More than 2,000 bills were filed in the Missouri General Assembly this session and 145 were eventually passed and await the governor’s signature.
Although those numbers seem a bit skewed, legislators passed 76 more bills than last year.
It was an especially productive year for the five lawmakers representing Franklin County at the state level, who all had sponsored bills pass this session.
State Sen. Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, filed 31 bills this session and was able to get three of them passed by his colleagues in both chambers. They include:
• SB 707 — Modifies provisions relating to vehicle sales,
• SB 708 — Increases the minimum motor vehicle liability coverage a driver must carry for others’ property when operating a motor vehicle, and
• SB 862 — Modifies provisions relating to electrical contractors.
Schatz also had a hand in the somewhat controversial SCR 49, which moves the date of a statewide referendum vote on Right to Work from November to August.
In addition to work on his own bills, Schatz handled legislation moved over from his House colleagues and chaired the Senate Transportation Committee.
State Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Washington, filed eight bills in his final legislative session.
One of which, HB 2034, passed in early May, will legalize the growing and cultivation of industrial hemp in Missouri.
If signed by the governor, the bill will create an industrial hemp agricultural pilot program to be implemented by the Department of Agriculture and specifies the requirements for an applicant of an industrial hemp registration and agricultural hemp seed production permit.
In addition to wrapping up his legislative career and chairing the House Ways and Means Committee, Curtman kicked off a statewide campaign for auditor after a brief flirtation with running for the U.S. Senate.
State Rep. Kirk Mathews, R-Pacific, announced earlier this year he would not seek a third term in the Legislature.
He filed five bills this legislative session and will go out with a positive after successfully ushering his first bill to passage.
House Bill 1769 establishes the offense of filing false documents with the intent to defraud, deceive, harass, alarm, or negatively impact, financially or in such a manner reasonably calculated to deceive.
Mathews did not rule out re-entering the political realms, but will take the time off to assist his wife in caring for her ill father.
State Rep. Nate Tate, R-St. Clair, filed nine bills this session and was able to get one of them passed and another got widespread media attention.
In a recent capital report, Tate said it is uncommon for a freshman legislator to do so.
If signed by the governor, HB 1809 would be the first step in allowing Franklin County to join the Bi-State Development Agency.
Tate’s HB 1810 would have made it a crime to falsify a drug test and would have banned synthetic urine throughout the state.
Despite the media attention it raised, the bill died in committee.
Although none of the 11 bills filed by State Rep. Justin Alferman, R-Hermann, were passed, language he has filed in the past was added to a bill from another lawmaker that was passed.
House Bill 1428 was passed with language that would require the state Senate to ratify any gubernatorial appointments after Aug. 28, 2018.
In addition to the legislative work, Alferman played a key part in the state’s 2019 budget as vice chairman of the House Budget committee.
In that role, Alferman took up the fight against the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) for not releasing Bourbon virus testing information from Meramec State Park.
Once the smoke cleared, the DHSS lost eight full-time equivalent positions valued at $800,000 from the department director’s budget.