THE issue delaying action of the Missouri Senate for weeks and months during the 2022 regular session of the General Assembly is among the first to be finalized by Gov. Mike Parson. The new Congressional redistricting map that basically broke the Senate due to Republican infighting was approved and signed by the Governor on May 18.
The Senate adjourned on May 12 after passing the redistricting map legislation. The House of Representatives followed on May 13, the session’s last day, finalizing several of the 43 non-budget bills that were passed in 2022.
Now, the Governor will consider the bills that passed before signing, vetoing, or taking no action which allows a bill to go into effect. What bills and issues were passed in 2022? Among them:
BUDGET: $49 billion operating budget to kick in July 1. Budget includes $3 billion in federal ARPA funds, targeting many local projects. Distributing one-time tax credits of $500 per person, $1,000 per couple, for qualified individuals.
ELECTIONS: Requiring photo ID to vote, allowing two weeks of early in-person voting, going to paper ballots in 2024.
AGRICULTURE: Strengthening farmers’ and landowners’ position on land taken by eminent domain for electrical transmission lines. Providing tax credits for certain meat processing plants, biofuel and wood energy businesses. Allowing advanced recycling.
EDUCATION: Charter school funding in St. Louis and Kansas City. Requiring lead testing in schools’ water systems. Easing substitute teacher requirements to assist with the current shortage. Focusing on literacy, reading programs. The education budget fully funds the state’s share of public school transportation costs with an additional $214 million.
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: Positive modifications to the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant Program.
HOUSING: Prohibits homeowners’ associations from banning solar panels on homes.
OTHER MAJOR BILLS: Reforms to funding of the Kansas City Police Department, COVID restrictions related to visitation policies at medical facilities, budget appropriations of $250 million to expand broadband internet in the state, $2.5 billion for expanded eligibility under the state Medicaid program, $461 million for construction projects at public universities and community colleges.
Next: What will the Governor sign or veto? Legislators are next scheduled to return to Jefferson City for their Veto Session on Sept. 14.