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February 5, 2021 Updates

COVID-19 Liability In The Missouri Senate
After a 15-hour debate that began at about 2 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon and lasted until 5 a.m. on Wednesday, the Missouri Senate perfected the Senate Substitute #2 for Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Bills 51 and 42, the COVID-19 liability bill.  The sponsor of this legislation was Senator Tony Luetkemeyer, who is also the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman.
Much of the debate was in the nuances of standards and burdens of proof, which isn’t necessary to delve into in this discussion.  The bill is now on the Senate Bills for Third Reading Calendar, and at this time it is anticipated that the vote should happen sometime next week.  One thing to keep an eye on is the vote on an emergency clause in order for the bill to take effect upon Governor Parson’s signature.  An emergency clause requires a 2/3’s vote which means it needs 23 votes to pass in the Missouri Senate.   
Governor Parson in his State of the State speech had asked the General Assembly to make this legislation the first bill delivered to him this session, and it certainly looks poised to be among the first bills that reach his desk.

State Of The Judiciary
The State of the Judiciary speech was delivered virtually this week by Chief Justice George Draper, due to COVID-19 concerns.  This was an annual event that is normally in person in the House Chamber.  Everything is a little different this year.  Nothing of great importance to report from the actual address, which is normal for a Judiciary address.

Sports Wagering 
Senate Appropriations met Tuesday morning and heard two bills on sports wagering, Senate Bill 217, filed by Senator Luetkemeyer, and Senate Bill 256, filed by Senator Rowden. The bill would modify definitions on gambling to authorize sports wagering. 

Show Me Success Diploma Program
Senate Education met Tuesday and heard Senate Bills 34 and 35, filed by Senator Arthur, which proposes developing a Show Me Success Diploma Program. The program, which each district could opt-into, would allow students to graduate from high school as early as the end of their 10th grade year and enroll into a secondary education or training institution, or remain in their high school for further education. Through a 529 college savings plan, these students could receive the funding that would’ve gone to the district to support them, lest 10% that would reside with the district. 

Tuesday evening, Rep. Richey, who has been collaborating with Senator Arthur, presented coinciding House Bill 625. 

Legislators Tour NextGen and MURR
This Thursday, the UM System Government Relations hosted about 14 legislators  and staff for tours of the NextGen Precision Health Institute and the University of Missouri Research Reactor in Columbia. 

Next Week
House Higher Education plans to hear House Bill 856, which would suspend the cap on tuition for institutions of higher learning for five years and Health and Mental Health Policy plans to hear Rep. Jason Chipman’s HB 681, which would eliminate the required healthcare fee students pay if they show proof of insurance. Additionally, Rep. Chuck Basye’s House Bill 568, authorizing ccw permit holders to carry firearms on campuses of higher education institutions is scheduled to be heard in House Gen Laws.

Reviewed 2021-02-05