Missourians who ride motorcycles will still be required to wear helmets for at least another year, after the Missouri Legislature sustained all six of Governor Mike Parson’s (R) vetoes on Wednesday at the Statehouse in Jefferson City.
Lawmakers gaveled-in at noon for the constitutionally-required veto session, which took less than 45 minutes in both chambers.
The motorcycle helmet bill is a perennial issue that’s been debated annually in Jefferson City for at least the past 20 years.
The organization “Freedom of the Road Riders” says it’s an issue of freedom, and that motorcyclists should have the option of riding without a helmet.
Governor Parson vetoed the bill, expressing safety concerns raised earlier by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) about crashes and injuries.
While there were no override attempts in the Senate, State Rep. Deb Lavender, D-Kirkwood, unsuccessfully called on the House to override a veto on a health care bill, which was sponsored by State Rep. Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport.
Lavender says Basye’s bill is needed, noting that eight rural Missouri hospitals have closed.
“I believe our number is up to eight rural hospitals that we’ve lost in our state,” Lavender tells House colleagues. “So yes, this would be one of the ways that we would be able to at least provide some type of health care.”
Representative Lavender predicts revenue will increase, if Medicaid expands.
As for Representative Basye, he tells the House he was focused on the autism/disability portion of the vetoed bill. That portion passed in a separate bipartisan bill, and has been signed into law by Parson. Basye and Lavender teamed up on that bill.
Basye opposed an override attempt, and Lavender’s motion was defeated 105-37, with the 37 votes to override. Under the Missouri Constitution, it takes a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers to override a veto.
Another high-profile bill that was vetoed involves outdoor cremations, which are known as “Viking funerals.” Governor Parson vetoed legislation from State Sen. Jason Holsman, D-Kansas City, that would have allowed outdoor “Viking funerals.”
Holsman’s bill would have allowed funeral directors to perform cremations at an outdoor human cremation facility. Under the bill, only a licensed funeral director could have performed a cremation at an outdoor facility.
In his veto message, Governor Parson expressed concerns about health and safety issues, and called on lawmakers to do more vetting on the issue.
The overall bill was briefly discussed on Wednesday by State Rep. Sarah Unsicker, D-Shrewsbury. She talked about the importance of reducing maternal and infant mortality in Missouri, an issue contained in a separate portion of the bill. Infant and maternal mortality have been priority issues for Unsicker.
There was no attempt to override that veto.
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