SB715C-COUNTIES
Summary of the House Committee Version of the Bill

SS SS SCS SB 715 -- COUNTIES

SPONSOR:  Childers (Johnson, 47)

COMMITTEE ACTION:  Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Crime
Prevention and Public Safety by a vote of 8 to 6 with 4 present.

This substitute changes the laws regarding the classification of
counties, law enforcement agency funding, creation of
recreational facility districts and entertainment districts,
authority of metropolitan park and recreation districts, bonding
requirements for developers of subdivisions, hotel taxes, boards
of trustees for community colleges, county assessment funds,
emergency medical technician protocols, licensing requirements
for emergency personnel, taxes on cell phone users for 911
services, special use permits, arrest processing fees, sewer and
water district fee collection, landfill fee collection,
countywide speed limits, qualifications for fire protection
district directors, sales taxes for fire and ambulance districts,
water service termination agreements, municipal court management
and case docketing, biometric identification of prisoners, sex
offender registration fees, authorization for the Board of Fund
Commissioners to issue bonds for water and sewer projects, and
lead abatement enforcement.  In its main provisions, the
substitute:

(1)  Modifies the classification of counties.  The assessed
valuation necessary to qualify as a first classification county
is increased from the current $450 million to $600 million.  The
assessed valuation necessary to qualify as a second
classification county is increased from the current $300 million
to $450 million.  The substitute allows any county that has the
requisite assessed valuation to become a first classification
county to choose to do so upon an affirmative vote of the
county's governing body.  Under current law, the county must have
the valuation for five successive years.  This section of the
substitute contains an emergency clause (Sections 48.020 and
48.030, RSMo);

(2)  Allows county commissions to establish by ordinance a county
law enforcement restitution fund.  The money in the fund can only
be used for certain law enforcement purposes, such as narcotics
investigation and the purchase of equipment.  The county
commission may not reduce a law enforcement agency's budget as a
result of the money that it receives from the fund.  The
substitute allows courts to order persons convicted of a crime to
pay up to $300 restitution into the county law enforcement
restitution fund.  A judge may only order payment to the fund if
it has been created by county ordinance and cannot have authority
over or control the fund.  The court, after a hearing, can revoke
a person's probation for failure to pay the restitution (Sections
50.550, 50.565, and 559.021);

(3)  Allows other types of security to be offered to political
subdivisions in lieu of the full completion of required
infrastructure improvements in subdivisions.  Current law
requires surety bonds to guaranty completion of these projects
(Section 64.825);

(4)  Allows citizens of Jefferson, Camden, Miller, Morgan,
Jasper, Newton, Buchanan, and Wright counties to petition to
create an exhibition center and recreation facility district.
The district may submit to its voters a sales tax of one-quarter
of 1% to fund the district.  The substitute requires that the
unanimous vote of all land owners is required before the county
can take land as a recreation district, when there are no
qualified voters residing on the land in question (Sections
67.793, 67.799, and 67.2000);

(5)  Clarifies that metropolitan park and recreation districts
have no authority to regulate water quality, watershed, or land
use issues in the counties comprising the district (Section
67.1706);

(6)  Allows St. Charles County to establish a theater, cultural
arts, and entertainment district and assess a sales tax of up to
one-half of 1% to fund the district (Sections 67.2500, 67.2505,
67.2515, 67.2520, 67.2525, and 67.2530);

(7)  Requires political subdivisions to accept a letter of credit
from a developer as security for the completion of infrastructure
improvements in subdivisions.  Current law allows political
subdivisions to choose what kind of security, such as surety
bonds, the developer must provide.  The substitute also requires
that the political subdivision accept a replacement escrow from
another developer who buys the subdivision property prior to
completion, at which time the political subdivision must release
the original developer from all obligations.  The substitute also
requires the political subdivision to inspect the project within
20 days of a request.  If the city or town has not released the
escrow funds or bond amount within 30 days or timely inspected
the improvements, the city must pay interest.  The substitute
exempts Kansas City from this provision (Section 89.410);

(8)  Allows the City of Hermann to submit to voters a hotel tax
increase of up to 5% (Section 94.837);

(9)  Allows vacancies on a board of trustees for a community
college to be filled without an election whenever the number of
candidates equals the number of positions available (Section
115.124);

(10)  Increases the percentage of property tax collections that
are deposited in the county assessment fund.  An additional
one-eighth of 1% will be deducted in charter and first
classification counties and an additional one-quarter of 1% in
all other counties.  These amounts cannot exceed $100,000 in any
year for any charter or first classification county and $50,000
for all other counties.  These increases will be disallowed in
any year the State Tax Commission certifies that the equivalent
sales ratio for the county is less than or equal to 31 2/3%.
This section will become effective on January 1, 2005, and expire
on December 31, 2009 (Section 137.720);

