A Look At Bills Passed By The Missouri Legislature In 2021

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Legislature wrapped up its 2021 session Friday by passing a bill granting legal protections to businesses and health care providers from COVID-19 liability lawsuits. Here's a look at that and other bills that passed during the 2021 session.

ALCOHOL SALES

Allows restaurants to sell carryout alcoholic drinks and extends the hours that alcoholic beverages can be sold on Sundays so that they match other days of the week. SB 126

BUDGET

A $35 billion budget for next fiscal year boosts funding for public schools, universities, hospitals and nursing homes, among other things. But it doesn't include money to expand Medicaid coverage to low-income adults as approved by voters last year. HB 1 - HB 13

BOARDING SCHOOLS

Requires unlicensed children's residential care centers to notify the state of their existence and to have background checks run on staff, contractors and volunteers. HB 557

CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS

Prohibits local health orders approved during emergencies from imposing restrictions on businesses, churches, schools and gatherings for more than 30 days, unless extended by the local governing body. Prohibits cities and counties from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations to use transportation systems or public accommodations. SB 271 Requires cities and counties to provide property tax breaks to businesses affected by restrictive orders, and creates sales tax breaks for movie theaters and concert venues. SB 226

CORANVIRUS LIABILTY

Shields businesses, health care providers and churches from liability lawsuits over COVID-19 exposure unless those suing can prove reckless or intentional misconduct. SB 51

DRUG DATABASE

Authorizes a statewide database to provide physicians and pharmacists with a patient’s prescription history for controlled substances, such as opioid painkillers and some anti-anxiety drugs. SB 63

GAS TAX

Gradually raises the state's 17-cent-a-gallon gas tax to 29.5 cents over five years, beginning with a 2.5-cent increase Oct. 1. Allows drivers to submit gas receipts to get a refund of the tax. SB 262

GUNS

Prohibits the enforcement of federal gun laws by local police. Departments with police who knowingly enforce federal gun laws could be sued and fined. HB 85

HIGHER EDUCATION

Allows college athletes to make money off autographs, sponsorships and other uses of their name, likeness and image. Repeals a limit on the annual rate of tuition increases and allows universities and colleges to charge different tuition rates for different types of courses. HB 297

LOTTERY WINNERS

Keeps the identity of lottery winners secret, unless they ask for their names to be publicized. HB 402

POLICE

Limits when police can use chokeholds and requires more reporting of police use-of-force actions. Allows prosecutors to file court motions to reverse past convictions if they believe the person was innocent or wrongly convicted. SB 53 Allows lawsuits against cities that cut funding for policy by more than 12% compared to other departments over five years. Prohibits probation or parole for people who commit dangerous felonies against police, firefighters or emergency service providers. SB 26

PUBLIC RECORDS

Closes public access to government records containing the email addresses and phone numbers of individuals receiving electronic newsletters or periodic reports, among other Sunshine Law changes. HB 362

TAX CHANGES

Requires out-of-state retailers to collect taxes on sales made to people in Missouri, starting in 2023. Creates a state tax credit for lower-income working families, starting in 2023, and cuts the state individual income tax rate by one-tenth of a percentage point in 2024. SB 153

SCHOOL CHOICE

Creates a state tax credit for donors to nonprofits that provide scholarships that could be used for tuition at private K-12 schools and other school-related expenses. Applies only to students in some of Missouri's largest counties or cities with populations over 30,000. HB 349 Limits the program to 10 nonprofits and caps it at $25 million in the first year and $50 million when fully implemented. SB 86