The halls of the Capitol were quiet in June as legislators have returned to their home districts for the interim where they are busy with constituent meetings, drafting legislation for next session, and raising money for the next campaign cycle.
In the meantime, members of the General Assembly are waiting for Governor Mike Parson to render decisions on legislation that made its way to his desk with the close of the last legislative session. As of the writing of this article, Gov. Parson has signed eight policy related bills and vetoed a line item in the supplemental budget. The vetoed language was contained in HB15 and amounted to a $25,000 expenditure earmarked for audit costs within MoDOT. In his veto letter, Parson stated funding for the audit was included in MoDOT’s 2024 regular budget, therefore the supplemental funding was not necessary.
Policy related bills signed by the governor thus far include bills which halt gender affirming procedures in the state for minors, as well as legislation that prohibits transgender girls from participating on girls’ sports teams. Any school that allows transgender girls to participate on girls’ sports teams, would be ineligible from receiving any state aid or any other revenue from the state. Both bills were the subject of much controversy during the legislative session. Other bills signed by Parson include HB131 which allows for biweekly pay for state employees, SB167 which modifies certain requirements for medical certificates for CDL’s, and SB25 which allows state income tax deductions for federal grants to expand broadband access.
Although Parson had not yet signed the FY24 budget as of the writing of this article, he had signaled his support of the massive $2.8 billion earmark to widen and improve Interstate 70 across the state, as well as funding for the initial stages of improvements to Interstate 44 and U.S. Route 63.
The deadline for Gov. Parson to sign the budget related bills was June 30. He has until July 14 to make a determination on policy related bills. Bills that are signed into law will become effective on August 28, unless the bill has an emergency clause or specific date of implementation. Please note, Gov. Parson does not have to actually sign the policy bills. If he takes no action (meaning no veto and no signature) the bill will be deemed signed and become effective on August 28.
In other government news, Maggie Kost, who had led the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED), recently resigned to become the Chief Business Attraction Officer for Greater St. Louis, Inc. Kost oversaw multiple business attraction and expansion projects during her tenure with the state, which generated over 13,000 new jobs. Governor Parson named Michele Hataway as Acting Director following Kost’s departure. Hataway has served in multiple management positions over the last seven years with DED.
We will continue to keep you updated with political happenings in Jefferson City and around the state as they occur. Nikki Strong, Strong Consulting Group, LLC