Tracking List: Family Covenant Ministries


HB1713 - Establishes the "Missouri Religious Freedom Protection Act"
Sponsor: Rep. Alex Riley (R)
Summary:

This bill establishes the "Missouri Religious Freedom Protection Act". The bill provides that no public official may issue an order that has the effect of limiting or prohibiting a religious group or place of worship from holding religious services or meetings. This prohibition does not apply to religious groups using places of worship to intentionally commit or plan acts of violence.

This prohibition also does not apply to emergency evacuation orders involving imminent danger from flooding, fires, tornadoes, earthquakes, terrorists threats, civil unrest, or hazardous materials incidents. Once the imminent danger has passed, religious services shall be allowed to resume. This prohibition shall not be interpreted to exempt places of worship from complying with applicable building and fire codes.

Progress: Chamber 2: Filed
Last Action: 2022-04-13 S - Hearing Conducted
HB1724 - Prohibits public institutions of higher learning from discriminating against a religious student association or denying a religious student association any benefit available to any other student association
Sponsor: Rep. Brad Hudson (R)
Summary:

This bill defines "adverse action", "belief-based student association", and "benefit" and prohibits public institutions of higher learning from taking any action or enforcing any policy that denies a belief based student association benefits available to other student associations. The bill also prohibits discrimination against a belief based student association based on its requirement that leaders of the association adhere to its sincerely held beliefs, sincere practice requirements, or standards of conduct.

The bill also authorizes aggrieved belief based student associations to seek appropriate relief in a judicial or administrative proceeding against a public institution of higher learning that violates the requirements of the bill.

This bill is similar to SB 332 (2021) and to HB 1926 (2020).

Progress: Chamber 2: Filed
Last Action: 2022-05-03 S - Voted Do Pass
HB1755 - Establishes Parents' Bill of Rights
Sponsor: Rep. Chuck Basye (R)
Summary:

This bill prohibits the state, any of its political subdivisions, any other governmental entity, or any other institution from infringing on fundamental rights of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, health care, and mental health of their children.

This bill also requires school boards to implement policies that will allow parents to have more involvement in the public school system including having a voice as to what materials the children will be instructed on as well as the ability to withdraw their child from any portion of the school district's comprehensive health education that relates to instruction in sexually transmitted diseases or any instruction regarding human sexuality if they do not want their child to participate. The school board must also implement procedures that allow parents to learn their parental responsibilities and rights.

Progress: Chamber 1: Referred to Committee
Last Action: 2022-01-13 H - Referred to House committee on Elementary and Secondary Education
HB1802 - Modifies provisions relating to age for school attendance
Sponsor: Rep. Ann Kelley (R)
Summary: This bill changes the definition of "compulsory attendance age for the district" to 18 years of age or upon successful graduation or equivalency certification. The bill also modifies the age that a child must start school from seven years old to five.
Progress: Chamber 1: Referred to Committee
Last Action: 2022-02-01 H - Referred to House committee on Elementary and Secondary Education
HB1814 - Establishes transfer procedures to nonresident districts for students in public schools
Sponsor: Rep. Bradley Pollitt (R)
Summary:

The following is a summary of the House Committee Substitute for HB 1814.

This bill permits school districts that operate magnet schools included in a master desegregation settlement agreement to be exempt from transportation inefficiency requirements when transporting students to magnet schools (Section 163.161 RSMo).

This bill allows, beginning after July 1, 2023, any person or a beneficiary of a trust that owns residential or agricultural real property in any school district, and pays a school tax of at least $3000 in that district and owned property for at least three years, to send up to four children to that district without a tuition payment, upon notification to the district at least 30 days prior to enrollment, and the district shall count that child for the districts average daily attendance (Section 167.151).

PUBLIC SCHOOL OPEN ENROLLMENT ACT (Sections 167.1200 to 167.1230)

The bill adds Sections 167.1200 to 167.1230, establishing the "Public School Open Enrollment Act". DEFINITIONS (Section 167.1200) The bill defines "non-resident district", "public school choice student", and "resident district" among other definitions.

TRANSFER POLICY AND PARTICIPATION (SECTION 167.1205)

The bill creates a public school open enrollment program with the design to improve quality instruction and increase parental involvement, provide access to programs and classes, and offer opportunity to align parental curriculum options to personal beliefs.

