Gov. Nixon signs several more bills into law

Posted July 11, 2013 at 11:11 am

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Gov. Jay Nixon has signed into law several bills relating to health care and other services including House Bill 986, which authorizes the Missouri Senior Services Protection fund to support low-income and disabled seniors, while preserving funding for First Steps.

Earlier this year, Governor Nixon objected to the legislature’s attempt to fund the First Steps program by repealing a program benefiting low-income seniors – essentially pitting these two vulnerable groups against each other. House Bill 986 will ensure the First Steps program continues to provide vital services for infants and children with developmental disabilities.

The bill also prohibits health carriers or health benefit plans from denying coverage or excluding health care services provided through telehealth and reauthorizes the Ticket to Work program, which allows working individuals with disabilities to buy into Medicaid for their health care coverage.

The Governor also signed:

Senate Bill 89, which allows a nursing home district to establish and maintain senior housing in a third or fourth classification county and changes the vote total required for passing a nursing home district local bond issue from a two-thirds majority to a constitutionally required percentage of the votes cast.

Senate Bill 127, which, among its many provisions, adds advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to the list of professionals eligible for Medicaid reimbursement for prescribing medication and extends health care coverage to children in foster care up to age 26. This legislation also authorizes a statewide dental delivery system to ensure recipient participation and access to providers of dental services under Medicaid.

Senate Bill 161, which requires an analysis of cost parity between orally administered cancer medications and their intravenous equivalent and health coverage for eating disorders.

Senate Bill 330, which provides flexibility in collaborative practice arrangements by allowing Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) to continue providing care for up to 28 days at independent rural health clinics, provider-based rural health clinics, and rural health clinics when the collaborating physician is more than 50 miles away.

Gov. Nixon has signed four bills related to taxes, elections and telecommunications.

Senate Bill 23, which modifies a number of laws relating to taxation, including extending the definition of “nexus” to level the playing field between Missouri businesses and out-of-state retailers.

The bill addresses the Missouri Supreme Court’s decision in Street v. Director of Revenue by replacing local use taxes with a local sales tax. Gov. Nixon had vetoed two previous legislative responses to the Street decision because the bills did not sufficiently protect Missourians’ right to vote on tax policy. Senate Bill 23 addresses these concerns by requiring a public vote in local jurisdictions without a local use tax.

Senate Bill 99, which contains several provisions related to elections, including updating and repealing a number of obsolete election statutes.

House Bill 331 and House Bill 345, which relate to telecommunications, will provide the opportunity for expanded access and improved broadband and wireless service through more rapid deployment of broadband and wireless network infrastructure.

Gov. Nixon signs bill to increase penalties for public assistance fraud, prohibit use of TANF funds at liquor stores and casinos

Gov. Jay Nixon today signed Senate Bill 251, which increases penalties for public assistance fraud and prohibits the use of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds at liquor stores, casinos and adult entertainment establishments.

“Here in Missouri, we believe in protecting taxpayers and strengthening families – and that is what these programs are designed to do,” Gov. Nixon said. “By strengthening existing protections for taxpayers and children, and cracking down on those who misuse public funds, this bill will help ensure these programs continue to provide temporary support for needy families and children in a proper and accountable way.”

Senate Bill 251 prohibits the use of TANF funds in liquor stores, casinos and adult-oriented establishments. Beneficiaries will also be prohibited from using TANF funds to purchase items that are not in the best interests of the child or household. The bill also increases the penalties for fraud, including the unlawful receipt, conversion or transfer of public assistance benefits.

The Governor also vetoes several pieces of legislation

Gov. Jay Nixon has signed six bills into law, and vetoed five other bills. The Governor signed:

House Bill 142, which, among its many provisions related to utilities, encourages energy efficiency and domestic production of cleaner energy by exempting solar panels from certain property taxes.

House Bill 148, which prevents a military parent’s deployment or potential future deployment from being the sole factor to support a permanent modification of an existing child custody or visitation order.

House Bill 374, which modifies several areas of law regarding the justice system, including establishing a system for reorganization of the state’s judicial circuits.

House Bill 432, which provides explicit statutory authority for the Public Service Commission (PSC) to intervene in federal administrative, regulatory, and judicial hearings on behalf of the state before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

House Bill 675, which requires the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop guidelines for training school employees in the care needed for students with diabetes.

Senate Bill 327, which authorizes county commissions to cover the costs of providing electronic monitoring to certain criminal defendants.

Gov. Nixon vetoed Senate Bill 129, which would have given volunteer health professionals immunity from civil liability, leaving Missourians injured by medical malpractice with no legal recourse.

“It is poor public policy to deny individuals who receive poor medical care access to the legal system simply because the person who provided the care was a volunteer,” Gov. Nixon said. “This is especially true given that Missouri already has a system in place that encourages volunteerism and protects both volunteer health professionals and the patients they treat.” The Governor’s veto message on Senate Bill 129 is available here.

The Governor also vetoed House Bill 339 regarding persons involved in motor vehicle accidents. The Governor cited the legislation’s various ambiguities that would generate excessive litigation over how the provisions would apply to injured Missourians. The Governor’s veto message on House Bill 339 is availablehere.

The Governor also vetoed Senate Bill 77, which would have exempted Girls Incorporated of St. Louis from state childcare requirements, including the required staff to child ratios, safety inspections, emergency preparedness planning, fire inspections, and sanitation inspections. The Governor’s veto message on Senate Bill 77 is available here.

The Governor also vetoed Senate Bill 110, which would have required foster care applicants to submit a third set of fingerprints to the Missouri Children’s Division at the time of initial licensure for the Children’s Division to submit to the highway patrol every two years as the foster parent applies for re-licensure. However, electronically stored applicant fingerprints can be used to generate subsequent state and federal background checks, making an additional set of prints unnecessary, costly and burdensome. The Governor’s veto message on Senate Bill 110 is available here.

The Governor also vetoed Senate Bill 73, which contained language inconsistent with language contained in similar pieces of legislation concerning the use of a court-approved private probation services. The Governor’s veto message on Senate Bill 73 is available here.