The Missouri General Assembly will reconvene on September 14, 2016, for its annual veto session. Legislators will consider overriding bills that were vetoed by Governor Nixon. For a veto to be overridden requires at 109 votes in the House and at least 23 votes in the Senate. The General Assembly will debate legislation that includes concealed carry permits, data disclosure, legal reforms, tax deductions, and voter ID.

Current state law requires that individuals who wish to carry a concealed firearm, apply for a permit from their county sheriff. The permit process includes training. Senate Bill 656 allows an individual to carry a concealed firearm without a permit and without formal training. In vetoing this legislation, the Governor cited law enforcement’s strong opposition to the proposal and his concern that removing county sheriffs from the permitting process would create unintended consequences. Proponents of the legislation argue that the law simply permits law-abiding citizens to carry a firearm if they so choose. The legislation is supported by the National Rifle Association. Opponents of the law include the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police and the Missouri Catholic Conference. Both the House and the Senate are expected to garner the necessary votes to override this veto.

Data Disclosure

Known as the Agricultural Data Disclosure law, House Bill 1414 seeks to shield from public consumption certain information that must be submitted by an agricultural producer or owner that wishes to participate in programs that are administered by either the Missouri Department of Agriculture or the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Supporters of the bill claim that it contains necessary safety measures so that personal data are not publicly disclosed. In vetoing this measure, the Governor cited the need for transparency and accountability for taxpayer-funded programs. The Governor argued that measures already exist to prevent items such as social security numbers from being accessible to the public. Both the House and the Senate are expected to override this veto. Proponents of this bill include the Missouri Farm Bureau and the Missouri Federation of Animal Owners. The bill is opposed by the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, and the Missouri Press Association.

Legal Reforms

The legislature will consider two bills that address legal reforms. The first, Senate Bill 591, seeks to formally apply the federal admissibility standards to civil actions for expert witnesses (with exceptions for juvenile and family law actions). When he vetoed this bill, the Governor claimed that the proposed changes would add additional costs and time to pending litigation.

The second measure, Senate Bill 847, concerns how damages may be calculated in a lawsuit. It would clarify that an injured person can recover only the actual medical costs he or she incurred. The Governor argued that the legislation would limit a judge or jury from fully considering the harm that a plaintiff might have experienced. Both of these bills are unlikely to garner the necessary votes for an override.

Both measures are supported by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and opposed by the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys.

Tax Deductions

House Bill 2030 authorizes an income tax deduction for 50% of the net capital gain from the sale or exchange of employer securities of a Missouri corporation to a qualified Missouri employee stock ownership program (ESOP) if, upon completion of the transaction, the qualified Missouri ESOP would own at least 30% of all outstanding employer securities issued by the Missouri corporation. In vetoing the legislation, the Governor cited the expected loss of state revenue from such deductions and that this would likely disrupt existing budget priorities. Both the Senate and the House are expected to override this veto.

The second measure addressing tax deductions is Senate Bill 641, which would create an income tax deduction for payments received by agricultural producers to help compensate for losses from disaster or emergency. In vetoing the bill, the Governor argued that these payments are specifically intended to replace lost income and therefore represent profits that would otherwise be subject to taxation. The Governor also expressed cost concerns with the legislation because the bill would apply retroactively to tax years beginning on or after 2014.

The Senate is expected to override this veto. However, it is uncertain whether the House has enough votes to do likewise. Both bills are supported by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce. Although they did not express opposition, officials with the Missouri Department of Revenue voiced concerns that such measures would decrease state revenues.

Voter ID

House Bill 1631 would require an individual to present a valid government-issued photo ID when voting, or to sign an affidavit saying that the person does not possess such an ID. He or she would then be able to vote using a regular ballot. If a voter did not sign the affidavit, he or she would cast a provisional ballot. In vetoing the bill, the Governor argued that in order to vote, an individual is already required to provide a form of ID to election officials. The Governor’s veto also expressed concern that the proposed legislation would mandate that the only permitted form of ID be a non-expired government-issued ID. It is likely that the bill will be overridden in both the House and the Senate.

For a complete list of 2016 vetoed legislation, please click here.

For a complete list of 2016 legislation that was approved and signed into law, please click here.