The bill specifies that any student beginning kindergarten or already enrolled in a public school may attend a public school in any nonresident district. Districts must declare participation in the Open Enrollment Program by October 1. Participating districts are not required to add teachers, staff, or classrooms to accommodate transfer applicants. The bill includes a procedure for districts to take when a transferring student has special education needs. Schools may also establish standards for transfer applications and post the information on the school website and in the student handbook.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) or an entity skilled in policy development shall develop a model open enrollment transfer policy as outlined in the bill. A school board may modify the model policy but all public schools must adopt the model policy, regardless of participation in the program; however, each school board may modify the model policy based on the district's needs.

Students who wish to attend nonresident schools that have an academic or competitive entrance process shall furnish proof that they meet the admission requirements.

Students that participate in open enrollment in high school may not participate in varsity sports during the first 365 days of enrollment in a non-resident district with exceptions outlined in the bill.

No transfers under this act may begin until the school year 2023- 24. For school years 2023-24 and 2024-25 districts may restrict the number of transferring students to 5% of the previous school year's enrollment and the bill allows Hickman Mills school district to prevent students from leaving the district under this program until the 2025-26 school year.

APPLYING FOR TRANSFER (Section 167.1210)

Any student that applies for a transfer may only accept one transfer per school year, although the student may return to their resident district and must complete a full semester before applying for another transfer. Students may complete all remaining school years in their nonresident district and any sibling may enroll if the district has the capacity as provided by the bill.

For the purposes of determining federal and state aid the student shall be counted as a resident pupil of the nonresident district, except for federal calculations of military impact aid.

Parents will be responsible for transportation to the nonresident school or to an existing bus stop location in the nonresident district. Students that qualify for free and reduced meals may have transportation expenses reimbursed quarterly as outlined in the bill.

REVENUE CALCULATION (Section 167.1211)

The bill allows districts to receive funding from the "Parent Public School Choice Fund" for special education services up to three times the current expenditure per average daily attendance and for transportation costs for students that qualify for free and reduced meals.

PARENT PUBLIC SCHOOL CHOICE FUND (Section 167.1212)

This bill establishes the "Parent Public School Choice Fund" with a $60 million appropriation to be used to supplement open enrollment transfers from any resident district for transportation cost for students that qualify for free and reduced meals, and to reimburse for special needs education as outlined in Section 167.1211.

NUMBER OF TRANSFER STUDENTS (Section 167.1215)

The bill specifies that annually, before October 1, each school district shall set and publish the number of transfer students the district is willing to receive for the following school year. This number does not have to be more then zero. Districts will also develop a policy for a wait list.

APPLICATION PROCESS (Section 167.1220)

The processes for a transfer application, and the details for notifications of acceptance or rejection are specified within the bill. Superintendents will review and reject applications in a timely manner and must present to the board any rejections for review. The bill explains the reasons that an eligible application may be rejected and notification must be provided in writing by June 1st. The bill defines "good cause" and allows for consideration of applications that are submitted after December 1st and before July 1st. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall be notified of all accepted students and will request an anonymous survey related to the reasons for participating in the open enrollment program. The Department will publish an annual report based on the survey results.

ALLOWED EXEMPTIONS (Section 167.1225)

This bill provides that, prior to April 1st, a school district may annually declare an exemption for the upcoming school year, from the requirements set forth in this bill, provided that the school district is subject to a desegregation order or mandate of a federal court or agency remedying the effects of past racial segregation or subject to a settlement agreement remedying the effects of past racial segregation. The bill requires that any student that transfers from a K-8 district enroll before the start of the student's 6th grade year or the K-8 district must pay tuition as provided under Section 167.131. Additional exemptions are specified for students who qualify for transfers under other listed sections.

APPEAL AND ANNUAL REPORTING (Section 167.1230)

The bill determines when a student may be denied a transfer based on his or her discipline record and includes an appeal procedure.

The Department shall collect and report data annually from school districts on the number of applications and study the effects of the public school choice program transfers. The report shall be submitted annually by September 30th to the Joint Committee on Education, the House Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Senate Committee on Education (Section 167.1230).

Some provisions of this bill have a delayed effective date of July 1, 2023

This bill is similar to HS HCS HB 543 (2021).

Progress: Chamber 2: Filed
Last Action: 2022-04-06 S - Voted Do Pass
HB1858 - Transparency in public education
Sponsor: Rep. Ben Baker (R)
Summary:

The following is a summary of the House Committee Substitute for HB 1858 as perfected.

