Weather-Related Disclaimer: missives from legislators concerning road conditions, although timely and important, should be considered snapspots in time. For the most recent travel information, please consult MoDOT's Web site at

except when the post starts "MO Expat", all content published on Missives from Missouri is written and supplied by the noted legislator. Said missives will not necessarily reflect the views of Kyle Hill, the operator of Missives from Missouri, and as such the operator does not assume responsibility for its content. More information
Share this missive:

13 July 2011

Kraus: Bill Signings and Vetoes

While the regular legislative session is over for the year, many pieces of legislation that were passed during that time await executive action.  When the governor signs a bill, it becomes law.  If the governor does not act on a bill within a prescribed time limit, it still becomes law.  If a bill is vetoed by the governor, it would take a two-thirds vote by each chamber to override the veto so that the bill could become law.

Recently, Gov. Nixon vetoed a number of pieces of legislation, foremost of those being SB 282.  Senate Bill 282 is an omnibus election bill that included several provisions:
  1. Movement of Missouri's presidential primary date from February to March.  This change was necessary for Missouri to be in compliance with the rules jointly agreed to by the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).  As a result of this veto, half of Missouri's delegates to both the Republican and Democratic national conventions next year will be cut.  Because the number of delegates is cut, presidential candidates are more likely to bypass Missouri during the primaries.  If so, this would curtail Missouri's opportunity to know more about the candidates, as well as making the state less of a factor in deciding the 2012 presidential candidates.
  2. Cancellation of elections in municipalities with a population below 35,000 when the number of candidates is equal to the number of positions to be filled.  Not holding an uncontested election would save local governments considerable money.  The governor objected to this provision, saying it would eliminate write-in candidates.
  3. Requirement that the governor call a special election to complete the current term of a vacancy occurring in the offices of U.S. senator and several statewide elected offices.  This provision was developed in response to the scandal in which the then-governor of Illinois attempted to "sell" the appointment to an open Senate seat.  A governor should not grant political favors but instead put the election in the hands of the people.  Our governor objected to this provision because it would cost money to hold an election, even though he would have had the option to hold the date of the election on a day when an election is already being held.
  4. Elimination of the month of June as a potential election day for local elections.  I pushed for this provision because it would be a cost-saving measure for local governments and taxpayers since no other elections are held in June.
This bill had considerable bipartisan support, passing the Senate by a final vote of 31 to 2 and the House by a vote of 137 to 11.  Therefore, it is likely than an override will be attempted during the annual veto session in September.

Unless indicated differently in the legislation, bills that the governor signed go into effect on Aug. 28.  The governor signed (click on the bill number to learn more about the bill):
  • House Bill 45, which changes the laws regarding the "Big Government Get Off My Back Act" that provides income tax deductions for certain small businesses that create new full-time jobs.
  • House Bill 101, which changes the laws regarding liquor control.
  • House Bill 111, which changes the laws regarding judicial procedures.
  • House Bill 142, which increases the minimum value of county property that the auditor in a charter county must inventory every year.
  • House Bill 183, which changes the laws regarding the Police Retirement System of Kansas City and the Civilian Employees' Retirement System of the Police Department of Kansas City.
  • House Bill 197, which requires the Department of Health and Senior Services to post on its website resources relating to umbilical cord blood.
  • House Bill 217, which allows an election authority to use an electronic voter identification system or electronic signature pad to verify voter identification information at any polling place.
  • House Bill 282, which changes the laws regarding public employee retirement.
  • House Bill 294, which changes the laws regarding firearms, ammunition, and concealed carry endorsements.
  • House Bill 307, which would allow the Department of Revenue to issue specified special license plates for any vehicle except an apportioned motor vehicle or a commercial motor vehicle in excess of 18,000 pounds gross weight.
  • House Bill 338, which specifies that a telecommunications company may elect to be exempt from certain rules if giving written notice to the Missouri Public Service Commission.
  • House Bill 464, which eliminates, combines, and revises certain provisions regarding state boards, commissions, committees, and councils.
  • House Bill 578, which allows the state or any political subdivision or agency of the state to transfer ownership of used tires, scrap tires, or tire shred to a private entity for disposal or recycling under certain conditions.
  • House Bill 591, which authorizes the Missouri Dental Board to issue a limited teaching license to a dentist employed as an instructor in an accredited dental school located in this state.
  • House Bill 661, which changes the laws regarding debt adjusters.
  • Senate Bill 57, which requires courts to transfer certain cases upon the request of the public administrator.
  • Senate Bill 59, which modifies the Uniform Trust Code.
  • Senate Bill 77, which expands the types of directional signs which may be erected and maintained within highway right-of-ways.
  • Senate Bill 97, which conveys certain property owned by the state.
  • Senate Bill 165, which extends the sunset on the Basic Civil Legal Services Fund.
  • Senate Bill 237, which requires that the 1996 Supreme Court standards for representation by court approved advocates be updated.
The governor also vetoed:
  • House Bill 184, which would have authorized commissioners of certain road districts to be compensated for their services and specifies that risk coverage procured by certain political subdivisions will not require competitive bids.
  • House Bill 256, which was identical to Senate Bill 165, which the Governor signed.
  • House Bill 430, which would have changed the laws regarding special license plates, non-driver's licenses, municipal streets, and household goods motor carrier regulations.

  • House Bill 484, which contained identical language found within Senate Bill 173, which the governor signed.

  • House Bill 1008, which would have allowed the Highways and Transportation Commission to enter into infrastructure improvement agreements to reimburse funds advanced for the benefit of a county, political subdivision, or private entity.

  • Senate Bill 220, which would have modified liens for certain design professionals and the statute of limitations for actions against land surveyors.

Elected Vice Chair of Key Military Commission

On June 27, I was unanimously elected vice chair of the Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission (MMPEC) at its regular meeting. I am honored to be a member of this commission, as well as to have been elected to this responsibility.  I look forward to working with the other members of MMPEC to keep Missouri military friendly through administrative and legislative actions. MMPEC's role is to advise the governor and the members of the General Assembly on military-related issues and to provide an annual report. The commission develops policies to both improve the quality of life for Missouri military personnel and their families and to improve the prosperity and employment opportunities for retired military members and the families of former military members.

District Activities

In the last week, I accompanied a group of District 8 residents on a tour of Whiteman Air Force Base in Knob Noster.  It was a very enjoyable group and a very educational day.  I also met with constituents from Coldwater, a group that works with the needy and disabled individuals, the new Missouri Department of Transportation engineer, Don Niec, for our area, and attended the Lee's Summit Chamber of Commerce Legislation Priority meeting.

I also attended a meeting of the Interim Committee on Urban Agriculture, which was held at UMKC in order to showcase its programs on urban agriculture.  It was a very informative meeting.

No comments:

Post a Comment