(11)  Modifies the collection and imposition of special use
permits by a county and prohibits the imposition of special use
permit fees on a public utility right-of-way user for certain
projects (Section 229.340);

(12)  Allows law enforcement agencies in Greene County to charge
individuals a fee upon being arrested and processed at the county
jail.  The fee will be based on recovering the costs of the
processing (Section 221.070);

(13)  Provides that all initial recording fees necessary to
establish a sewer or water district will be payable when the
district is awarded grants or loans necessary for the
construction (Sections 247.040 and 250.055);

(14)  Clarifies that in cases where water and sewer services are
being provided to individuals living in a multi-family dwelling,
the owner of the premises will be liable for delinquent payments;
however, nothing will prevent that owner from pursuing civil
action to recover delinquent payments from any occupant (Section
250.140);

(15)  Directs landfill fees in Johnson County into the county
general revenue fund.  Currently, all the counties must dedicate
those fees to the industrial development authority for the
purpose of economic development (Sections 260.830 and 260.831);

(16)  Authorizes second, third, and fourth classification
counties to set countywide speed limits on roads within the
county which they maintain (Section 304.010);

(17)  Revises the qualifications of candidates for fire
protection district directors in third and fourth classification
counties (Sections 321.130 and 321.180);

(18)  Removes St. Charles County from the counties that are
exempted from authorizing a sales tax for fire and ambulance
districts, providing for an adjustment in the total operating
levy of the district based on the sales tax revenue, and
repealing a sales tax for those purposes (Sections 321.552,
321.554, and 321.556);

(19)  Allows water companies to contract with sewer providers to
terminate water services to any water user who has not paid a
sewer bill (Section 393.015);

(20)  Grants immunity from civil liability to any water company
disconnecting service at the request of a sewer company via a
water termination agreement and revises the procedures for water
termination agreements regulated by the Missouri Public Service
Commission (Sections 393.015 and 393.016);

(21)  Allows utility revenue bonds to be approved by a vote of
the governing body of a municipality.  Current law requires that
the issuance be approved by a vote of the people.  The commission
must receive an engineer's report and provide a public hearing
prior to the issuance (Section 393.760);

(22)  Makes Kansas City municipal judges and court personnel
subject to court management and case docketing by the presiding
judge and the rules of the circuit court (Section 479.020);

(23)  Authorizes the use of money from the Inmate Security Fund
to be used for biometric verification systems to ensure that
inmates can be properly identified and tracked within the system.
Currently, the fund may be used for biometric measures only.
After installing the biometric verification system, any remaining
money may be used for the maintenance of the systems and expenses
related to housing prisoners (Section 488.5026);

(24)  Allows law enforcement officers in Greene County to charge
a sexual offender a $10 initial registration fee for processing.
The officers will charge a $5 fee to the offender for each
subsequent change made after the initial registration (Section
589.400);

(25)  Authorizes the Board of Fund Commissioners to issue bonds
for grants and loans pursuant to several sections of Article III
of the Missouri Constitution.  The authorizations are for:

(a)  $10 million of bonds for waste water pollution control,
drinking water system improvements, and storm water control
pursuant to Section 37(e);

(b)  $10 million of bonds for rural water and sewer projects
pursuant to Section 37(g); and

(c)  $20 million of bonds for storm water control plans, studies,
and projects in first classification counties and the City of St.
Louis pursuant to Section 37(h)(Sections 644.581, 644.582, and
644.583); and

(26)  Grants several powers to the Director of the Department of
Health and Senior Services to enforce lead abatement requirements
and makes a subsequent violation a class D felony (Sections
701.304, 701.305, 701.308, 701.309, 701.311, 701.312, 701.313 and
701.320, 701.336, and 701.342).

The substitute revises provisions relating to emergency services.
In its main provisions, the substitute:

(1)  Requires any person or entity that owns an automated
external defibrillator used outside of a health care facility to
have a physician review all protocols (Section 190.092);

(2)  Repeals a provision requiring that a mobile emergency
medical technician be present when transporting a patient
(Section 190.094);

(3)  Requires ambulances to be staffed by two licensed emergency
medical technicians (Sections 190.105 and 190.108);

(4)  Revises application requirements for an ambulance license
and creates additional causes for discipline (Sections 190.109,
190.120, 190.160, 190.165, and 190.171);

(5)  Requires ambulance service providers to show proof of
insurance or financial responsibility (Section 190.120);

