Representative Ed Lewis's Capitol Report

June 14, 2022

Gov. Parson signs first few bills of 2022 legislative season

Gov. Mike Parson is finally signing some bills which were passed this session into law. This week he signed several bills approved by the House and Senate into law. He is yet to move on many of the important bills passed this session like the elections security bill HB 1878, and also the No Patient Left Alone Act passed on the last day of session. I will keep you informed when he signs these important bills into law. The following are summaries of 3 of the bills Gov. Parson signed this week.

HB 2149 allows students to take the Physical Therapists License exam up to 90 days before graduation. The sponsor of the bill said that under current law “students who graduate in Missouri with a physical therapy degree in May cannot sit for their boards until July, and by the time they get their test results back, they cannot start practicing physical therapy until September. This is a long wait for students who possibly have a lot of student loan debt.” She said the new law is similar to what 39 other states in the United States have in place, including the states that surround Missouri.

The bill also aligns state statute with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for home health treatment plans and alleviates delays to home health service care. It allows individuals to take the land surveyor exam at any point after high school graduation. Additionally, it allows the Missouri Dental Board to consider "Pilot Projects," that include new technologies or practices within the field of Dentistry. The bill also adds Missouri as a member of the Audiology & Speech Language Pathology Interstate Compact (ASLP-IC).

Another provision in the bill exempts military employees and contractors participating in the Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) program from Missouri occupational licensing requirements as long as they hold licensing in another state.

The bill also states the Board of Registration for the Healing Arts will not deny, revoke, suspend, or otherwise take any disciplinary action against a physician who prescribes, dispenses, administers, or otherwise distributes ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets for human use. Additionally, the Board of Pharmacy will not deny, revoke, suspend, or otherwise take any disciplinary action against a pharmacist who dispenses, distributes, or sells ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets for human use.

HB 1697 will allow Missouri’s cottage food industry to grow and prosper. The bill allows Missourians who produce baked goods in their home to sell these items on the internet. Under current law, the cottage food industry in Missouri is defined as an operation in an individual’s home that produces a baked good, a canned jam or jelly, or a dried herb or herb mix for sale to consumers.

These cottage food industries are limited to an annual gross income of $50,000 and are prohibited from selling food through the internet.

The bill also removes the income limit and eliminates the prohibition on online sales, provided that the cottage food production operation and purchaser are both located in Missouri.

The bill’s sponsor said, “It’s a freedom bill. It’s getting government out of the way of small business. It’s a jobs bill. It’s going to inject more income into our economy. It will bring the cottage food statute into the 21st century and allow sales over the internet.”

HB 2365 extends the sunset expiration on the Early Learning Quality Assurance Program to the end of 2028. Supporters say that by extending the program, parents will continue to be empowered with the tools to make informed decisions about their children's opportunities. This program enables providers to implement best practices and gives them access to resources that will help build high-quality options for families.