New Laws Cover Guns, Abortion Drugs, Veterans, Taxes and Eggs
Dozens of new laws take effect Wednesday in Missouri. They cover a variety of topics, including shooter-preparedness in schools, a new use for drivers' cell phones and a redefinition of "eggs." Here's a look at some of the big and odd laws taking hold.
Missourians can count on paying a tax on motor vehicles, no matter where they buy them. House bill (HB)184 levies a tax on the titling of any motor vehicle (car, boat, etc.) purchased outside of Missouri. The bill comes in light of a 2012 Missouri Supreme Court decision distinguishing the local sales tax and use tax that the state previously collected money on.
Senate Bill (SB) 10 provides up to $3 million in tax breaks for amateur sports organizations (such as the NCAA), to encourage organizers to hold events in Missouri.
The Active Shooter and Intruder Response for Schools Program is created through SB 75. The bill requires schools to hold an armed intruder drill each year with local law enforcement, and requires school employees to train for handling a gunman in school. Training must be completed by 2014.
HB 533 changes many rules concerning the handling and sales of firearms.
The first part of the bill adds fire chiefs and fire protection district chiefs to the list of people able to carry and use concealed weapons without violating certain aspects of the "unlawful use of a weapon" law.
The bill also allows state employees to bring guns into a government building's parking lot, "provided that the vehicle is locked and the firearm is not visible."
The final part of the bill prohibits any local government agency, other than the county sheriff's office, from buying residents' firearms. A city government agency may set up a program like this if the city passes an ordinance, but that ordinance must require the agency to sell them to a local firearms dealer.
A measure involving abortion-inducing drugs becomes law without the governor's signature. HB 400 requires doctors or pharmacists to be physically present when a patient takes the first dose of RU-486 and similar drugs, and to make "all reasonable efforts" to be present when the patient takes the second dose.
The law effectively prohibits "telemedicine" in these situations, a meeting between the physician and patient through videoconferencing and other telecommunications. The governor did not veto the bill, meaning it will go into effect Wednesday, under a rule in the Missouri Constitution.
HB 374 establishes Veteran Treatment Courts, similar to drug courts, for veterans facing substance abuse charges and crimes stemming from mental health issues. Each circuit court in the state may develop its own guidelines on when to refer a veteran to these treatment courts, which provide drug screenings and psychological help.
SB 33 allows people with mental disabilities to be accompanied by service animals in public places.
SB 117 means military veterans will receive more help with college upon leaving the armed forces. Military personnel who receive honorable or general discharges will receive in-state tuition to Missouri colleges and universities if they choose to become residents of the state.
Child custody agreements for active military personnel leaving Missouri will be protected under HB 148. The bill says one parent's deployment cannot be the sole reason for changing a couple's custody agreements. Unless a written agreement says otherwise, the custody agreement cannot be altered until 90 days after the deployed parent's tour ends.
Eighteen-year-olds across the state can now become a bit more politically active. SB 99 lowers the minimum age to run for alderman in Class 4 cities (population 500 to 2,999) from 21 to 18.
Missouri is also redefining the egg. Previously, it only considered chicken eggs as those meant for human consumption. SB 329 expands that to include goose, turkey, duck, or guinea eggs as subject to government inspection.
(Taylor Beck, Lucas Geisler, Jake Lasofsky, Elaina O'Connell, Michelle Schuelke and Addison Walton contributed to this report.)