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Capitol Report

Missouri General Assembly concludes successful legislative session

As the 2024 legislative session wrapped up, lawmakers from both chambers left Jefferson City with a long list of accomplishments.

The Missouri legislature approved a $51.7 billion budget, cutting $1.3 billion from the Senate’s proposal and marking a $1.3 billion decrease from the previous fiscal year. Prioritizing infrastructure, such as I-44, I-29 and I-35, the budget allocates funds for various projects including rural road improvements, border security, broadband expansion, education and support programs for veterans and first responders. It fully funds K-12 education, raises teacher pay to $40,000 annually, invests in career and technical education, and grants pay raises to state employees and community colleges/universities.

HB 2634 aims to restrict Medicaid reimbursements to abortion clinics, enforcing strict provisions to prevent public funds from supporting such facilities, while SB 727 and HB 2287 introduce significant reforms in education, focusing on raising teacher salaries, enhancing early childhood education, and expanding scholarship programs. HB 2016, signed into law alongside Governor Parson’s visit to the southern border, appropriates funds for border security initiatives. Meanwhile, HB 1751 empowers municipalities like Raymore to have a say in landfill placement, emphasizing community input and environmental considerations.

Economic initiatives also feature prominently, with HB 1803 bolstering the MOBUCK$ program to support local lenders and small businesses. HB 2111 targets government transparency by granting broader audit authority to the State Auditor, promoting accountability at various levels. SB 912 addresses veteran support, offering tax deductions and benefits while combating veteran suicide, exemplifying Missouri’s commitment to its military community. HB 1495 and SB 1359 further underscore Missouri’s dedication to veteran welfare and financial sector modernization, respectively.

Moreover, transportation and property rights are key focal points. HB 2062 tackles property rights issues comprehensively, safeguarding landlord-tenant agreements and supporting small businesses, historic property revitalization, and blight reduction efforts. Additionally, SB 1296 authorizes the conveyance of state properties across various cities, facilitating strategic development and community initiatives statewide.

The General Assembly officially adjourned on Friday, May 17, which concluded the portion of the legislative session when bills can be passed. The governor will now have the opportunity to act on the various bills sent to him.

The following bills were passed in the final week of session:

SJR 78 is a proposed constitutional amendment that, if approved by voters, modifies election provisions in Missouri. It stipulates that only U.S. citizens over 18 residing in Missouri and their respective political subdivisions can vote. All elections must use paper ballots or legally prescribed mechanical methods, and voters are allowed only one vote per issue or office, prohibiting ranked-choice voting except in certain preexisting nonpartisan municipal elections. The candidate with the most votes in a party primary will be the sole candidate for that party in the general election. This rule also excludes certain nonpartisan municipal elections with preexisting ordinances as of November 5, 2024.

HB 2062 addresses a range of property rights issues, primarily focusing on prohibiting local eviction moratoriums without state approval to safeguard property rights and contractual agreements between landlords and tenants. The bill also includes provisions such as the “Protecting Missouri’s Small Businesses Act” to support businesses affected by shutdowns, the Missouri Historic, Rural Revitalization, and Regulatory Streamlining Act aimed at enhancing historic property revitalization, and the establishment of nonprofit land banks under the Land Bank Act to combat blight. Additionally, the bill addresses trespassing laws, enhances property owner rights, sets guidelines for residential chicken ownership, and shifts responsibility for electric vehicle charging station costs to local municipalities.

SB 754 is a comprehensive legislative initiative aimed at enhancing public safety across Missouri. The bill addresses key areas such as juvenile justice, firearm safety, drug trafficking and protection for law enforcement animals. It includes significant updates to state laws, impacting juvenile court jurisdiction, parole eligibility, traffic violations, sentencing guidelines, and introducing new laws for cyber-crimes, firearms offenses and drug offenses. Notable provisions include Valentine’s Law, which penalizes aggravated fleeing from police stops; Maxx’s Law, which increases penalties for harming law enforcement animals; Blair’s Law, targeting reckless firearm discharge within cities; and stringent measures against drug trafficking. SB754 also modifies expungement eligibility for certain crimes. This legislative package is hailed as a crucial step in modernizing Missouri’s legal framework and enhancing community safety, reflecting a commitment to reducing violent crime and protecting citizens statewide.

