Fifteen days after the opening of filing for the 2017 legislative session, the state senator representing Northeast Missouri has pre-filed 11 bills for consideration — and that number is expected to grow by the end of the year and into next year.
From captive cervids and soil labeling to nuisance bills and animal training, legislation introduced by Sen. Brian Munzlinger (R-Williamstown) covers a wide variety of topics. At least eight of the 11 bills he has introduced so far are repeats or similar in verbiage to bills introduced by him in past legislative sessions. Here is a look at a few of the bills pre-filed so far:
One of the first three bills filed by Munzlinger would permit the growth and harvest of industrial hemp. Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant, but has a lower concentration of THC — eliminating its psychoactive component found in cannabis used as a drug.
The industrial growth of the plant could lead to uses in fiber, paper, biofuel and other options. Under Munzlinger’s bill, a committee would be established to oversee the regulations regarding hemp’s industrial growth and handling.
A component of the bill creates a permitting process for growers and administers appropriate fees as determined by the Department of Agriculture.
A similar bill was proposed in 2016. That bill, although it was approved by a Senate committee, was not read in the House of Representatives. The 2017 bill is Senate Bill 9.
Senate Bill 76 prohibits individuals from bringing a private nuisance action against a permittee in compliance with a related permit issued by the Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the United State Army Corps of Engineers.
This bill was also introduced in 2016 and 2015. The bill was not read in the House either year. In 2015, the bill specified the nuisance act can not be brought against someone "from property primarily used for crop or animal production" if the owners is in good faith with all permits.
A bill filed by Munzlinger would provide more data to the public as appropriate. Senate Bill 122 requires every state department, including the General Assembly, to make information available on the Missouri Accountability Portal relating to all contracts greater than $2,500 for the provision of legal services by private law firms.
The measure was part of a bill in 2016 that also included provisions about a number of things — from water resources to higher education employee travel expenses. The 2016 bill cleared the Senate and was approved in a House committee. It was not perfected in the House before the legislation ended. A similar situation happened in the 2015 legislative session.
Senate Bill 156 deals with animal care training. According to the Senate bill summary, "Under this act, if any law enforcement agency seeks to train its officers in animal care and abuse for the purposes of responding to animal care and abuse incident reports, such training shall be administered by the State Veterinarian and the Animal Health Division of the Missouri Department of Agriculture.
Munzlinger’s district encompasses all of Northeast Missouri, south to Pike County and west to Chariton and Linn Counties.
Reach editor Eric Dundon at email@example.com .