Brief Review of Bills Passed by the Missouri Legislature in 2018

Last month, several new laws were added to the list of Missouri State Revised Statutes, with most of the changes going into effect August 28.  Here is a synopsis of some of the new rules, laws and modifications  now being implemented.

HB 1246 deals with human trafficking and a new requirement the Department of Public Safety must create a poster campaign educating about human trafficking.  

The poster must define details about human trafficking, what it is, and also give resources for victims to receive help.  The bill outlines the type of businesses required to display the poster, and they include, private clubs with a liquor license, train stations, bus stations, truck stops, roadside rest areas, emergency rooms, urgent care centers, strip clubs, massage / body work services, abortion facilities, family planning clinics, privately owned recruitment centers, women’s health centers, maternity homes, and pregnancy resource centers. 

HB 1350 focuses on criminal history records.  This bill modifies present provisions now in place by authorizing the Highway Patrol to implement the national Record of Arrest and Prosecution Back program (RAP Back).  The bill changes a law enforcement agency’s process for performing a criminal record review by stipulating the Missouri Central Repository’s automated criminal history system rather than MULES.  The bill allows certain qualified entities to conduct state and national criminal record reviews on applicants, as well as participate in the Missouri and National RAP Back program for the purpose of determining suitability or fitness for a permit, license, or employment.  

The Missouri RAP Back program includes an automatic notification to the Missouri State Highway Patrol indicating that an applicant in question has been arrested for a criminal offense in Missouri.  The program also allows an automatic notification from the FBI to the Highway Patrol so an entity may know that an applicant has been arrested for a criminal offense outside Missouri. 

HB 1355 is called the Omnibus Public Safety Bill which includes language allowing law enforcement agencies responding to assist another agency to have the same powers of arrest as the requesting entity.  The bill also modifies and expands rules relating to the submission, testing and tracking of sexual assault kits. 

HB 1461 enforces a personal address confidentiality program for the victim of any crime who fears for their safety. The bill allows victims to use a designated official address instead of an actual personal address, thereby protecting the location where they live.  This rule is extended to others living with the victim, including minor child(ren).

SB 819 modifies the process for foster care background checks to include requiring fingerprints from specific individuals in the applicant’s household, and the Highway Patrol will assist the Division in providing criminal checks. In addition, the Highway Patrol will conduct periodic, ongoing electronic update checks on members of the household by using the fingerprinting process.   

HB 1606/SB 743 addresses updated rules and regulations for elementary / secondary education.   Beginning in the 2019-20 school year, the bill requires schools to be in session for 1,044 hours of pupil attendance; the bill eliminates the requirement that schools are in session for a minimum number of days.

The bill requires schools to post certain financial information online, including a searchable expenditure and revenue document or database detailing actual income, expenditures and disbursements for the current calendar or fiscal year. The information must appear on the district/school website by September 1, 2019.

The bill allows school bus drivers to have a medical examination every two years instead of every year.

The bill requires sexual education courses to include information about sexual harassment, sexual violence, and consent.

The bill removes the requirement school bus drivers over 70-years-old must be tested annually on the pre-trip inspection portion of the CDL test. 

HB 1635 modifies provisions relating to the reporting of suspected abuse and neglect of a resident in a long-term care facility who is 60 years old or older, or an eligible adult.  Currently, reports are made to the Department of Health and Senior Services in the event of suspected abuse or neglect.  The bill requires a report shall also be made to local law enforcement.

HB 1713 allows birth parents to obtain a copy of an adopted person’s original birth certificate.

House Joint Resolution 59 poses a Constitutional amendment, upon voter approval, that would require any person participating in the management of any bingo game conducted by a service organization to have been a member of the organization for at least six months.  The current requirement requires a person to have been a member for two years.  The resolution also removes a restriction on advertising for bingo games.

SB 623 modifies the foreclosure law.  Currently, any surplus amount received on a tax or other debt sale of real estate by the sheriff or county collector is held by the treasurer for the owners of the property until a redemption period or collector’s deed is issued for up to three years.  After three years, the surplus funds go to the school fund of the county.  This bill adds the record lien holders as primary recipients on any excess proceeds from a foreclosure sale and specifies that the record lien holders will receive a distribution before the owners.

Additionally, this bill requires that the proceeds of the sale will be held in trust for the lesser of three years or 90 days following the expiration of the redemption period.

SBs 627 and 925 modify the definition of meat and advertising rules. 

Currently no person advertising, offering for sale or selling a carcass may engage in any misleading or deceptive practices including misrepresenting cut, grade, brand or trade name, or weight or measure of the product.  The bill also prohibits misrepresenting a product as meat if the product is not derived from the harvested production of livestock or poultry.

SB 655 modifies the laws dealing with protection of children.  This bill adds a tier level to which a registered sexual offender is assigned to the information that shall be made available on the Highway Patrol’s sexual offender registry website.  It also adds some exemptions to the public notification requirement.  

The bill also prohibits a recorder from issuing a marriage license to anyone under the age of 16, and prohibits a license from being issued authorizing the marriage of anyone 21-years-old or older, to someone under 18.  

Additional legislative statutes not mentioned above include rules associated with cultivating and growing industrial hemp, prevailing wage law, motorboat regulations and life jacket fines, development of a state bone marrow registry, and the expansion of viable complaints that may be filed against a nurse.  

 A full list of bills passed during the legislative session, may be viewed online.  Summary write-ups are found on the Missouri House of Representatives website, house.mo.gov and on the Missouri Senate website, senate.mo.gov.