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News & Press: Executive Report

Legislative News

Monday, June 5, 2017  
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On Friday, May 12th at 6:00 pm the First Regular Session of the 99th Missouri General Assembly came to a close.  


By the end of the session, the MVMA’s long journey to achieve malpractice limitations for veterinarians that reflect parity with human medical doctors finally came to a happy conclusion. Like human physicians, veterinarians will now (if signed by The Governor as expected) have exposure to malpractice lawsuits for two years from the time of the incident. Previously it was five years.


The bill, SCS SB 88, adds veterinarians and entities providing veterinary services to the list of health care providers to which the medical malpractice statute of limitations applies. The animal owner's knowledge is used when time periods are dependent on knowledge of the negligence.


We want to recognize and extend great appreciation to Sen. Dan Brown for his championing of this bill and seeing it through the process. In the House, the bill was sponsored by Rep. Joe Don McGaugh who also deserves our deep gratitude.


MVMA also testified in favor of HB 905/SB446 which would have prohibited breed specific ordinances by cities and counties. MVMA backs the AVMA policy that vicious dog ordinances should be based on behavior and individual animals, not on a breed. These bills specify that the General Assembly occupies and preempts the entire field of legislation touching in any way the control or regulation of specific breeds of dogs. However, a village, town, or city can still prohibit dogs from running at large or to further control or regulate dogs within its boundaries so long as the ordinance, order, policy, or regulation is not breed specific. These bills, while passed out of committee, they did not rise to the status of receiving a vote on the floor.


Another bill of interest that did pass provides that the Division of Professional Registration shall allow a licensee to submit payment for fees in the form of personal check, money order, cashier’s check, credit card, or electronic check. An applicant or licensee may apply for licensure or renewal in writing or electronically. A licensee may make requests for an extension of time to complete continuing education requirement, notify the board or commission of changes in name, business name, home address, work address, or provide any other items required as part of licensure in writing or electronically (Section 324.003).


The Session In Summary:


Unlike the past eight years, this year legislation that has passed will be under review and consideration of Governor Eric Greitens (R), who is very likely to agree with the supermajority Republican General Assembly and take favorable action.  Over the past eight years, the Governor Jay Nixon (D) administration vetoed a record number of bills passed by the Republican legislature.


Overall, the 2017 session will likely be viewed as a very successful year for the business community as massive reform measures were enacted regarding tort reform and labor reform.  In addition, the legislature found a way to balance the state budget without seeking any new taxes.  Some major victories touted by the Republican legislature for 2017 include passage of Right to Work; regulatory framework for transportation network companies; federal real ID compliant state identification cards; and numerous tort measures such as collateral source rule, expert witness standards and time-limited demand offers for insurance claims.


At the post-session press conference, Governor Greitens suggested he may be calling the legislature back into session for a special session to address some of his priorities that had not received any legislative action. 




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