Thursday, February 09, 2017

Committee hearings held for tort reform and narcotics control bills

(From Rep. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington)

This week I chaired one of the longest committee hearings I have been part of during my time in the legislature. We heard two large, controversial bills for more than three hours. The first legislation we discussed is actually two bills (HB339 and HB714) that will be combined into one. The intention is that these bills will help create an overall tort reform package. HB339 modifies provisions relating to tort claims and HB714 changes the law regarding insurance contracts. Amongst other things, these bills are meant to close a loophole in a law that is being used to get out of lawsuits.

The second piece of Legislation we heard was on HB68 and HB90, which would establish a narcotics control act. In Missouri we have a huge problem with drug abuse. Together, these bills would create a database of people buying prescription drugs with cash. There were people both for and against these bills. Those who opposed shared their concern of having more federal government involvement as a result of the database. However, it should be noted that there is currently a database for Medicare and Medicaid, and this would be relatively the same idea.

Progress on my bills: HB129 creates a sales tax exemption for delivery charges on tangible personal property. HB655 extends the expiration date of tax credits for donations to pregnancy centers. Both bills will hit the House floor soon. Please check the progress of these bills by visiting and typing in the bill number in the top right under “bill search”.

Visitors: I was happy to meet all of the visitors who traveled from my district to the Capitol this week. Thank you to the Mineral Area Arts Council, Dental Hygienists, Nurse Anesthetists, and the many others who joined me this week!

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