This bill creates the "Parents' Bill of Rights Act of 2022" and provides a list of rights that parents may require school districts that receive federal or state money to follow. Rights listed in the bill include but are not limited to:

(1) The right to review curricula, books, and instructional materials;

(2) The right to visit school during school hours with restrictions; and

(3) The right to have sufficient accountability and transparency regarding school boards.

School district restrictions are also outlined in the bill and include:

(1) Limits on nondisclosure agreements to review curriculum or for IEP meetings and certain other meeting and hearings specified in the bill;

(2) Allowing student involvement in school assemblies, field trips, or other extracurricular activities without written authorization from the parent;

(3) Biometric data collection; and

(4) Public meeting requirements that allow public comment.

Each school district and public school must notify parents of all reported incidents pertaining to student safety including, but not limited to, any felony or misdemeanor committed by teachers or other school employees.

Each school board shall adopt policies that will ensure accountability and transparency for parents in the district as outlined in the bill, and employees of the school are prohibited from coercing a minor child from withholding information from a parent.

The bill provides details on civil actions that may be taken against a school district and provides that withholdings from state funding may occur for noncompliance (Section 161.841, RSMo.).

The bill requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to develop a tool within the Department's comprehensive data system which shall consist of an Internet-based tool to give access to every school district's curriculum, source materials, and professional development materials. Details for the database are outlined and the DESE shall establish forms for districts to complete. School districts are required to submit updates to any required information every six months and DESE shall update the tool monthly (Section 161.852).

This bill requires that school boards as defined by the bill adopt a school board meeting speaker policy by the 2023-24 school year. The policy must designate a time for an open forum at the beginning of each public school board meeting. Boards may set time limits no less than three minutes per individual and the policy may outline specific information that each individual must provide before speaking. The school board may limit topics to exclude personnel issues and litigation issues and school boards shall not ban individuals except as provided in the bill. Parents may bring a civil action against the school district for a violation of the policy and if found to have knowingly engaged in repeated violations DESE shall withhold state formula money from the school district until they come into compliance (Section 162.005).

This bill requires that beginning in the 2023-24 school year that all school districts and charter schools post on the school's website the approved school curriculum that will be used for pupil instruction. Any changes to the curriculum must be updated on the website within 30 days and notice must be provided in a form of written communication with parents. Any curriculum that is trademarked or copyrighted may not be widely disseminated to the public.

The bill outlines a cause of action to require that the school board comply and if any resident prevails in a cause of action the bill provides that attorney fees shall be paid up to $15,000 (Section 170.231).

This bill provides that no school or school employee shall compel teachers or students to discuss public policy issues without consent. The bill outlines additional ideas related to Title IV and VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that teachers and students cannot be compelled to adopt, affirm, or profess including but not limited to: that individuals of any race, ethnicity, color, or national origin are inherently superior or inferior and that individuals, by virtue of their race, ethnicity, color, or national origin, bear collective guilt and are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race, ethnicity, color, or national origin. Students, parents, or teachers may file a complaint with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education or the state Attorney General for violations (Section 170.355).

Progress: Chamber 2: Filed
Last Action: 2022-04-26 S - Referred to Senate-Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight
HB1908 - Requires school districts to review curricula intended for use in each school year
Sponsor: Rep. Dan Shaul (R)
Summary:

This bill requires that beginning after June 30, 2023 each local school board will annually review all curricula intended for use by the school district for school instruction. The review conducted by the board must be at a public hearing with notice provided on the school website and a qualified newspaper or posted in three public places as outlined in the bill. Upon review the board must conduct a vote to approve the curriculum for the district. The board must wait four weeks after the board completes the review to vote.

Progress: Chamber 1: Referred to Committee
Last Action: 2022-05-09 H - Placed on Informal Calendar
HB1955 - Establishes provisions governing statewide athletic association employees and members
Sponsor: Rep. Doug Richey (R)
Summary:

This bill requires that all employees of any statewide athletic association or organization that receives any public money and has a public school district as a member be mandated reporters. The associations must maintain a database listing each individual who is employed as a coach or a member of a coaching staff for all member schools.

The bill requires that before hiring coaches or coaching staff members, school districts must determine if any allegations of misconduct or crimes were reported for an individual by contacting all school districts where the individual was previously employed.