SB 751 enacts provisions regarding the distribution of 340B drugs. It prohibits entities from restricting the acquisition or delivery of 340B drugs to pharmacies contracted with a covered entity to dispense these drugs on its behalf. Violations are considered unlawful merchandising practices, with each affected package of 340Bdrugs constituting a separate violation. The Board of Pharmacy is authorized to investigate and impose disciplinary actions for such violations. The act ensures compliance with federal law, stating that its provisions cannot be less restrictive or conflict with existing federal or state laws. Limited distribution required by federal law is not considered a violation of this act.

SB 895 seeks to push back against federal lockdown policies, clarify landlord-tenant proceedings, and protect property rights, receiving significant support in the House. The bill prohibits local eviction moratoriums unless authorized by state law, ensuring statewide consistency for property owners and tenants. It mandates the filing of property transfers with outstanding judgments in circuit court within 30 days, ensuring proper recording and resolution of debt obligations. Additionally, the bill amends trespassing laws to include unauthorized entry and refusal to vacate vacant properties, increasing penalties and establishing a process for swift removal of trespassers.

SB 894 and 825 introduce provisions to promote business development in Missouri. The Right-to-Start Act mandates annual reports on contracts awarded to businesses operating for less than three years and recommends improving access and resources for such businesses, including those owned by minorities, women and veterans. Additionally, the Office of Entrepreneurship is established within the Department of Economic Development to support small Missouri-based businesses. Furthermore, the Regulatory Sandbox Act creates the Regulatory Relief Office to identify regulations that could be waived for innovative businesses during a two-year period. It establishes a committee to advise on approving applications to the Sandbox Program and outlines procedures for participant selection, exemption from regulations and reporting requirements.

SB 1111, effective August 28, 2025, mandates that prescribed pediatric extended care facilities obtain a license from the Department of Health and Senior Services. These facilities provide medically necessary services to children under six with complex medical needs requiring at least four hours of skilled nursing daily under a physician’s order. Services may include nursing, personal care, nutritional and developmental assessments, and various therapies. The Department has the authority to issue, suspend, or revoke licenses, conduct inspections, and establish related rules. Certain facilities with specific caregiver ratios, hospitals and programs licensed by the Department of Mental Health are exempt from this requirement. Additionally, the bill extends current licensure compliance provisions for child care programs to all licensed programs for school-age children, and exempts programs serving only children in sixth grade or above from certain licensing requirements.

SB 802 aims to boost rural economic development through targeted tax incentives. Known as the “Missouri Rural Access to Capital Act,” the legislation encourages investment in rural businesses by offering tax credits to investors. These credits, which increase after the initial two years, are capped at $16 million annually. The bill requires rural funds to apply for eligibility, meet specific investment criteria, and report annually on their economic impact. Additionally, the act includes provisions for tax credit recapture and program exit conditions with a sunset clause taking effect in 2030.

SB 1388 aims to stimulate job growth and economic development in Kansas City through the construction of a nuclear security enterprise. This bill authorizes a sales tax exemption for essential construction-related purchases, expected to boost employment across various sectors. It facilitates the development of facilities and infrastructure for nuclear security and defense, with the dual benefits of national security enhancement and job creation.

SB 872 introduces changes to utility infrastructure taxation. It broadens the definition of “video service” to encompass video programming provided by video service providers through wireline facilities in public right-of-ways, excluding internet-based streaming services. The bill extends the sunset date of the Uniform Small Wireless Facility Deployment Act. Additionally, it allows taxpayers to claim income tax deductions for state and local grant moneys received for broadband internet expansion.

SJR 71 is a proposed Constitutional amendment that, if approved by voters, would authorize the collection of fees to support salaries and benefits for law enforcement personnel. This includes current and former sheriffs, prosecuting attorneys, and circuit attorneys. Without this amendment, the retirement system’s funding may be depleted within the next 10 years. SB 1296 authorizes the conveyance of state property located in the cities of Kirksville, Hannibal, Springfield, Rich Hill, Jefferson, Joplin, Monett, Lebanon, and St. Louis.

Brian H. Seitz

State Representative of the 156th District

201 W. Capitol Ave.

Room 118

Jefferson City, MO 65101

Telephone: 573-751-1309

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