This Legislative Wrap Up was prepared by League Lobbyist Shanon Hawk with AT Government Strategies.
The 2023 legislative session ended Friday, May 12 with 58 bills passing out of the 2,323 that were filed. It is important to note that 17 of those 58 bills were appropriations bills. Although it seems like not many bills passed, most of the bills that did pass are large and contain multiple bills within them. Governor Parson’s administration will spend the next several weeks reviewing the “truly agreed to and finally passed” bills in order to determine which ones he will sign or veto prior to the July 14 deadline for him to take action. If he takes no action on a bill, it is deemed passed. The Governor has line-item veto power within the budget bills, so he may veto certain expenditures without the entire bill being vetoed. Policy bills signed by the Governor will become effective on August 28th, unless they were passed with an emergency clause or other named effective date. Given that the new state fiscal year begins on July 1, the budget review takes precedent over other legislation because the budget needs to be acted upon by June 30.
Majority Party Priorities
Both House and Senate leadership highlighted their priorities for the 2023 session back in December and then again as session started in January. Most of those proposals failed. Priorities this session included:
- Education reform/charter expansion (failed)
- Initiative petition reform (failed)
- Transgender athletes/gender transition procedures (passed)
- Sports betting (failed)
- Tort reform (failed)
- Personal property tax reform (failed)
Bills that Passed
- FY 2024 budget – $49 billion budget that includes $2.8 billion to widen I-70 across the state; $20 million for the environmental impact study for I-44; $40 million for low-volume roads; a 7% funding increase for the state’s colleges and universities; $250 million for the broadband grant program; $56 million for pre-K programs; and $78 million to increase rates for childcare providers.
- Ban on texting while driving. Also includes language allowing auto dealers to collect sales tax at the time of purchase. HCS SS SCS SB 398
- Tax relief for seniors which includes a property tax freeze and elimination of state tax on Social Security benefits. SS SB 190
- Healthcare fared very well this year with a number of issues passing in omnibus bills, including: SS HCS HBs 115 & 99; SS HB 402; CCS HCS SCS SBs 45 & 90; SS SB 51; CCS HCS SS SCS SB 157; and HCS SS SCS SB 106
- A wide-ranging crime package with a host of provisions, including steeper penalties for recklessly discharging a firearm in a celebratory fashion within, or into, a municipality. SS SCS SBs 189, 36 & 37
- Two financial services bills which make a number of changes within the Division of Finance and also allows the Department of Health and Senior Services to share the information of licensed marijuana facilities with banking institutions. SCS SB 13 and SB 63
- An omnibus public records bill that contains the Personal Privacy Protection Act, as well as changes to the Sunshine Law that protect police GPS and security measures, data provided to a tip line, or information in a suspicious activity report provided to certain public entities. CCS SB 28
- Numerous public safety provisions, including workers compensation for first responders and a voluntary critical illness benefits pool for firefighters. CCS HCS SB 186 and HCS SS SB 24
- A massive retirement bill that includes numerous provisions, including the creation of the Show-Me My Retirement Savings Plan which creates new provisions relating to retirement savings plans for private-sector employees. CCS SB 20
- A constitutional amendment that, if approved by the voters, exempts from property tax all real and personal property used primarily for the care of a child outside of his or her home. SJR 26
Bills that Failed
- Elimination or reduction of personal property taxes.
- Property tax rate reduction.
- Legislation seeking to reinstate the Presidential Preference Primary.
- State takeover of the St. Louis Police Department.
- A number of bills (over 60 for sure) that would have eliminated sales tax on a variety of items ranging from electricity and food to durable medical equipment, diapers and feminine hygiene products.
- Restrictions on foreign ownership of farmland.
- Several bills sought to exclude certain video service providers from paying the franchise fee for the use of the public right of way.
- School choice/open enrollment.
- Bills that would preempt local governments from regulating tobacco sales.
- Cuts to individual and corporate income taxes.
- Environmental, social and governance scoring.
- Modifications to the home-based business provisions passed in 2022.
- Land banks.
- Modifications to voting in special taxing districts.
- Legislation banning all lobbyist gifts for any locally elected official and their staff.
- Ban on breed-specific dog ordinances and cat declawing.
- Various modifications to the Sunshine law, including provisions to protect the personally identifiable information of minors, as well as city residents who receive newsletters, notices, bulletins and the like from the city.
- Legislation that would permit professional licensure for individuals who practice a profession for three years under certain conditions.
Key Upcoming Dates
- June 30, 2023 – Last day for the Governor to sign or line-item veto budget items
- July 1, 2023 – First day of the new fiscal year
- July 14, 2023 – Last day for Governor Parson to sign or veto policy legislation
- August 28, 2023 – Effective date for most policy bills (unless otherwise specified)
- September 13, 2023 – Veto Session
- December 1, 2023 – First day of bill filing for the 2024 legislative session
- January 3, 2024 – First day of the 2024 legislative session