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Missouri lawmakers passed 48 bills this year. Here’s a guide to the potential new laws

Missouri lawmakers celebrate the end of the 2024 legislative session.
Tim Bommel
Missouri House Communications
Missouri lawmakers celebrate the end of the 2024 legislative session.

Missouri lawmakers set their sights on new laws to make it easier for families to score tax credits on private school tuition, raise the minimum pay for teachers and launch new tax breaks for the nuclear weapons industry in Kansas City.

Lawmakers hoped to pass tax credits for child care providers, a resolution making initiative petitions harder to pass and a package of legislation reforming city and county jails.

But this year’s General Assembly session was defined by fighting among factions in the Republican Party amid campaigns for other offices ahead of the November general election. It resulted in a recent low for passing legislation. Lawmakers passed 48 bills total, 28 of which were non-budget bills.

Most potential new Missouri laws are still awaiting a signature, or possible veto, from lame-duck Gov. Mike Parson. Lawmakers come back for a veto session in September before wrapping up for the year.

The Beacon compiled a list of the bills passed by the Missouri General Assembly this year, which could become new Missouri laws.

Business and taxes

Banking and assets

This bill would ensure that breast and cervical cancer screenings are eligible for medical assistance.

The legislation is SB 1359.

Taxation for certain businesses

This bill changes how certain businesses, like partnerships or S corporations, are taxed. The legislation would let shareholders collect a tax credit for income that may be taxed in another state.

The legislation is HB 1912.

Tax exemptions for KC nuclear facility

This bill will grant state and local sales tax exemptions for the expansion of the nuclear weapons facility at the Honeywell-operated National Nuclear Security Administration campus. It produces non-nuclear parts for nuclear weapons.

The legislation is SB 1388.

The Kansas City National Security Campus just off Missouri Highway 150
The Kansas City National Security Campus
The Kansas City National Security Campus, Honywell
The Kansas City National Security Campus just off Missouri Highway 150

Business development and tax credits for rural investments

This bill would create a tax credit for some investments made in primarily agricultural businesses in rural Missouri.

The legislation is SB 802.

Another bill would establish the Regulatory Sandbox Act, which will identify state regulations that could be waived in the first years of establishing a business. It would also create an Office of Entrepreneurship to promote small businesses.

The legislation isSB 894.

Local government

Changes to local governance and property rights

This bill outlines a number of changes to property rights in Missouri. Under the legislation, no county or city will be allowed to enforce an eviction moratoriumunless authorized by state law. If a government shuts down a business for at least 14 consecutive days or 30 days total, the city must waive business fees and reduce property taxes for that time. It comes in the wake of government-ordered shutdowns during the pandemic.

The bill would also outline rules to allow property owners to remove people who are illegally staying on or occupying a residential property. It would create a Class A misdemeanor penalty for squatting.

The legislation would also exempt churches and nonprofits from local laws requiring electric vehicle charging stations.

It would also allow counties to establish land banks, which allow for cities to take control of vacant properties. And It would require more transparency for local land banks and create a tax credit program for rehabilitating historic buildings.

The legislation would also bar homeowners associations from prohibiting residents from owning chickens.

The legislation is HB 2062.

A backyard chicken hangs out in a portable coop in Silver Spring, Md., a close-in suburb of Washington, D.C. Backyard birds have become popular in urban and suburban areas, but a new CDC report documents a record high number of salmonella infections linked to these domestic flocks.
Charles Dharapak
A backyard chicken hangs out in a portable coop in Silver Spring, Md., a close-in suburb of Washington, D.C. Backyard birds have become popular in urban and suburban areas, but a new CDC report documents a record high number of salmonella infections linked to these domestic flocks.

Tax credits for seniors

This bill would update a number of provisions included in2023’s property tax freeze for Missourians over 62.

The bill clarifies that Missourians 62 and older who own their homes are eligible for the freeze. It creates more clarity about guidelines counties need to follow.

The legislation is SB 756.

State government

Expanding the powers of the state auditor

This bill would give more powers to the state auditor by allowing the office to audit any local government if an investigation shows the government acted improperly. The bill would apply to fire and ambulance departments and counties and would allow the auditor to launch the audit without first getting voter approval.

The legislation is HB 2111.

Virtual schooling

This bill clarifies language from legislation passed in 2022 relating to Missouri’s virtual schooling program. The bill reworks how the state calculates average daily attendance, state aid to districts that run virtual programs, enrollment policies and accommodating students with disabilities.

Parson has signed this bill, HB 2287, into law.

Raising minimum teacher salary, expanding vouchers, charter schools in Boone County

This bill will raise the minimum starting salary for Missouri teachers to $40,000 and expand a tax-credit scholarship for private schools in Missouri.

Under the legislation, the tax-credit scholarship would give more money to families to send students to the school of their choice, including private schools.

The bill did not come with funding for school districts to increase their starting teacher pay, so districts will have to come up with the money themselves.

The legislation will also allow charter schools to open in Boone County.

Parson has signed this bill, SB 727, into law.

Crime, warrants for traffic violations, celebratory gunfire

This bill would make a number of changes to the criminal justice system.

It would raise the minimum age a child can be tried as an adult for certain offenses from 12 to 14. The bill would also make the minimum prison term three years for a first offense of armed criminal action.

If it becomes a law in Missouri, the legislation would prohibit courts from issuing a warrant for arrest over unpaid traffic violations.

A Kansas City Police motorcycle officer pulls over a vehicle on Hwy 71 in July 2021.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
A Kansas City Police motorcycle officer pulls over a vehicle on Hwy 71 in July 2021.

