Missouri 2015 Legislative Wrap-Up
The 98th General Assembly adjourned on May 16th after an unusual session filled with tragedy, scandal, and rarely used parliamentary procedures that effectively shut down the Senate. Few bills actually made it through the legislative process to reach the Governor’s desk. For a full list of bills that were passed by the legislature, see the Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed list
- Bonding Bills
Governor Nixon approved a plan to repair state-owned buildings and college campuses with more than $300 million in bonds. HB 17, HB 18, and HB 19 appropriate state funds for projects such as renovating halls at the University of Missouri, improving veterans’ homes, transforming the MoDOT Headquarters, and repairing the Capitol building. Click on the bill links above to see the different projects.
- Unemployment Compensation
The legislature also passed HB 150 this session, reducing the amount of weeks one can qualify for unemployment benefits. Currently, the cap for receiving benefits is set at 20 weeks per year or 33.3% of the recipients wage credits, whichever is lesser. The new legislation creates a scale that bases unemployment benefits on the current unemployment rate.
Passed but Vetoed
- Right to Work
HB 116, commonly referred to as “Right to Work,” is legislation that prohibits unionized labor from making workers pay dues and become union members. It passed the Senate during the last week of session by a rarely used technical procedure called a PQ. Debate was cut off and forced to a vote, after which the Senate was shut down entirely. The bill was passed by a narrow majority, but then vetoed by Governor Nixon. It will face an override vote in September.
Did Not Pass
- Transportation Funding
There was a strong effort to pass a bill this session that would fix Missouri’s transportation crisis, but none came to fruition. MoDOT is in desperate need of funding as the condition of Missouri’s roads and bridges, especially I-70, fall into disrepair. The most viable options put forward included a small gas tax increase or a toll road system, but neither passed the legislature.