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Senator Justin Brown’s Legislative Column for April 15, 2021

Moving Legislation

Another busy week has passed in the Missouri Senate, with a number of bills advancing through the legislative process and a few making it all the way to the governor’s desk. This week, four pieces of legislation crossed the finish line. Senate Bill 2 expands the Missouri Works jobs creation incentive program to include military employment, such as National Guard duty. House Bill 430 expands tax credits for adoptions, domestic violence shelters and maternity homes. House Bill 429 includes a similar tax credit for adoption, but also includes credits for certain foster care expenses. The bill also contains provisions relating to child placement and birth records. Finally, Senate Bill 189 creates a special vehicle license plate to support the Negro Baseball League Museum in Kansas City.

Among measures advancing out of the upper chamber this week was my Senate Bill 126. This legislation extends the hours liquor can be sold on Sunday. Previously, Sunday liquor sales could only occur between 9 a.m. and midnight. This bill changes those hours to 6 a.m. through 1:30 a.m. Monday morning – the same hours that apply the rest of the week.

Under the existing rules, a fisherman heading out to the lake early Sunday morning can’t fill up his cooler as he leaves town at dawn, but has to wait until later in the day. Current rules also require bars and restaurants to shut down liquor sales early on Sunday evening. With so much of Missouri’s economy dependent on travel, tourism and entertainment, the current law curtails economic activity and causes inconvenience. This bill would bring consistency to hours of liquor sales.

Other legislation receiving initial approval this week included Senate Bill 57, which establishes a “Critical Incident Stress Management Program” to help law enforcement officers cope with stress and potential psychological trauma related to emotionally difficult events. We also perfected Senate Bill 71, which provides for orders of protection to ensure the safety of household pets. A Senate substitute for House Bill 345, a measure relating to arbitration agreements and insurance providers, was third read and passed. The House will have to review our changes before that measure can advance to the governor’s desk.

It’s my honor to serve as your senator for the 16th District. If you have questions or need any assistance, please call my office at 573-751-5713 or log onto my webpage at https://www.senate.mo.gov/brown for more information.