Missouri Legislative Session Ended May 15
The 2015 Missouri legislative session ended on Friday, May 15.
The CCHR St. Louis role in all this has been to visit the Capitol each year early in the legislative session, with displays on mental health issues which are visited by various legislators. We also take around information packets and CCHR documentary DVDs to the legislators’ individual offices. We also keep our friends and allies who are actively lobbying at the Capitol informed on mental health. A number of legislators are also on the email list for the CCHR STL newsletter.
There were 9 psychiatric-related bills killed this year:
HB 40 – Requires peace officers to undergo a psychological evaluation every three years.
Died in committee.
HB 59 – Requires certain disclosures by a person applying for a position as a peace officer. Disclosure of any complaints or disciplinary actions, and if so, must undergo psychological evaluation.
Died in committee.
HB 382 – Requires school districts to establish comprehensive guidance and counseling programs for students attending school in the district. Mostly career guidance but does include counseling on “social and personal development,” which would be psych-based.
Majorly toned down as it went through committee, with the “social and personal development” stripped out of it and making the whole thing optional rather than mandatory. This passed through committee but never made it to the floor.
HB 525 – Specifies that drug courts must be established by every circuit court. These would send someone to (psych) treatment for drug offenses.
Passed through the first level of committee but not all the way through.
HB 764 – Establishes family intervention orders for the treatment of an individual who abuses chemical substances. Very intrusive, forces drug and alcohol users into psych treatment or else they lose their kids.
Hearing held but died in committee.
HB 867 – Establishes an online survey for screening medical students for depression.
This bill was gutted and completely rewritten in committee, finally stating only that medical schools must not prohibit students from participating in such a survey if someone does one, which of course was already true. In this very watered down form, the bill passed through the House and through committee in the Senate, but did not make it to the floor.
HB 1293 – Establishes policies and training for youth suicide awareness and prevention in schools, which would be psych based.
Passed through committee but did not make it to the floor.
SB 281 – Provides reimbursement for behavior assessment and intervention, for behavior management related to physical health conditions.
Passed through committee but never made it to the floor.
SB 328 – Requires school districts to adopt a policy on youth suicide awareness and prevention, and the Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop guidelines and training materials for it, and allows licensed educators to complete annual training on this as part of their continuing education requirements. This would all be psych oriented.
Passed both houses in different versions and went to a conference committee, but never came to a final vote.
We remind our supporters to participate in the legislative process by contacting your state senators and representatives to express your individual points of view. They do listen. You do have influence. Find out more about the Missouri legislative process at http://www.moga.mo.gov/.
[Many thanks to CCHR STL volunteer Carol Riess for this analysis.]