Missouri lawmakers end legislative session - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Missouri lawmakers end legislative session

(Source: Raycom Media) (Source: Raycom Media)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Latest on the final day of the Missouri legislative session (all times local):

6:05 p.m.

Missouri lawmakers have concluded their annual session after sending Gov. Jay Nixon a bill expanding gun rights.

The House gaveled the session to a close shortly after the 6 p.m. constitutional deadline to pass bills.

The gun bill would allow most people to carry concealed guns without a permit and create a "stand your ground" right for people to defend themselves with no duty to retreat.

Senators started the day late, passed only a few other bills besides the gun legislation, and then adjourned about an hour and 45 minutes before the mandatory quitting time.

Lawmakers failed to pass several other prominent bills, including limits on lobbyist gifts, a transportation tax increase and additional abortion restrictions.

Other measures that passed before the final day include a proposed photo identification requirement for voters.

5:30 p.m.

Missouri lawmakers have passed a proposal aimed at tightening the laws on when police can use deadly force to bring statutes into line with U.S. Supreme Court standards.

House members voted 120-20 Friday to bring the state's law into line with a 1985 ruling that police can only use deadly force when an officer believes a suspected felon poses a serious threat to others. Missouri's law does not specify that a suspected felon has to be dangerous.

The discrepancy gained attention after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. The grand jury considering whether to indict the officer initially received Missouri's outdated law before getting updated guidelines.

The bill now goes to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

5:00 p.m.

A Missouri bill to expand protections for people who use deadly force in self-defense and allow people to carry concealed guns without a permit is heading to the governor.

House members voted 114-36 to pass the bill Friday, with a little more than an hour remaining before lawmakers' deadline. It's subject to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's approval.

The proposal would expand legal protections for those who use deadly force to defend themselves, which sometimes is referred to as stand-your-ground legislation. Current law requires people to retreat first before shooting, although there are exceptions for home owners and people in their vehicles.

The measure would shield those who use deadly force anywhere they're legally allowed to be and would protect house guests, such as babysitters.

It also would allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit anywhere they can carry openly, something that doesn't require a permit.

4:10 p.m.

Missouri lawmakers have passed sales tax exemptions for goods and services ranging from yoga classes to wheelchairs.

House members voted 137-7 on the last day of session Friday to exempt instructional classes including yoga and other fitness classes from sales taxes. The measure now heads to Gov. Jay Nixon.

House members also voted 140-1 for a local sales tax exemption for durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs.

That measure also goes to Nixon.

3:30 p.m.

The Missouri Senate has voted to tighten the laws on when police can use deadly force to bring them into line with U.S. Supreme Court standards.

Senators voted 25-7 Friday to bring the state's law into line with a 1985 ruling that police can only use deadly force when an officer believes a suspected felon poses a serious threat to others. Missouri's law does not specify that a suspected felon has to be dangerous.

The discrepancy gained attention after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. The grand jury considering whether to indict the officer initially received Missouri's outdated law before getting updated guidelines.

The bill now goes back to the House, which has until 6 p.m. to adopt the legislation

2:45 p.m.

A bill to expand Missouri's stand-your-ground laws and allow people to carry concealed guns without a permit is nearing a final vote in the Legislature.

Senators voted 24-8 along party lines to pass the bill Friday, hours before their deadline.

It needs another House vote to head to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

The proposal would expand legal protections for those who use deadly force to defend themselves. Current law requires people to retreat first before shooting, although there are exceptions for home owners and people in their vehicles.

The measure would shield those who use deadly force anywhere they're legally allowed to be and would also protect house guests, such as babysitters.

It also would allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit anywhere they can carry openly, something that doesn't require a permit.

2:30 p.m.

Stadiums and arenas would be allowed to sell alcoholic drinks through mobile apps under a bill that has passed the Missouri Legislature.

The House voted 129-11 Friday to pass the bill, which would also allow boats that carry at least 30 people to get a liquor license. Boats currently need to carry 100 passengers to get a license.

The bill would require any venue selling alcohol through an app to check the buyer's identification when delivering the drink.

The Senate passed the bill on Wednesday. It now goes to Gov. Jay Nixon.

2:05 p.m.

Missouri senators are debating a wide-ranging bill on firearms that would expand stand-your-ground laws and allow people to carry concealed guns without a permit.

Senate debate came hours before lawmakers' Friday deadline to pass legislation.

It needs a final vote in the Senate and House to head to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

The proposal would expand legal protections for those who use deadly force to defend themselves. Current law requires people to retreat first before shooting, although there are exceptions for home owners and people in their vehicles. The measure would protect those who use deadly force anywhere they're legally allowed to be.

It also would allow people to carry guns in a jacket or in a purse without a permit anywhere they can carry openly, something that doesn't require a permit.

1:45 p.m.

Missouri lawmakers have voted to forbid cities, counties and law enforcement agencies from requiring police officers to write a certain number of tickets.

The ban on traffic ticket quotas passed the House 128-7. Senators approved the bill Thursday on a 31-1 vote, and it now heads to Gov. Jay Nixon.

Supervisors would also be prohibited from directing officers to increase the number of tickets they write.

The legislation was spurred by concerns that local officials and police leaders in some communities pressure officers to write more tickets in order to generate revenue.

A proposal to further limit fines on ordinance violations and traffic fines passed the Legislature earlier this week.

1 p.m.

Missouri vehicle owners would get new license plates celebrating the state's bicentennial under a measure that has passed the Legislature.

The legislation calls on a committee to finish designing the bicentennial license plates and make them available by 2019. Missouri's bicentennial is in 2021.

