First an update on bills discussed in the first post on this series of bills referred to the Judiciary Committee: HB 35 and HB 50 were voted do pass on the 19th after a hearing on the 17th. HB 34 was referred to Legislative Oversight.
Also voted do pass on the 19th was HB 285. This bill sponsored by Nathan Beard (R - Pettis/Johnson) creates a requirement that a responsive pleading be filed in response to a motion to modify child support or maintenance. The bill would add the following sentence to RSMo 452.370.1: "A responsive pleading shall be filed in response to any motion to modify a child support or maintenance judgment." Further, the bill would add a similar sentence in RSMo 454.500 and change the word "may" to "shall" in reference to filing a responsive pleading in RSMo 425.747.
So what else does the Judiciary have to consider?
HB 72 would change the rules concerning the method of determining compensation in condemnation cases related to high voltage power lines. The bill, among other things, provides property owners with the opportunity to get treble damages and an award of attorney fees in litigation. I'll need to look at this more because it is not readily apparent to me how this bill is philosophically consistent with the Governor's message on the need for tort reform. Rep. Joe McGaugh (R - Chariton/Carroll/Ray) can tell you more about this if you are interested.
Committee Vice Chair Corlew (R - Platte/Clay) has sponsored HB 152 which seeks to establish the "Armed Offender Docket Pilot Project" in Jackson County Circuit Court. Even if the bill passed, it would be up to the Circuit Court to determine if they wanted to implement the docket as it comes with no money but rather authorizes the Circuit Court to charge a surcharge in an effort to pay for the docket, which would have a dedicated judge. I haven't spoken to any of the Jackson County judges about this bill to determine if this would be beneficial so let me know if you have any insights.
I'll provide another update after the Committee's next hearing on the 24th.
Tim West, MO Legislative Monitor
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