First and foremost, Wednesday is when Gov. Mike Parson will deliver his final State of the State address to the Missouri Legislature. Parson will tout his accomplishments as the 57th governor and will call on lawmakers to pass certain policy bills.

He will also lay out his wish list of state budget items that he wants lawmakers to pass. It could have a lower price tag than the past couple of years when federal pandemic dollars poured into the state.

Most of the Missouri Senate work will take place at the committee level this week. Ongoing Republican squabbling has brought chamber work to a screeching halt since day one this year. With 2024 being a major election year, the legislative kumbaya moments are expected to be few and far between.

The Missouri Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee is set to hold public hearings Tuesday about bills related to home schooling, virtual instruction, as well as tax credits for private and home schooling. The committee will also hear about a package involving school accreditation, school report cards, school safety plans, as well as a “Parents’ Bill of Rights.”

Another interesting bill worth paying attention to is Senate Bill 782, sponsored by Sen. Jason Bean. His proposal would ban the exporting of Missouri water out-of-state, unless the person holds a water export permit. The Agriculture, Food Production, and Outdoor Resources Committee is holding a hearing Tuesday on the bill.

The Missouri Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee is holding public hearings Wednesday on a variety of criminal justice bills. Senate Bill 861 would ban the clearing of criminal records on some gun crimes and certain sex crimes against children and the elderly. Another public hearing Monday on Senate Bill 887 would raise the age of certification of a child to be tried in court as an adult to the age of 14.

Meanwhile, the Missouri House of Representatives is moving along. The Special Committee on Education Reform is on tap to hold a public hearing Monday about restricting the salaries of school superintendents.

The Special Committee on Public Policy is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday on a bill that would legalize sports betting. House Bill 2331, sponsored by Rep. Dan Houx, is similar to one he led the charge on last year.

Due to the ongoing Senate gridlock over the issue, several Missouri professional sports teams have begun collecting signatures to ask voters to legalize sports gambling.

Across the street from the state Capitol this week will be an important Missouri Supreme Court case – Clara Faatz vs. John (Jay) Ashcroft. The high court will hear a legal challenge Wednesday about the Missouri Senate’s districts.

Every ten years, Missouri redraws its state legislative districts based on the latest federal Census data. After a citizens commission could not agree on a map, a panel of judges instead developed one for the new Senate districts.

Two Missouri citizens are challenging the map, contending that it is unconstitutional. They sued the Secretary of State to prevent the use of the map for any purpose.

Copyright 2024, Missourinet.