In his latest report, Sen. Gary Nodler describes the just-completed legislative session as a successful one:
The 2010 legislative session concluded on May 14 with a flurry of activity. More than 1,800 bills and resolutions were introduced during the 2010 legislative session, but just 32 Senate bills and 74 House bills were passed by the Legislature and sent to the governor. Still, several priority pieces of legislation were completed in the final days of the session.
Expanding Informed Consent
I am proud to be a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 793, legislation that contains provisions that modify Missouri’s informed consent requirements. The bill makes sure that pregnant women receive information and have time to process their options when considering an abortion. Provisions include, at least 24 hours prior to an abortion being performed, providing information on the emotional and physical risks of the procedure and the physiological characteristics of an unborn child at two-week gestational increments. The woman must also be provided with the gestational age of the unborn child at the time the abortion is to be performed and must be given an opportunity to view, at least 24 hours prior to an abortion, an active ultrasound of the unborn child and hear the heartbeat of the unborn child, if the heartbeat is audible. This is an important pro-life measure that will protect the unborn in our state.
A Better Lending Environment
Another measure that passed this session was my Senate Concurrent Resolution 33. The resolution discourages the federal government from continuing to harshly regulate our community banks. Small business owners throughout the country are being turned down because federal regulators are discouraging banks from making loans. It puts our small business owners in a bind because they are unable to expand or hire new employees without having cash on hand. SCR 33 encourages Congress to give local banks the right tools to start lending again and makes Missouri’s support for better access to credit clear.
Protecting Our Outdoor Resources
Senate Concurrent Resolution 55, which passed during the final hours of session, encourages the federal government to voice support for recreational fishing. In June 2009, the President created the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, which was charged with drafting a national ocean policy and developing a framework for marine spatial planning for conserving and managing national waterways. Concerns arose when preliminary interim reports omitted responsibly regulated recreational fishing as a key activity for national waterways. SCR 55 urges the President to include recreational fishing and boating as national priorities in the final report and to ensure and promote recreational fishing.
Strengthening Auto Insurance Laws
A measure I drafted to protect Missouri drivers was included in Senate Bill 583 this year. The legislation was motivated by a Jasper county resident who was hit by an Oklahoma driver in Joplin. The driver, who caused serious damage in the accident, was uninsured, but based on current law, police could not cite the out-of-state driver. The provision that was passed by the Legislature requires non-residents to adhere to the financial responsibility laws of their state of residence and gives law enforcement officials the ability to take action. We need to make sure that uninsured drivers, regardless of their residency, are held responsible in Missouri.
Just like any other legislative session, this one was filled with challenges, but I am pleased with the success of these measures. A full list of truly agreed bills is available online by clicking here, and I will continue to highlight these and other bills that will improve our state throughout the interim in these weekly reports.