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Lawmakers busy proposing legislation in advance of new session

A third piece of cigarette tax-related legislation was filed in Jefferson City.
A third piece of cigarette tax-related legislation was filed in Jefferson City.

With the general assembly set to begin in early January, lawmakers are busy proposing new legislation.

One Missouri lawmaker is proposing some victims of domestic violence get two weeks of unpaid leave from work.

Democratic state Sen. Gina Walsh of St. Louis recently filed legislation that would require employers give their workers time to cope with abuse. Employees would qualify if they or a family member experienced any of a number of forms of domestic violence.

They would need to notify their boss two days in advance of time off.

The bill aims to give survivors of domestic violence time to seek counseling, medical attention or legal help.

Workers at companies with 50 or more employees would get two weeks off a year. Companies with more than 15 employees would allow one week off.

Employers could not discriminate against individuals who seek unpaid leave.

Another proposed bill wants to make sure that Electronic cigarettes would have to be wrapped in child-safe packaging.

State Rep. Sheila Solon of Blue Springs has filed legislation requiring stricter packaging for vapor products. Electronic cigarettes heat liquid nicotine into an inhalable vapor, and some is flavored to taste like candy.

Lawmakers last session approved a bill to ban sales of electronic cigarettes and other alternative nicotine products to minors. But the bill faced opposition from Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, who vetoed it because of concerns that it also prevented the products from being taxed or regulated as tobacco.

Lawmakers later overrode the veto.

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