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12 new Missouri laws go into effect on Friday

(KY3)
Published: Oct. 13, 2016 at 4:07 PM CDT
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Several new state laws go into effect on Friday. The laws are the result of the Legislature overriding several vetoes of Gov. Jay Nixon at its session in September.

Here are some of the laws, with their bill numbers.

Stand Your Ground (SB 656):

This is an expansion of the state’s castle doctrine, which lets people use deadly force to defend themselves and their homes against intruders. The new law extends the protection against lawsuits to house guests who use deadly force and lets people defend themselves in any place where they’re legally allowed to be and carry weapons. The governor vetoed it because he says it lets people, including people from other states, carry a concealed firearm even though they have been denied a permit because their background checks revealed crimes or caused the sheriff to believe they pose a danger, and because it eliminates training requirement for carrying concealed weapons.

Another provision of this law goes into effect on Jan. 1. It lets people carried concealed weapons without a permit in any place that isn’t expressly prohibited by law. Legislators say the law builds on a change to the state Constitution that voters approved in 2014. The law, effective Jan. 1, also will let Missourians obtain 10-year, 25-year, or lifetime concealed-carry permits, and limits the fees that they can be charged.

Encouraging investment in employee-owned businesses (HB 2030):

This creates a 50 percent income tax deduction for business owners who sell at least 30 percent of their companies to their employees. The governor vetoed it because he said it includes a special-interest tax break that could reduce state revenues by as much as $10.3 million annually and would only benefit those earning capital gains from the sale of employer securities in an employee stock ownership plan.

Concealing information of farmers (HB 1414):

This protects information of farmers who voluntarily share information with state agencies. Specifically, it exempts data collected by any state agency under the Animal Disease Traceability Program, or any data collected for the purpose of animal health or environmental protection, from being disclosed under Missouri’s Sunshine Law. The governor vetoed it because he said it reduces government transparency.

Limits use of administrative leave in state agencies (HB 1432):

When a state employee is placed on administrative leave rather than being fired, a hearing must be scheduled within 60 days to determine if the employee engaged in misconduct. Supporters say it will keep state payroll funds from being wasted on employees who should be fired. The governor vetoed it because he said it would make it more difficult for employers to take disciplinary action against employees that have engaged in malfeasance.

Liability of livestock owners (SB 844):

An animal owner is liable for damage done by an animal to another person’s property only if the animal owner is negligent. If an animal is released because of the actions or fault of someone else, the animal owner is not liable for damages. The governor vetoed the bill because he said it infringes upon landowners’ rights by weakening safeguards put in place to protect them from damage caused by another person’s escaped livestock.

No tax on yoga and other instructional classes (SB 1025):

Activities such as gym memberships, dance and yoga classes will no longer be subject to the state’s entertainment tax. Supporters say that tax was intended for tickets for sporting events and amusement parks. The governor vetoed it because he said it’s a special tax break that will cost the state up to $8 million each year that could be spent on essential services.

Farmers disaster payments are not taxable income (SB 641):

Agricultural producers can take 100 percent income tax deductions, including for some prior tax years, for any income received from any program that compensates them for disaster or emergency losses. The governor vetoed it because he thinks it’s a special interest tax break not available in any other state and provides retroactive tax refunds for past disaster payments that could cost the state as much as $50 million in this fiscal year.

Clean Water Commission members (HB 1713):

The state panel responsible for enforcing water quality standards will have additional representation from the agriculture and mining industries. The governor vetoed it because he said would shift the balance of power on the commission from the public interest to the interests of industries being regulated.

Workers Compensation insurance policies (HB 1763):

This changes existing laws about large deductible policies for workers’ compensation claims. Supporters say it helps taxpayers, saves the state money, and ensures the insurance guarantee association gets funds it has the right to receive. The governor vetoed it because he said it contains a drafting error by using the word “insured” instead of “insurer.”

Motor vehicle extended service contracts (HB 1976):

A refund of a motor vehicle extended service contract will go to the person who paid the premium for the contract, whether it’s the consumer or a third party. The law also enacts consumer protection requirements to combat predatory practices from renegade towing companies. The governor vetoed it because he said it takes away the legal right of consumers to obtain refunds if they cancel their vehicle extended service contracts.

Health care (SB 608):

This has several provisions; one is a provision for an $8 copay for participants in Missouri HealthNet (Missouri’s Medicaid program) who use a hospital emergency room for non-emergencies. It also charges HealthNet participants for missing some doctor’s appointments. The governor vetoed it because he said it imposes new penalties and fees on low-income families, and elderly, blind and disabled people who participate in HealthNet.

Missouri Wine and Grape Board (SB 994):

This lets the board oversee and provide professional and legal services on the distribution of wine to meet the Board’s marketing goals. It also changes liquor laws, including let someone obtain a license to sell liquor on a boat licensed to carry 30 or more passengers. The governor vetoed the bill because he said it violates the Missouri Constitution by spending public money on private purposes.