Four of the five bills known as the Telecom package were passed this week. SB 649 will clarify existing statutes on public right-of-way. SB 650 will streamline wireless service deployment, and allow municipalities to retain general planning and zoning authority and expand eminent domain. SB 651 will update Missouri statutes recognizing the telecommunications competitive marketplace for retail services. SB 652 was not voted on last week, but it will facilitate broadband deployment by outlining uniform fees and procedures for certain types of railroad crossings. SB 653 mirrors the federal process for investment owned utilities by allowing municipalities to recover the their costs and continue to manage attachments to municipal utility poles. Representative White successfully amended this bill to change the definition of “pole” as meaning a utility pole which is owned or controlled by a municipal utility or municipality. It excludes poles that are not associated with the transmission or distribution of electric power, communications, broadband, or video services. Basically, this means utility companies can’t add lines to a decorative pole unless there are already lines on the pole.
HB 1173 Statutory Cause of Action Claims passed 94-61 on Wednesday. This bill limits the amount someone can be awarded for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, in a medical malpractice lawsuit $350,000. This will keep medical malpractice insurance premiums down, keeping doctors in Missouri and keeping down the cost of health care.
On Wednesday, Representative White filed HB 2074 Death Certificate Revisions. This bill will reform the State’s procedures for registering a death, requiring the use of the electronic registration system that more than 95% of all funeral homes, physicians, and coroners already use. After the receipt of the necessary information, the funeral home has one business day to enter the data, and then they notify the physician/coroner through an electronic notification system prescribed by the Department Health and Senior Services. The physician’s associate physician, the chief medical officer of the institution in which the death occurred, an individual has delegated authority to complete the certificate, or the physician who performed an autopsy upon the decedent. After 5 business days the family can get a provisional death certificate if the steps have not been completed, which can be replaced by a full certificate when it is completed. In the event where advanced testing is necessary for cause of death, a permanent certificate must be issued within 6 months of the death.
Representative White also filed HB 2075 Health Insurance Premium Rate Filings. The bill allows the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions, and Professional Registration to collect specific information on health insurance policies, and make it available to consumers in an easy to compare format on their website. The Department has no approval/disapproval authority over the rates but can classify the rates on their website as excessive, inadequate, unfairly discriminatory, or unjustified if they are found as such. There is an appeal process for such classification if the company believes it is inaccurate. If the insurance companies file with the State then they will no longer have to file with the federal government.
HB 2076 was filed on Wednesday. This bill requires the Commissioner of Administration to procure a blanket bond or crime insurance policy to protect the state against loss from the acts or omissions of specified state-compensated persons.
HB 2093 was filed on Thursday. This bill modifies the definition of “employment” for unemployment compensation to exclude services performed for board, lodging, aid or sustenance received from any religious, charitable, or relief organization.
For Your Information
Veterans Home Care offers the VetAssist® Program, which helps qualifying wartime veterans or surviving spouses access a little-known VA benefit known as “Aid and Attendance”. Clients begin home care when their pension application is submitted to the VA with no out of pocket costs. VetAssist® Program clients also receive continuing case management and compliance monitoring to help ensure they keep their full pension, and their home care. Veterans Home Care has helped more than 7,000 elderly, indigent wartime veterans or their surviving spouses since its founding in 2003. For more information, contact Veterans Home Care at 877-390-6377 or email@example.com.
Missouri’s No Call List
The Missouri’s No Call Law has been expanded to cover personal cell phones in addition to residential land lines. Missourians may now register their cell phone numbers by going towww.ago.mo.gov or by phone at 1-866-662-2551.