Thursday, September 15, 2016
Legislature overrides vetoes, passes unnecessary voter ID, gun bills
General Assembly members participated in a historic veto session yesterday as the totals number of overrides made Governor Nixon the most “overridden” Governor in Missouri history.
As the day began, the total number of overrides in state history stood at 106. Of that total, 84 of the 106 overrides had occurred under the administration of the current governor. With the totals from Wednesday added, the total number of overrides in state history now stands at 119, with 97 of those coming under the watch of Governor Nixon.
Senate Bill 656 received the most attention during this veto session. As the session ran into the evening the Missouri General Assembly took up and approved to override the governor’s veto of legislation that allows Missourians to carry a concealed weapon without the need for a permit.
The bill will allow any person to carry a concealed firearm anywhere that isn’t expressly prohibited by law. The bill is meant to build on the constitutional change made by Missouri citizens in 2014 that allows Missourians the right to permit-less carry. You need to understand that this only applies to carrying within the state of Missouri. Should you travel to another state that requires a permit for carry, you will need a permit not to be in violation of that state’s permit laws.
It also will ensure that individuals who do want to obtain a five-year concealed carry permit will not be charged a fee in excess of $100. The bill will specifically prohibit additional fees that may be charged, including any fee for fingerprinting or a criminal background check. Additionally, the bill will allow Missouri citizens to obtain 10-year, 25-year, or lifetime permits for $200, $250, and $500 respectively.
The legislation also contains a provision commonly referred to as the “Stand Your Ground” law. The measure will remove the requirement that a person who is any place they are legally allowed to be can use force without retreating first. The bill will also expand the state’s castle doctrine law. Current statute allows individuals to use deadly force to defend themselves and their property against intruders. The bill approved by lawmakers will extend the protection against lawsuits to house guests who use deadly force.
I personally highly recommend that every individual gun-owner get training that not only includes how to handle the firearm, but includes state and federal laws affecting firearm use.
Legislators are placing a significant amount of personal responsibility into the hands of Missourians who carry.
-Photo ID, House Bill 1631, was the first issue to be taken up by the House. The bill would implement a system of voter identification in the state if Missouri voters approve a constitutional change that is on the November ballot. It will appear as Constitutional Amendment 6, and I have provided the actual ballot language below.
If the constitutional change is approved by voters, Missouri will then implement a system of voter identification. The bill that now becomes law would require voters to present a specified form of identification in order to vote in a public election. Valid forms of identification would include photo IDs issued by the state, the federal government or the military.
It also would require the state to pay for individuals to obtain a valid ID if they do not have one, or to obtain documents necessary for an ID. Additionally, the final version of the HB 1631 contains a provision that would allow a voter without a valid photo ID to vote with a regular ballot by showing another form of identification.
Supporters of the change say it is vital to prevent voter fraud and protect election integrity.
Constitutional Amendment 6; Official Ballot Title: Shall the Constitution of Missouri be amended to state that voters may be required by law, which may be subject to exception, to verify one’s identity, citizenship, and residence by presenting identification that may include valid government-issued photo identification?
-A less-know but important bill is legislation intending to protect taxpayer dollars. House Bill 1432 enacts legislation that will protect taxpayer funds from being wasted on ineffective government employees who are placed on paid administrative leave when they should be fired. The legislation is a response to abuses seen in a Missouri school district where several administrators were not fired but instead kept on extended paid administrative leave. To prevent such abuses from happening, the legislation that will now become law requires a hearing within 60 days of an employee being placed on administrative leave. The hearing will be utilized to determine if the employee engaged in misconduct. The bill also will require that an employee placed on administrative leave be provided with a written explanation of the specific reason for the placement within seven days.
-The Governor’s veto of House Bill 2030 also was overridden. This bill is meant to support and encourage employee-owned businesses. It creates a 50 percent income tax deduction for business owners who sell at least 30 percent of their companies to their employees.
=Similar to legislation enacted in states like Nebraska and Iowa, the legislation is designed to give owners an incentive to keep their businesses in Missouri rather than sell them to out-of-state interests. In addition, the legislation will give employees greater stake in the operation of the company that employs them.
-Legislators took up legislation that protects livestock owners from excessive liability. Senate Bill 844 was approved to clarify that an animal owner is liable for damages done by the animal to another’s property only if the owner has been negligent. Currently, if horses, cattle, or other livestock break through a fence and cause damages to another’s property, the owner is strictly liable. Even in cases when the fence is torn down or broken by someone else, the owner of the animals is still liable under current law. The change approved by the General Assembly will relieve the animal owner from liability for damages when the animals were released because of the actions or fault of another.
-Link to this webpage to read an entire list of veto overrides: Journal of House Proceedings September 14, 2016.