Ever wonder what the folks you elect to state office are doing for you?  From extended marijuana reform to increased witness protections, here’s a quick look at some of the bills introduced by Kansas City legislators.  

In our Feb. 7, 2019, issue, we took a look at the bill sponsored by Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove and Barbara Washington, and only a portion of the bills introduced by Rep. Brandon Ellington. We admit, if we strictly judge by the number of bills introduced through the first month of the 2019 Missouri Legislative session, by all means, Kansas City’s African-American legislators are serious about making changes that will have a positive impact for their constituents.

Quantity, doesn’t always relate to quality, but a quick perusal of the nearly 50 legislative bills proposed by the Kansas City members of the Missouri Black Legislative Caucus shows they’re hard at work on the real needs and issues of their constituents.

In Part 2, we’ll finish the bills introduced by Rep. Ellington, and take a look at the bills introduced by Reps. Jerome Barnes, Richard Brown, and DaRon McGee and Sen. Shalonn “Kiki” Curls.

We tried to focus our coverage on the bills we felt were most relevant to the needs of our readers. If you missed the bills introduced by Reps. Manlove and Washington, you can read Part 1 of this article online at www.communityvoicekc.com.

Brandon Ellington

We covered a little more than half of Rep. Ellington’s bills in Part 1. Here’s the balance.

HB 165 Specifies that students shall take a world history course in order to graduate from high school

HB 617 Requires election authorities to make available at least one electronic voting machine per polling location for blind or visually impaired voters at an election in order to comply with federal law

HB 620 Changes to add sexual orientation and gender identity as a form of discrimination that would not be legal under the law.

HB 621 Requires children under two years of age to be secured in rear-facing child passenger restraint systems until the child reaches two years of age or until the child reaches the weight or height limit of the rear-facing child passenger restraint system as allowed by the manufacturer of the child passenger restraint system.

HB 672 Reduces the time people spend in jail in Missouri by reducing the percentage of a sentence prisoners must complete and lowering the maximum age for prisoners from 70 to 65 years.

HCR 19 Calls for an Article V convention of states to modify the thirteenth amendment of the United States Constitution. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery except as punishment for a crime. This movement is to have the State of Missouri vote in support of an amendment to the 13th Amendment to eliminate allowing slavery for those who have been punished for a crime.

HJR 3 Proposes an amendment to the Missouri Constitution that does not allow local or county governments to approval a redevelopment play without first putting it to a vote of the people.

Jerome Barnes

HB 317 Allows persons 70 years of age or older to be excused from serving on a petit or grand jury. This is a bill that looks like it will pass this session.

HB 318 Increases the compensation a juror receives from $6 to $40 per day

HB 320 Decreases the age you’re eligible to serve on a jury from 21 to 18.

Richard Brown

HB 47 Establishes the Missouri Food Waste Law. If passed, this law would require all grocery store, restaurants, farms, and others in the food business to donate at least 10% of their excess food, fit for human consumption to needy individuals or to nonprofit organizations that provide food to needy individuals.

HB 162 Creates the offense of knowingly possessing, manufacturing, transporting, repairing, or selling a bump stock or trigger crank.

HB 163 This bill significantly increases the groups of people not allowed to possess a gun in Missouri.

In addition to anyone convicted of a felony, others not allowed to possess a gun are individuals convicted of domestic assault in the fourth degree, illegally or unlawfully in the United States, discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions, has renounced his or her United States citizenship or a person who as the result of a court hearing was issued an order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening a petitioner or their child, or from engaging in other conduct that would place such petitioner or their child in reasonable fear of bodily injury.

Sen. Shalonn “Kiki” Curls

SB 1 Modifies provisions relating to the expungement of certain criminal records. This act removes the following crimes from the list of crimes where expungement is not currently available. These crimes are: Property Damage in the First Degree, Stealing, Forgery, Possession of a Forging Instrumentality, Fraudulent use of a Credit Device or Debit Device, Defrauding Secured Creditors, Mortgage Fraud, and Promoting Civil Disorder in the First Degree.

SB2 Requires the Department of Health and Senior Services to make certain considerations when granting medical marijuana licenses and certifications. This act requires the Department of Health and Senior Services, when scoring medical marijuana license and certificate applicants, to give minority business enterprise applicants and women’s business enterprise applicants a scoring bonus of 10 points. Additionally, the Department shall take into consideration any policy implemented by the political subdivision in which the dispensary shall be located that is designed to promote, increase, or maintain the participation of minority business enterprises or women’s business enterprises in that political subdivision.

SB3 Allows certain people to enter property to secure it, remove trash and graffiti, and maintain the grounds, and provides immunity from civil and criminal liability. This act allows a person who is not the owner of real property in Kansas City or who is a creditor holding a lien interest on the property, and who suspects that the real property may be abandoned, to enter the premises to visually inspect the property to determine whether it is abandoned. If the person makes a good faith determination based on the inspection that the property is abandoned, the person may secure the property, remove trash or debris from the grounds, landscape, maintain, or mow the grounds, and remove or paint over graffiti. This act defines what it means for a property to be “abandoned,” and provides immunity for the person entering the property from claims of civil and criminal trespass and all other civil immunity unless the act or omission constitutes gross negligence or willful, wanton, or intentional misconduct.

This act specifies that, in the case of real property that is subject to a mortgage or deed of trust, the creditor holding the debt secured by the mortgage or deed of trust may not enter the premises of the real property if entry is barred by an automatic stay issued by a bankruptcy court.

SB 75 Modifies provisions relating to concealed carry weapons. This act prohibits issuance of a concealed carry permit to any applicant who is a respondent of an ex parte order of protection that is still in effect. Additionally, this act authorizes any county, city, or village, to enact an ordinance to require that any person carrying a concealed weapon within the boundaries of such political subdivision must have a valid concealed carry permit or endorsement. Any penalty for violation of the ordinance must be consistent with authority granted to such political subdivision under state law.

SB 225 Modifies nuisance actions in certain cities. This act modifies how actions against another property owner whose property is a nuisance are brought in certain cities and counties. Under current law, a property owner has 60 days after receiving notice to eliminate the nuisance before an action can be brought against them. This act changes that to 45 days.

The definitions of the terms “nuisance” and “neighborhood associations,” as they are used in this act, are modified. Property owners and neighborhood associations seeking injunctive relief under this act will no longer have to show they are suffering actual damages as a result of the nuisance in order to bring such an action. Additionally, this act permits attorney’s fees being awarded in certain circumstances to the party who brought the action.

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