Progress: Chamber 1: Referred to Committee
Last Action: 2022-04-06 H - Scheduled for Committee Hearing  04/11/2022 5:00 PM - House-Special Committee on Government Accountability, HR 7
HB1977 - Modifies provisions relating to the selling of raw milk or cream
Sponsor: Rep. Ann Kelley (R)
Summary:

This bill allows for the sale of grade A retail raw milk or cream produced in Missouri at grocery stores, restaurants, soda fountains, or similar establishments as long as the milk is clearly labeled with the specified warning label and when the milk or cream is sold in a manner that does not allow the final consumer to see the label, it must be clearly presented to the consumer through a written notice.

The bill also specifies that no bottler or distributer of grade A retail raw milk can sell, transport or deliver the milk unless it has been inspected by the State Milk Board at least quarterly. Also, any dairy farm producing grade A retail raw milk must have its herd accredited or certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as tuberculosis-free and brucellosis-free.

This bill is similar to HB 309 (2021).

Progress: Chamber 2: Filed
Last Action: 2022-05-10 S - Referred to Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food Production, and Outdoor Resources
HB1995 - Provides for protections for parental rights and transparency in public schools
Sponsor: Rep. Doug Richey (R)
Summary:

This bill enumerates rights for parents in areas relating to education, health care, and mental health, and establishes "The Parents' Bill of Rights for Student Well-Being". Rights listed include the right to direct ethical, moral, and religious training, the right to enroll his or her child in a public, parochial, or home school, and the right to exempt his or her child from immunizations. Additional rights are listed in the bill.

The bill requires school districts to adopt a policy to promote parental involvement with detailed procedures as outlined in the bill including procedures for objection to instructional materials and for parental withdrawal from health education courses relating to human sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases.

The bill requires that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) develop specific forms that school districts must use for parents to opt out of instructional material, and for parents to be notified in advance whenever a teacher intends to teach a divisive or controversial topic.

The bill permits information that is required to be provided to parents to be delivered electronically and establishes a formal request process with specific time periods for superintendents to comply before an appeal process to the school board with details outlined in the bill. Parent's may also directly file formal objections with the school board and the bill establishes an appeal process to DESE for any denied objections and allows any DESE decision to be taken to the circuit court for a judicial review. The bill outlines a penalty of $1000 per violation and attorney fees for knowingly violations and $5000 per purposeful violation (Section 161.851 RSMo).

The bill establishes the "Missouri Education Transparency and Accountability Portal" which shall consist of an internet-based tool to give access to every school district's curriculum, source materials, and professional development materials. Details for the database are outlined and the Commissioner of Education shall establish forms for districts to complete. School districts are required to submit updates to any required information within five business days and the commissioner of education shall update the database portal weekly (Section 161.852).

The bill provides that the Attorney General's office has the right to bring legal action for violations of Sections 161.851 to 161.852, and provides a penalty provision for each violation up to $10,000 for each knowing or purposeful violation. The bill provides that fines for violations will be divided with 20% going to the parents who brought the suit and 80% to be given to the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Fund. School district employees that disclose violations are protected from retaliation (Section 161.853).

This bill contains an emergency clause and penalty provisions.

Progress: Chamber 1: Referred to Committee
Last Action: 2022-02-16 H - Referred to House Committee on Rules-Legislative Oversight
HB2195 - Establishes the Parents' Bill of Rights Act of 2022
Sponsor: Rep. Adam Schnelting (R)
Summary:

This bill establishes the "Parents' Bill of Rights Act of 2022". The bill provides the intent of the General Assembly to recognize the constitutional right that every parent of a child has to direct the upbringing, education, health care, and mental health of such parent's child.

Each public school district shall publicly read the reaffirmations, listed in this bill, at a public school board meeting within 90 days of August 28, 2022, and a copy of the reaffirmations shall be posted in all classrooms and school administrative offices located in public and charter schools.

No school district or charter school shall impede in a parents' rights, which include the right to:

(1) View the curriculum taught to their child;

(2) Receive information about who is teaching their minor child including, but not limited to, guest lecturers and outside presenters and whether such person is paid or a volunteer;

(3) Receive information about individuals and organizations receiving school contracts and funding;

(4) Visit the school and check in on their minor child during school hours;

(5) View or receive all school records, medical or otherwise, concerning their minor child;

(6) Receive information about the collection and transmission of their minor child's data;

(7) Have sufficient accountability and transparency regarding school boards; and

(8) Know about situations affecting their minor child's safety and well-being in school.

The Attorney General of this state or any parent of a child enrolled in a public school may bring a civil action for injunctive relief against the school district or public school in which their child is enrolled if such school district or public school violates the provisions in this bill. Such action shall be brought in the county where the violation occurred or in the Cole County Circuit Court. If a court finds that the school district or public school has knowingly engaged in multiple or repeated violations, the court shall order the school district or public school to cease and desist all actions taken in violation.

