After some major decisions during this week’s veto override session in the Missouri legislature, state Rep. Dean Dohrman, R-La Monte, spoke with the Pettis County Pachyderm Club about some of those bills during Friday afternoon’s meeting at Best Western State Fair Inn.
Dohrman is up for re-election this year and will face Democratic candidate John Cozort, of Marshall, in the Nov. 8 general election. He gave a brief overview of about a dozen bills that were voted on this week to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s vetoes, giving his opinion on why the bills needed to be passed.
The most discussed bill Friday afternoon was Senate Bill 656, the bill that relaxed Missouri’s gun laws. Read the Democrat’s article on SB 656 in this print edition of the Democrat or on sedaliademocrat.com for more information.
Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond explained some of the specifics of the law and addressed concerns. One of the main concerns brought up was that the law is being simply publicized as everyone being able to own a gun without a permit or training and use it anywhere, which is not exactly the case, which could lead to problems. Bond said that is a valid point and that people need basic training on gun laws and usage.
“That’s really the biggest concern I have, and everything that’s been publicized about it is that it’s just open season,” Bond said. “It’s all free, the gates have been opened, and that’s not the case.”
“There are rules still,” Dohrman added.
“My suggestion is, get your CCP. If you don’t have a conceal carry and you want to conceal carry, I suggest you still go through the process to do that,” Bond added.
Dohrman said he thought SB 608, changes to the state’s Medicaid system, was the third most controversial bill discussed, behind voter ID and gun laws.
“If someone now uses an emergency room for their health care and they’re on Medicaid, they get an $8 co-pay. $8. What’s an average emergency room cost? They are required to have $8,” Dohrman said. “Also, they can be charged a portion of the doctor’s fee if they miss an appointment. I understand there are quite a few doctor’s appointments that are made by Medicaid recipients, they don’t show, they don’t call. This bill will take care of that. It’s part of our effort to reform some of Medicaid in sensible manners.”
Dohrman’s remarks began with a group discussion about the REAL ID Act, which began affecting Missourians’ ability to gain access to military installations Thursday. It prompted a question about requiring voter ID, which the Republican-led legislature voted to approve this week, overriding Nixon’s veto. Dohrman said the legislature is “set and ready to go” if voters also approve the measure Nov. 8.
Another such bill was state Rep. Denny Hoskin’s, R-Warrensburg, House Bill 2030.
“The objection of the governor was to giving tax breaks — I think he in general just doesn’t like tax breaks — for businesses that change over to employee-owned corporations,” Dohrman said. “We are trying to promote that sort of business to hopefully keep business in Missouri and to give workers a stake in their own future.”
The legislature also overrode HB 1414, which Dohrman explained will prevent information shared voluntarily by farmers with the state of Missouri, with departments such as agriculture or conservation, from being subject to the Sunshine Law.
“Concerns about disease outbreak and so forth that someone might come in and Sunshine Law and make a story that’s really not correct and could hurt the marketing of some of our products in Missouri,” Dohrman explained. “Also goes with our concerns these days with privacy of electronic data.”
Senate Bill 844, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar, was also approved this week, which now puts the financial responsibility of livestock liabilities on the victim party. For example, if Farmer A’s cow got out of its enclosed pasture because someone else damaged the fencing and the cow damaged Farmer B’s property, Farmer B is now responsible for the cost of repairs, not Farmer A as the law previously stated.
“The one that has caused our governor great consternation concerning the budget is Senate Bill 641 which now says if farmers receive disaster payments — if their area is declared disaster and they receive relief payments from the Federal government, we will not tax it as income in Missouri,” Dohrman said. “That became an issue a few years ago with the drought and if you don’t have hay the price goes through the roof and you get money from the government to buy hay and then you have to pay taxes on top of the money you got.”
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.