OpinionJune 12, 2024
Missouri Legislature wraps session with pivotal bills on voting, property rights, and public safety. Key measures include election reforms, eviction moratorium restrictions, enhanced public safety laws, and 340B drug distribution regulations.
Chris Dinkins
Chris Dinkins

The following bills were passed in the final week of session:

  • SJR 78 is a proposed constitutional amendment that, if approved by voters, modifies election provisions in Missouri. It stipulates that only U.S. citizens over 18 residing in Missouri and their respective political subdivisions can vote. All elections must use paper ballots or legally prescribed mechanical methods, and voters are allowed only one vote per issue or office, prohibiting ranked-choice voting except in certain preexisting nonpartisan municipal elections. The candidate with the most votes in a party primary will be the sole candidate for that party in the general election. This rule also excludes certain nonpartisan municipal elections with preexisting ordinances as of Nov. 5, 2024.
  • HB 2062 addresses a range of property rights issues, primarily focusing on prohibiting local eviction moratoriums without state approval to safeguard property rights and contractual agreements between landlords and tenants. The bill also includes provisions such as the Protecting Missouri's Small Businesses Act to support businesses affected by shutdowns, the Missouri Historic, Rural Revitalization and Regulatory Streamlining Act aimed at enhancing historic property revitalization, and the establishment of nonprofit land banks under the Land Bank Act to combat blight. Additionally, the bill addresses trespassing laws, enhances property owner rights, sets guidelines for residential chicken ownership, and shifts responsibility for electric vehicle charging station costs to local municipalities.
  • SB 754 is a comprehensive legislative initiative aimed at enhancing public safety across Missouri. The bill addresses key areas such as juvenile justice, firearm safety, drug trafficking, and protection for law enforcement animals. It includes significant updates to state laws, impacting juvenile court jurisdiction, parole eligibility, traffic violations, sentencing guidelines, and introducing new laws for cyber-crimes, firearms offenses and drug offenses. Notable provisions include Valentine's Law, which penalizes aggravated fleeing from police stops; Maxx's Law, which increases penalties for harming law enforcement animals; Blair's Law, targeting reckless firearm discharge within cities; and stringent measures against drug trafficking. SB 754 also modifies expungement eligibility for certain crimes. This legislative package is hailed as a crucial step in modernizing Missouri’s legal framework and enhancing community safety, reflecting a commitment to reducing violent crime and protecting citizens statewide.
  • SB 751 enacts provisions regarding the distribution of 340B drugs. It prohibits entities from restricting the acquisition or delivery of 340B drugs to pharmacies contracted with a covered entity to dispense these drugs on its behalf. Violations are considered unlawful merchandising practices, with each affected package of 340B drugs constituting a separate violation. The Board of Pharmacy is authorized to investigate and impose disciplinary actions for such violations. The act ensures compliance with federal law, stating that its provisions cannot be less restrictive or conflict with existing federal or state laws. Limited distribution required by federal law is not considered a violation of this act.

Gov. Parson signed SB139 last year, designating the city of Piedmont and the county of Wayne as the UFO capitals of Missouri. It was an honor to be invited to the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new UFO Capital Park in Piedmont. The ribbon cutting took place on May 23 as the grand opening for the park. This is a new and fun attraction for all to see and learn about the history of the UFO sightings in Piedmont. On Friday, Diane Elkin and I were on "Show Me Today," a statewide syndicated radio program and podcast, talking about the new park and plans to attract tourists to the area.

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As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, concerns or suggestions you might have. As your representative, I am here to assist you however I can. I can be reached by email at Chris.Dinkins@house.mo.gov or by phone at (573) 751-2112. Please do not contact me via social media. These messages are easy to overlook and may not be responded to in a timely manner.

CHRIS DINKINS represents Missouri’s 144th House District. The district includes Bollinger, Iron, Madison, Reynolds, Shannon, Washington and Wayne counties.

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