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Government, Politics & Issues

Only one unsigned bill becomes law in Missouri this year; roundup of other bills at deadline

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Every bill Missouri lawmakers sent to Gov. Jay Nixon this year has now been signed or vetoed, with only one bill becoming law without his signature.

That bill, HB 137, tweaks the bidding process for license fee offices by doing away with rewarding points to bidders based on how much revenue the state would get back in return. It was co-sponsored by state Rep. Dean Dohrman, R-LaMonte.

"That has been, unfortunately, forcing out many of the smaller community-based, either organizations or individuals, who for years ran these offices," Dohrman said. "Some of them are non-profits, so their money is going back into the communities that they're serving."

The bill also contains an exemption to the Sunshine Law for leases, subleases, agreements, or contracts for the St. Louis Convention Center.

"I think the general purpose of the provision is competitiveness," Dohrman said, "not giving a competing entity a peak into the business ledgers of others who are in the process."

Dohrman added, though, that the Sunshine Law exemption would not cover leases, agreements, and contracts "involving a professional sports franchise." House Bill 137 contains an emergency clause, meaning the bill took effect immediately upon becoming law instead of the usual effective date of Aug. 28.

Harris-Stowe degrees, other bill signed by deadline

Nixon did sign several bills into law on Tuesday, the deadline for taking action on bills passed this year. They include Senate Bill 334, which will allow Harris-Stowe University to offer more degrees, including post-graduate degrees. Nixon is also holding a ceremonial signing for that bill Thursday in St. Louis.

Other education bills signed into law Tuesday include:

  • Senate Bill 366 allows taxpayers to contribute at least $25 of their state income tax refund to the taxpayer's selected MOST--Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan account 
  • House Bill 41 removes obsolete language regarding the phase-in of the K-12 funding formula
  • House Bill 501 requires certain content be included in course materials relating to human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases and sexual predators, including online predators
  • Senate Bill 93 designates outdoor areas of public institutions of higher education as public forums where students may engage in "expressive activities"
  • Senate Bill 104 contains several provisions regarding elections, including those for school boards

Nixon also signed the following bills into law Tuesday:

  • House Bill 92 contains several provisions regarding natural resources, including changes to current law to account for any future hydraulic fracturing, a.k.a. "fracking," activities that may take place in Missouri
  • Senate Bill 445 contains several environmental protection provisions, including requiring coal-fire power plant owners to develop air quality monitoring or modeling networks
  • Senate Bill 373 creates the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control Fund for administering liquor control laws and laws banning the sale of tobacco to minors
  • Senate Bill 107 modifies laws related to speech language pathologists and audiologists

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

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