Local reps pushing bills in Jeff City

By Adam Rollins, Record Staff Writer
Posted 11/7/19

The state legislators representing the people of Warren County are busy in Jefferson City promoting and debating changes to state law. Sen. Jeanie Riddle, Rep. Bryan Spencer and Rep. Jeff Porter are …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Local reps pushing bills in Jeff City


The state legislators representing the people of Warren County are busy in Jefferson City promoting and debating changes to state law.

Sen. Jeanie Riddle, Rep. Bryan Spencer and Rep. Jeff Porter are the three elected representatives for Warren County in the state Legislature. Spencer and Riddle both have filed a number of bills for Missouri’s 100th General Assembly. Porter, the freshman representative for the Warrenton and Marthasville areas, and all of Montgomery County, has not filed any bills this session according to the Missouri House website.

Rep. Bryan Spencer

State Rep. Bryan Spencer, whose district includes Wright City, Innsbrook and Wentzville, said his major priorities include money for state infrastructure, funding for a technical college in Warren County, and protections for businesses that rely on working animals.

The idea for a technical and vocational training college is one that Spencer has championed funding for at the state level for several years. An exploratory committee made up of local business and government representatives is developing possible plans for the college, with the hope of growing the number of skilled workers in the area.

On the topic of working animals, Spencer said he wants to protect businesses that rely on animals from groups that are trying to make it harder for them to do their jobs.

“What is happening is there are (animal rights groups) that are getting involved in bureaucracy and local governments, and they are creating an atmosphere which is hostile to working with animals,” Spencer said.

Spencer is sponsoring House Bill 559, which would prohibit any local law that bans or creates undue financial hardship for the use of animals in commerce, service or ranching. The bill would not change any state or federal regulations related to animal care, public health, or safety.

Spencer’s legislative roster also includes co-sponsoring over half a dozen bills from other representatives, several of which would add new protections for Missouri gun owners. The provisions would reduce restrictions on where people can carry concealed firearms; limit the ability of parking lot property owners or employers to ban firearms from being kept in properly secured vehicles; and allow firearm owners to carry concealed or unloaded firearms on certain public transportation systems.

Spencer said expanding the rights of gun owners has been a core issue for him since he was elected to office.

“I don’t think we should put citizens in harm’s way by making them an easy target,” Spencer explained.

Other bills sponsored by Spencer include:

HB 549 — Authorizes municipalities to annex small, low-population pieces of unincorporated land enclosed within their boundaries, without voter approval;

HB 608 — The “Right to Remember Act,” which would protect historic military monuments, including those from both sides of the Civil War. Prohibits local agencies or political bodies from removing, modifying or concealing any state historic military monument without approval from a state board. Spencer also proposed a state constitutional amendment to the same effect;

HB 611 — Prohibits the use of automated traffic enforcement systems; and

HCR 24 — Encourages public schools to institute Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps programs.

Sen. Jeanie Riddle

State Sen. Jeanie Riddle has sponsored a range of bills in the Senate, some of which promote broad changes to public safety, while others are aimed at more subtle improvements. Riddle represents Warren and five other counties.

Several of Riddle’s bills focus on improving the safety of children. She has proposed prohibiting people who’ve abused child victims from coming within 500 feet of athletic facilities used by children. Other changes being pushed by Riddle include new protections for the victims of child sex trafficking.

Riddle is the chairperson of the Senate’s professional registration committee, and has several proposals to ensure service people are qualified for the important and sometimes dangerous work that they do. For example, Riddle’s Senate Bill 303 would add a licensing requirement for people performing radiation therapy or radiologic imaging, such as X-rays.

“A number of individuals have testified about problems,” Riddle said. “Right now, people in Missouri who do medical imaging don’t have to take a single course in radiation safety.” The senator said technicians who haven’t been through medical courses are the biggest concern for potential mistakes that could put a patient’s health at risk.

Riddle said she wants to make the licensing changes without negatively impacting rural health care. Changes to other professional licensing and training requirements balance limited government interference with ensuring protections for the public, she said.

“There’s a lot of tweaks here and there that will make lives better for Missourians and business owners here.”

Other bills sponsored by Riddle include:

SB 34 — Establishes a commission to oversee the training standards of county coroners;

SB 36 — Modifies certain rules relating to legal immunity of real estate licensees in the performance of their work.

SB 100 — Establishes a 15-year time limit from the date of sale for a person to sue for damages related to a defective product;

SB 101 — Creates a statewide hearing aid distribution program that could collect donations to assist low-income people with obtaining hearing aids;

SB 102 — Allows motorcycles to be driven on the shoulder of a highway if traffic has slowed below 30 mph;

SB 138 — Requires the state auditor to advise auditees on how to improve deficiencies in their audits;

SB 204 — Allows fees to be charged for psychologist license applications and changes some other license provisions;

SB 304 — Modifies record preservation requirements for the Missouri Secretary of State’s office;

SB 305 — Makes nonidentifiable aggregate data on child fatalities available to the public, so advocacy groups can identify and address risks to children;

SB 362 — Adds family caregiving for certain MO HealthNet participants and makes changes to personal care services;

SB 363 — Modifies state laws related to background checks;

SB 375 — Allows associate degree graduates to be licensed as nursing home administrators;

SB 376 — Establishes statewide licensing and requirements for mechanical contractors; and

SB 377 — Affects water and sewer corporation rate adjustments related to certain infrastructure projects.

Missouri Capitol Building