor carriers, taxicab service or association, or for-hire vehicle services. TNC drivers need not register their vehicles as commercial or for-hire.

SB 185 preempts local regulation of TNCs, instead requiring these companies to acquire a permit from the Missouri Department of Revenue and pay an annual $5,000 fee. No per-car or per-driver fees may be charged by a municipality. TNCs must maintain agents within the state of Missouri. This act provides that the statutes relating to regional taxicab districts shall not apply to TNCs, TNC drivers, or TNC services.

Testifying in support of the bill were residents of Jefferson City with sight disabilities, Lyft, St. Charles county executive, St. Charles Chamber of Commerce, Jefferson City municipal prosecutor, Uber, Uber driver-Columbia, MO Chamber of Commerce. The President of the St. Louis Cab Company testified in opposition to the bill. The St. Louis Taxi Commission testified for informational purposes only.

 

Sales Tax on Deliveries

The Senate Committee on Ways and Means voted the SCS SB 16 “do pass” this week by a vote of 5-0.  This bill seeks to clarify in the law that sales and use taxes should not be charged on delivery services. In

a recent court decision delivery fees were ruled to be taxable. Before the ruling these fees were not subject to the state and local sales tax.

 

Public Safety

The House Committee on Crime Prevention and Public Safety heard three bills this week aimed at protecting the lives of police officers, fire fighters and emergency responders.  Two of the bills (HB 302 and HB 228) establish a Blue Alert System, a program which would send out suspect information across the state in relation to crimes committed against police officers.  The third bill (HB 57) seeks to redefine the definition of a hate crime to include certain crimes against law enforcement officers and first responders.

 

Other News Around the Capitol

•             Governor Greitens withheld more than $146 million from the FY 2017 budget this week.  This was in addition to the $200 million recently withheld by former Governor Jay Nixon just days before leaving office.  Higher education took the hardest hit, while other cuts came from tourism advertising, capital improvements, the Missouri Works Job Development Fund and K-12 transportation funding.  

•             On Tuesday evening, Governor Greitens delivered his first State of the State Address in a joint session of the House and Senate.  His speech focused on job growth, protecting peace officers, ethics and tort reform, removing burdensome regulations, and downsizing state government.

•             The Governor nominated Carol Comer to be his Director of the Department of Natural Resources.  Ms. Comer most recently worked as the Commissioner of Indiana's Department of Environmental Management.

 


 

1/12/2017 

Capitol Report 

MML CAPITOL REPORT:

 Committee Activity

Senate Ways and Means Committee

SB 16 (Kraus) - sales tax exemption for delivery charges. (response to recent MO Supreme Court Alberici decision).

Support: AIM, NFIB, MO Chamber of Commerce, MO Concrete Assoc., MO Retail Assoc., MO Rental Dealers, MO Limestone Producers, MO Trucking Assoc., MO Budget Project., MO Restaurant Assoc., National Restaurant Assoc.

No opposition testimony. 

SB 17 (Kraus) -  three-year phase out of corporate income taxes.
Discussion highlights: Senators' asked about hybrid taxes that may take the place of corporate taxes, current tax revenues shortfalls, and how this legislation will affect future state revenues.
Support: Associated Industries of Missouri
Opposition: Civic Council of KC, MO Budget Project, MO Coalition Community Behavioral, and NEA.

House-Economic Development Committee
Held hearings and voted Do Pass on "right-to-work" bills. Headed to House floor debate.

House General Laws Committee

HB 130 Matthews - Relating to transportation network companies.

Support: Lyft, Uber, City of Springfield, St. Charles County, Uber drivers from Jefferson City and Columbia, St. Charles Economic  Development Councils, Greater St. Charles Area C of C, and O'Fallon C of C.

Opposition: St. Louis Taxi Company - wants parity for taxis and ride sharing

Information only: St. Louis Metropolitan Taxi Commission

Executive Session: HB 130
Sponsor offered admendment that would allow Kansas City to conduct two random audits of drivers per year to verify compliance. Also, language to clarify drivers as independent contractors.  Admendment passes. 

HCSHB 130, as amended voted Do Pass. 11 - 1.

 

Coming Soon...

First meeting for House Local Government Committee. No bill assignments to date.

House Economic Development Committee to take up prevailing wage bills


1/6/2017 

Legislative Report 

99th General Assembly Convenes

The Missouri House and Senate opened the 2017 Legislative Session at noon on Wednesday by swearing in 163 members of the House and 18 members of the Senate.  The first days of the session were taken up by ceremonial and housekeeping activities.

When the Legislature convened this week, there were 406 pre-filed bills and 16 House Joint Resolutions. Senators pre-filed 244 bills and 12 Senate Joint Resolutions.  Members in both chambers have until March 1 to introduce bills, so we will see many more bills introduced.

In his opening address, Speaker of the House, Representative Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) outlined House legislative priorities for the session. Speaker Richardson's address focused on right to work, tort reform, economic development, education reform, and regulation of ride sharing (Uber and Lyft). The Speaker indicated that right-to-work legislation will move swiftly through the legislative process.

Pro Tem Richard’s address to the Senate focused on the history of the Senate Chamber. He reminded the Senators that their work is adding to that rich history. Senator Richard, together with the Majority Floor Leader, Senator Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City), laid out the Senate Republicans’ priorities in a separate interview.  They said their party will focus on creating a smaller, better government that helps to create more jobs and meaningful work opportunities. They said they will also focus on tort reform and look forward to working collaboratively with the new Governor.

Key House Committees

  • Local Government – Lyndall Fraker, Chair
  • Judiciary – Joe Don McGaugh, Chair
  • Utilities – Rocky Miller, Chair
  • Ways and Means – Paul Curtman, Chair
  • Economic Development – Holly Rehder, Chair
  • General Laws – Robert Cornejo - Chair
  • Transportation – Bill Reiboldt, Chair

Key Senate Committees

  • Local Government and Elections – Dan Hegeman, Chair
  • Economic Development – Jay Wasson, Chair
  • Ways and Means – Will Kraus, Chair·
  • Commerce – Ryan Silvey, Chair

Enhanced Capitol Security

For those who plan to visit the Capitol this session, be prepared for delays entering the Missouri State Capitol Building.  Effective January 10 there will be enhanced security measures at the Capitol.  Everyone will be required to enter through either the first floor, South carriage entrance (facing the Supreme Court Building) or the west entrance on the first floor.  Visitors will be subject to search, including exposure to x-ray conveyors and walk-through magnetometers.  Unauthorized weapons of any kind are prohibited.  A concealed carry permit does not make an allowance for a firearm to be brought into the Capitol.  

 - Richard Sheets, MML Deputy Director

 


 

Thank You MML Member Officials! Deputy Director Richard Sheets thanks Missouri municipal officials in this video for their continued work to keep their local legislators informed of local government needs.

  


 

 


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