The House voted 111-38 Friday to send the bill to the governor. The Senate approved the bill Wednesday.

The bill also raises the weight limit for personalized license plates to 12-ton vehicles from nine tons.

Bill sponsor Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer said that will allow people to put personalized plates on pickup trucks.

12:20 p.m.

Missouri lawmakers have passed new regulations on how insurance companies decide which medicines patients get.

The House voted 146-5 Friday to pass new rules for step therapy, the practice of beginning treatments with cheaper drugs before moving patients to more expensive ones. The bill passed the Senate on Tuesday, and it now goes to Gov. Jay Nixon.

The legislation would allow patients who have already undergone step therapy to remain on more expensive prescriptions if they switch insurance providers.

Lawmakers from both parties said the bill will help consumers remain on their preferred medicines and save them from going through treatments they already know don't work for them.

Noon

The Missouri Senate is off to a slow start on the final day of its annual legislative session.

Senators did not convene until 11:30 a.m. Friday after working until after midnight. They then announced they were taking an hour-long lunch break.

A free lunch for senators and staff was being sponsored by many of the state's largest utilities and lobbying firms.

One of the bills pending before senators would limit lobbyist meals and gifts to lawmakers. A House version would ban all gifts except meals that are offered to all lawmakers and statewide officials.

Some senators have proposed to allow individuals lawmakers to continue to receive meals, so long as they are not worth more than $40. Others want to continue to allow unlimited gifts.

10:15 a.m.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says he hopes lawmakers will approve limits on lobbyist gifts before wrapping up their annual session.

Lawmakers face a 6 p.m. Friday deadline to pass bills. But representatives and senators remain divided on whether to impose the state's first-ever limits on lobbyist gifts.

The House previously approved a ban on most gifts, but Senate debate has repeatedly stalled.

Nixon told The Associated Press that he hopes lawmakers can at least take an incremental step by limiting the value of gifts that lobbyists can give to public officials.

The governor said he also hopes lawmakers will send him a bill revising the state's law on when police can use deadly force to bring it in line with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

1:25 a.m.

Missouri lawmakers are entering their final day of work with time running short for contentious bills on guns, abortions and taxes.

The Missouri Constitution sets a 6 p.m. Friday deadline for lawmakers to pass bills. That typically creates a fast-paced finale. But it makes it easier for opponents to block bills.

Measures expanding gun rights and further restricting abortions are facing opposition from some lawmakers. Also lingering is a proposal asking voters to raise the fuel tax by nearly 6 cents a gallon for roads and bridges.

Some measures already have been defeated, including ones legalizing medical marijuana and allowing people with religious objections to deny wedding-related services to same-sex couples.

Others already have become law, including several new ethics measures and a change to the school funding formula.

Missouri lawmakers were entering their final day of work Friday with fading hopes of passing contentious bills dealing with guns, abortions and taxes and unfinished business in their effort to tighten ethics laws.

The Missouri Constitution sets a 6 p.m. Friday deadline for lawmakers to pass bills. That typically creates a fast-paced finale. But it also makes it easier for opponents to block bills in the Senate through stalling tactics.

As the session began in January, new Republican House Speaker Todd Richardson declared ethics reforms a priority in order to clean up a tainted public perception of the Capitol. The emphasis came after Richardson's predecessor and a state senator resigned amid sexually charged scandals, and other lawmakers stepped down to become lobbyists.

Gov. Jay Nixon already has signed laws passed this year requiring former lawmakers to wait a while and get rid of their leftover campaign cash before lobbying. But the House and Senate have yet to agree on a proposal to ban or limit most lobbyist gifts to lawmakers.

Also pending as the session winds down are measures to raise taxes for transportation, expand gun rights and further restrict abortions.

The full House has yet to consider a Senate-passed bill that would ask voters to raise the fuel tax by nearly 6 cents a gallon to generate more than $235 million annually for state and local roads and bridges.

The Senate, meanwhile, has yet to act on a variety of House-passed bills addressing abortion, including one banning the donation of fetal tissue in response to undercover videos released last summer that purported to show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of aborted fetal body parts.

Senators and representatives have considered numerous measures enhancing gun rights, including one allowing people to carry concealed weapons without a permit and another expanding a "stand your ground" law by making it easier for people to use deadly force in self-defense. But those measures were likely to face opposition from some Senate Democrats if brought up for a final vote.

Lawmakers also appear divided over legislation that seeks to pave the way for the expansion of ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft in Missouri by creating statewide regulations, such as background check requirements. Opposition has come partly from those worried about superseding local regulations.

Some measures already had been defeated before the final day. The House twice rejected attempts this year to legalize medical marijuana. And a House committee also rejected a highly publicized Senate measure that would have asked voters to approve a constitutional amendment allowing people to cite religious objections while declining to provide wedding-related services to same-sex couples.

Others measures already had passed. On Thursday, lawmakers gave final approval to a measure revamping Missouri's sentencing laws for juveniles convicted of first-degree murder in response to U.S. Supreme Court rulings. They also referred a proposed constitutional amendment to the ballot that would authorize a photo identification requirement for voters. And they passed a bill imposing regulations and fees on the operators of daily fantasy sports games.

Earlier this week, lawmakers passed a bill limiting public access to videos from police body or vehicle cameras.

Lawmakers also previously overrode Nixon's veto to enact a law capping the growth in the state's school funding formula - a move that effectively reduces the amount future lawmakers must provide to meet full funding requirements.

Follow David A. Lieb at: http://twitter.com/DavidALieb

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly