Gov. Jay Nixon today signed five bills into law, and vetoed four other bills. The Governor signed:
House Bill 235, which requires candidates for county treasurer, county collector and county collector-treasurer to provide the election authority with a signed affidavit from a surety company indicating that the candidate meets the minimum bonding requirements for the office;
House Bill 233, which contains administrative language clarifying the law regarding Missouri State Employees' Retirement System (MOSERS) and the MoDOT and Patrol Employees' Retirement System (MPERS);
House Bill 351, which requires the Department of Health and Senior Services to review and revise its regulations governing hospital licensure to promote efficiency;
House Bill 215, which modifies several areas of law regarding the criminal justice system, including strengthening laws related to domestic violence and sexually violent offenses; and
Senate Bill 100, which modifies several areas of law relating to judicial procedures, including streamlining the adoption process.
Gov. Nixon vetoed legislation that would have increased fees on financially vulnerable Missourians.
House Bill 329 would have increased the fees that payday, title and consumer installment lenders can charge consumers. The most impacted consumers would be those seeking short-term loans under $1,500. The Governor's veto message on House Bill 329 is available here.
"Helping payday lenders reap higher profits at the expense of struggling Missourians will not grow our economy or create jobs," Gov. Nixon said. "Missourians need payday loan reform, not the expansion and higher fees tucked within House Bill 329, which will do nothing to help consumers trapped in debt."
The Governor also vetoed Senate Bill 170, which would have repealed existing Missouri law requiring elected officials to be physically present when they cast a vote. The legislation would have instead allowed certain elected officials to vote in public meetings via videoconference without demonstrating good cause for doing so. Read the Governor's veto message on Senate Bill 170 here.
"Current law already allows elected officials to use technology to participate in meetings, but it also draws the line at casting a vote," Gov. Nixon said. "Missouri's longstanding expectation that elected officials show up when it's time to vote should not be undone in the name of convenience. No technology can or should substitute connecting with people in person."
The Governor also vetoed Senate Bill 28 and House Bill 611, which would have unfairly denied Missourians the ability to receive unemployment benefits on the basis of activities occurring outside the workplace and outside of work hours.
"What employees do on their own time should not be used as a basis for denying unemployment benefits, except for the narrow circumstances already set forth in law," Gov. Nixon said. "These bills also contradict federal law, which could jeopardize the federal tax credits that Missouri employers receive, potentially costing them an estimated $859 million each year. The bills are bad for employers, workers and our economy, and I cannot allow them to become law."