(6)  Requires the Department of Health and Senior Services to
accredit or certify training for emergency medical
technicians-intermediate (Section 190.131);

(7)  Allows emergency medical response agencies in certain
counties to be licensed to provide advanced life support services
with EMT-intermediates (Section 190.133);

(8)  Removes a provision regarding patients being transported in
vehicles other than ambulances (Section 190.142);

(9)  Allows the issuance of a 90-day temporary license for an
emergency medical technician (Section 190.143);

(10)  Allows licensees with lapsed licenses to request a return
to active status within two years of the lapse (Section 190.146);

(11)  Requires any settlement agreement in a contested case
against a licensee to be submitted to the Administrative Hearing
Commission for its approval.  Any person directly harmed by the
actions of a licensee may submit an impact statement to the
commission (Section 190.172);

(12)  Requires a patient care document be given to ambulance
personnel by a health care facility for the transfer of a patient
to a different facility (Section 190.175);

(13)  Creates requirements regarding the reporting of certain
felonies by licensees to the department (Section 190.196);

(14)  Adds provisions regarding the use of epinephrine
auto-injectors (Section 190.246);

(15)  Requires that any investigation into the violation of
emergency services regulations be completed within six months
with full departmental access to records (Section 190.248);

(16)  Adds provisions regarding ambulance services and hospital
liens (Section 190.250);

(17)  Provides three options for counties to levy a tax for 911
telephone services (Sections 190.300, 190.304, 190.305, 190.310,
190.312, 190.335, 190.430, 650.320, and 650.330);

(18)  Clarifies that a joint municipal public safety
communications is a political subdivision and its employees will
be considered eligible for membership in the Missouri Local
Government Employees' Retirement System (Section 190.331);

(19)  Creates procedures for the issuance and discipline of a new
license category for stretcher van services to transport persons
in a supine position who do not require medical monitoring or
treatment other than self-administered oxygen (Sections 190.525,
190.528, 190.531, 190.534, and 190.537);

(20)  Makes it a class B misdemeanor to operate an ambulance
without an emergency personnel license (Section 190.534); and

(21)  Establishes that a person is deemed to have consented to
testing for an infectious disease when an emergency health care
worker becomes exposed to a potentially infectious disease
(Sections 191.630 and 191.631);

FISCAL NOTE:  Estimated Effect on General Revenue Fund of an
income of Unknown to a cost of Unknown in FY 2005, FY 2006, and
FY 2007.  Costs expected to exceed $100,000.  Estimated Cost on
Other State Funds of Unknown in FY 2005, FY 2006, and FY 2007.

PROPONENTS:  Supporters say that much of the emergency services
language was actually enacted a few years ago but must be
reenacted because of a procedural technicality.  Regarding the
county assessment funds, the assessors need the bill to do their
jobs correctly.  Regarding the 911 tax on cell phones, 70% of the
911 calls come from cell phones, so those consumers should be
paying part of the cost.  There is a real problem with emergency
crews not being able to find the scene of the emergency because
the call is from a cell phone, and the local 911 offices don't
have the funding to fully implement the program.  The bill
provides that funding.  Regarding the surety bonds currently
required of subdivision developers, these bonds tie up money the
developers could be using to build subdivisions.  A letter of
credit should suffice.

Testifying for the bill were Senator Childers; Missouri School
Boards Association; Missouri School Administrators' Coalition;
Cooperating School Districts of St. Louis; Missouri Association
of Counties; Missouri Assessors' Association; Kansas City
Ambulance Services; Ambulance District Association of Missouri;
American Heart Association; Harvest Medical Training Center;
Missouri Association of Fire Protection Districts; National
Emergency Number Association; Marion County Emergency 911 Board;
St. Louis City Police Department; and St. Louis Home Builders
Association.

OPPONENTS:  Those who oppose the bill say that surety bonds are a
necessity for cities and counties to have assurance that
developers are going to build their subdivisions according to
their development agreements.  Without them, developers could
force the city or county into court when sidewalks, streets,
sewers, storm water drains, etc., are not built to
specifications.  A letter of credit is not enough.  Regarding the
taxes on cell phones, this issue has been on the ballot twice;
and the last time it was voted down in every county in the state.
The voters obviously don't feel this is needed.

Testifying against the bill were Sprint Corporation; City of
Springfield; Cingular Wireless; AT&T Wireless; Missouri Municipal
League; and St. Louis County Municipal League.

Richard Smreker, Senior Legislative Analyst

Copyright (c) Missouri House of Representatives

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Missouri House of Representatives
92nd General Assembly, 2nd Regular Session
Last Updated September 23, 2004 at 11:16 am