It would establish a state conviction review unit to investigate claims of innocence within the Missouri Office of Prosecution Services. It would also create a Cyber Crimes Task Force to research and recommend tools to limit cyberstalking and harassment.

It would establish “Blair’s Law,” which raises the penalty for recklessly discharging a gun within city limits. It would also establish “Max’s Law,” which raises the penalty for attacking or killing a police animal. It would also up the penalty for attempting to flee from a law enforcement officer in a high-speed chase.

The bill would put limits on local civilian review boards and create a Public Defender fund within the state treasurer’s office. It would also update some expungement provisions.

The legislation is SB 754.

Broadband incentives

This bill would allow an income tax deduction for federal, state and local grant money to expand broadband throughout Missouri.

The legislation is SB 872.

Efforts to prevent veteran suicide, veterans and military affairs

The bill would require the Missouri Veterans Commission to review a previously passed mental health care plan. After that review, the commission and the Department of Mental Health will be required to make recommendations for procedures, treatment options and any other assistance needed to assist in efforts to prevent veteran suicide.

The legislation is HB 1495.

Another bill would make a number of changes to veterans affairs in Missouri and expand educational assistance for members of the Missouri National Guard.

The legislation is SB 912.

Health care

Blocking funds for Planned Parenthood

This House bill prohibits state dollars from going to abortion providers or their affiliates, namely Planned Parenthood.

Parson has signed the legislation, HB 2634, into law.

Distribution of 340B drugs

This Senate bill prohibits drug manufacturers from blocking or limiting the supply of discounted drugs to pharmacies.

The legislation is SB 751.


Regulating wastewater and fertilizer storage

This bill would require industrial wastewater, meatpacking sludge or other waste to be regulated by a standard set by the Department of Natural Resources.

It would also require companies to meet design requirements in line with wastewater treatment facilities before they can obtain an operating permit. The bill would also put buffer zones in place between fertilizer storage and any public building or residential areas. It would require groundwater monitoring if storage is in an area that would increase the chance of groundwater contamination.

The legislation is HB 2134.

Blocking a landfill in south KC

This bill would give cities near Kansas City input on a previously proposed landfill site in south Kansas City. Under law, cities within a half-mile radius of a proposed landfill site are able to block a landfill from being built. If signed, the bill would increase the radius to one mile, allowing cities like Lee’s Summit, Raymore and Belton to weigh in and block the landfill.

The bill passed after the city of Raymore agreed to pay over $3.7 million to the landfill developers to allow the legislation to advance, essentially killing the proposed landfill. Gov. Parson signed this bill into law.

The legislation is HB 1751.

A sign just outside Creekmoor, a golf course subdivision in Raymore, implores drivers to stop a proposed landfill less than a mile away.
Allison Kite
Missouri Independent
A sign just outside Creekmoor, a golf course subdivision in Raymore, implores drivers to stop a proposed landfill less than a mile away.

Ballot measures

Salaries and benefits for law enforcement

This proposed constitutional amendment would allow for levying of costs and fees that support salaries and benefits for current and former sheriffs, prosecuting attorneys and circuit attorneys.

The resolution is SJR 71.

Ranked-choice voting and noncitizen voting

This proposed constitutional amendment would ask voters to approve that only U.S. citizens over 18 can vote in Missouri elections, which is already the law. The amendment would also bar ranked-choice voting in most elections.

The resolution is SJR 78.

Major bills that died

Making it harder to amend the state Constitution

This legislation would have placed a measure on the ballot asking voters to make it more difficult to pass constitutional amendments. Currently, amendments require simple-majority support to pass. If approved by voters, this measure would have required constitutional amendments to be approved by a simple majority statewide plus a majority in five of Missouri’s eight congressional districts.

The legislation would have also barred noncitizens from voting in Missouri elections and prohibited foreign governments from supporting or opposing ballot initiatives. Both are already illegal.

The legislation was SJR 74.

Raising the minimum age for marriage

This bill would have barred Missourians under 18 from getting married. Current law allows Missourians aged 16 and 17 to get married.

The legislation was SB 767.

Child care tax credits

This legislation would have offered tax credits to those who donate to child care providers in Missouri. It would also provide tax relief for businesses that provide or help pay for child care for their employees and provide tax credits for child care providers.

The legislation was HB 1488.

Task force for missing and murdered Black women

This bill would have created a state task force to author yearly a report that includes recommendations and measures ways to address violence against Black women and girls in Missouri.

The legislation was SB 890.

Modifying policies for jails

This bill would have made a number of changes related to city and county jails.

The legislation would have barred jails from restricting access to phone calls and would cap costs for a phone call at 12 cents per minute.

The legislation would have also barred jails from shackling pregnant inmates in their third trimester, except under certain circumstances. The bill would have required county and city jails to develop specific intake policies for pregnant inmates.

The bill would also require voters to approve a sales tax to establish a regional jail district for two or more counties that are right next to each other. It would also allow jails to lease their properties and would allow regional jails to impose a 1% sales tax, up from half a percent.

The legislation was SB 900.

This story was originally published by The Beacon Kansas City, a fellow member of the KC Media Collective.

Copyright 2024 KCUR 89.3

Meg Cunningham is a senior convergence journalism major with an emphasis in investigative reporting from Kansas City, Missouri. She is interested in policy and data reporting and how to effectively engage audiences. She has reported on a variety of topics in the mid-Missouri area, including Medicaid coverage and drinking water quality. She was recently awarded the RJI Student Innovation Fellowship, where she will work at the Washington bureau of ABC as a political reporting fellow.