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Rowland Report 5.3.12

Greetings from your State Capitol.  This week saw some progress from the Senate as the budget was passed out early Wednesday morning (around 3 a.m.).  We have some differences that hopefully we will be able to work out in a conference committee.

The bills passed this week to the Senate are:

HB 1890 requires the oversight Division of the Joint Committee on Legislative Research to conduct an actuarial analysis of the cost impact to consumers, health insurers, and other private and public payers if state mandates were enacted to provide health benefit plan coverage for orally administered anticancer medication as administered intravenously, injected cancer medication, diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders and diagnosis in infertility and subsequent treatment.

HB1592 establishes the STAR Bonds Financing Act which allows the governing body of a city or county to issue a bond that is to be repaid by the revenues received by the city or county from any transient guest, state and local sales and use taxes that are collected from taxpayers doing business in that portion of the city or county redevelopment district.  This bill provides another important economic development tool for local governments by providing a number of safeguards to make certain the project is worthy of bonding and can produce enough revenue to repay the bonds.

HB 1869 increases security and transparency in the petition signature process by enhancing penalties for fraud and requiring a public hearing on a petition.

HB 1865 requires a political subdivision to hold a public hearing on the issuance of any bond that has a pledge of future appropriations securing the bond’s debt service before issuing the bond.  Notice must be posted in the local newspapers two weeks prior to the hearing.  The hearing must be at a regularly scheduled meeting of the governing body and must allow public testimony.

HB 1540 specifies that an employee will not be liable for a co-employee’s workplace injury or death.  However, an employee will not be released from liability for injury or death if the employee is engaged in an affirmative negligent act that purposefully and dangerously caused or increased the risk of injury.

HCR 6 will strongly urge the United States Congress and the Obama Administration to immediately seek long-term and short-term solutions to the rapidly rising fuel cost to ease the financial burden on our citizens and prevent a second recession.

HCR 49 requests the U.S. Congress disapprove the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards regulation because of the unprecedented economic impacts of such regulation and ensure that the EPA replaces it sensible regulation that achieves reductions in mercury emissions without unnecessary increases in energy prices, job losses, and threats to electric reliability.

HCR 47 strongly urges the United States Department of Defense and Missouri’s Congressional delegation to protect, promote and leverage Missouri’s military bases and agencies to keep our economy in sound condition.

This is the time of year that bills get attached to others making for large packages of legislation.  It is an extended task keeping up with the amendments.  We have seen a little rain come our way with forecasts of more.  I’m sure farmers and gardeners would rejoice in all they can get.

It was great to see the 7th and 8th graders from Taneyville School this week touring the capitol.

As always it is a privilege to represent you in State Government.