The Missouri House and Senate worked this week to finalize their legislative agendas for the 2023 session. While both chambers finish their work before the 6 pm deadline, some MCC priorities and bills of interest will be heading to the governor’s desk. Be on the lookout for a full wrap-up in the MCC End of Session Report and End of Session podcast soon!
SBs 45 & 90 extend MO HealthNet coverage for low-income women from 60 days to one year following the end of the pregnancy to help address Missouri’s high maternal mortality and improve health outcomes for mothers and babies.
SB 49 establishes the "Missouri Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act". Under this act, no health care provider shall perform gender transition surgeries on any minor. Until August 28, 2027, no health care provider shall prescribe or administer cross-sex hormones or puberty-blocking drugs to a minor for a gender transition, unless such minor was receiving such treatment prior to August 28, 2023.
SB 39 prohibits a public or private school from allowing any student to compete in an athletic competition that is designated for the opposite biological sex.
SB 24 was amended to include an expansion of the adoption tax credit. Current law authorizes a nonrefundable tax credit for adoption expenses, not to exceed $10,000 per child, with an annual limit of $6 million dollars in tax credits. The amendment adjusts the maximum per-child credit for inflation, makes the tax credit refundable, removes the $6 million limit, and provides that, for tax years ending on or before December 31, 2023, priority for authorizing tax credits shall be given to applications for special needs children who are residents or wards of residents of this state.
SB 106, dealing with public health, was amended to include two MCC priorities. The bill also now includes the benefits cliff language that would allow a recipient of government assistance–such as food stamps (SNAP) or temporary assistance for needy families (TANF)–to keep a portion of their benefits in cases where an increase in the recipient’s income would otherwise cause them to lose access to the full amount of their benefits. In some cases, the loss of the full benefits can be greater than the pay increase, creating a disincentive for recipients to better their situations. SB 106 also includes the extension of MO HealthNet postpartum coverage for low-income women.
SB 189, which covers a broad variety of criminal justice regulations, expands access for people to apply for expungement of past non-violent criminal offenses, as well as eliminates the $250 filing fee for expungement applications. Under the bill’s expungement provisions, a person with an expunged criminal record may answer “no” if a job interviewer asks them whether they have a prior criminal record. Additionally, the bill grants the MO Office of Prosecution Services authorization to establish a conviction review unit to investigate claims of actual innocence even if the defendant pled guilty to the charge, which often occurs in claims of actual innocence when the defendant accepts a plea deal.