Progress: Chamber 1: Referred to Committee
Last Action: 2022-01-13 H - Referred to House committee on Elementary and Secondary Education
HB2294 - Establishes the Parents' Bill of Rights Act of 2022
Sponsor: Rep. John Wiemann (R)
Summary:

This bill creates one new section to be known as the "Parents' Bill of Rights Act of 2022", which seeks to establish specific rights of parents in regards to education for their children. Specific rights enumerated include but are not limited to: the right to review the curricula and instructional material of a child's school; the right to meet a child's teacher at least twice in a year; and the right to address the school board.

The bill prohibits school districts from acting as the agent of a parent without notification to the parent and an opt out option. Districts may not sell student information or collect biometric data or sensitive personal information about children without written parental consent.

The bill provides a list of specific notifications that school districts must provide to parents along with policies that school districts must develop. Such policies must be provided with reasonable notice of adoption as outlined in the bill. Districts must post online the specified rights outlined in the bill, the curriculum for each grade level, and all parental engagement plans, policies, and procedures.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is required to enforce the requirements of this section for each district and may withhold state aid if they determine there is a failure to comply voluntarily with the requirements outlined in this section. DESE shall annually produce a report to the House and Senate committees of education with specific description of the enforcement actions taken.

Progress: Chamber 1: Referred to Committee
Last Action: 2022-01-13 H - Referred to House committee on Elementary and Secondary Education
HB2369 - Prohibits public school membership in any statewide activities association that prohibits home school students from participating in any event or activity offered by the school district in which the student resides
Sponsor: Rep. Josh Hurlbert (R)
Summary:

This bill specifies that a school district shall not be a member of, or remit any funds to, any statewide activities association that prohibits a home school student from participating in any event or activity offered by the school district, or if the school district prohibits a student from participating in any event or activity or requires a home school student to attend the public school for any portion of a school day, except that they may be required to attend one class if the class is directly related to the event or activity.

This bill further provides that a statewide activities association shall not prohibit or restrict any school district that is a member of the association from participating in any events authorized or regulated by the association with any school that is not a member of the association, that school discipline policies will apply to home school students, and records created pertaining to a home school student will be made confidential.

This bill is similar to HCS HB 494 (2021).

Progress: Chamber 1: Referred to Committee
Last Action: 2022-03-31 H - Reported Do Pass
HJR110 - Proposes a constitutional amendment relating to the parents' bill of rights
Sponsor: Rep. Phil Christofanelli (R)
Summary:

The following is a summary of the House Committee Substitute for HJR 110.

Upon voter approval, this proposed Constitutional amendment would add a new section to Article IX that would enumerate specific rights to parents of Missouri children in regard to education, established as "The Parents' Bill of Rights".

Such rights include but are not limited to the following: the parent's right to participate and direct the education of their child, the right to access and view curricula, academic performance, and financial information; the right to choose educational options under a system of open enrollment across district boundaries created and funded by the General Assembly; and the right to opt a child out of any content that is disagreeable to the parent.

Additional restrictions are placed on schools to prevent employees and students from being compelled to adopt, affirm, adhere to, or profess ideas as specified; including ideas related to race, ethnicity, color, or national origin superiority.

Progress: Chamber 1: Referred to Committee
Last Action: 2022-05-09 H - Perfection defeated - Y-60 N-81
SB646 - Establishes the "School Freedom Act" relating to COVID-19 policies in schools
Sponsor: Sen. Andrew Koenig (R)
Summary:

SB 646 - This act establishes the "School Freedom Act". No public or charter school shall implement or enforce any student dress requirements or COVID-19 preventative measures that include a mask or face covering mandate. No student shall be required, as a condition of school attendance or participation in school-sponsored extracurricular activities, to be immunized against COVID-19 or to undergo any testing policy as an alternative to a COVID-19 vaccination. A school may require a student to have a negative COVID-19 test to return to school attendance and activities following a positive COVID-19 test or COVID-19 symptoms. Schools shall allow parents or legal guardians the authority to choose whether to quarantine their child or send their child to school following close contact with an individual with COVID-19, provided that the child does not demonstrate COVID-19 symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.

Finally, no child attending any day care center, pre-school, or nursery school shall be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of attendance.

Progress: Chamber 1: Referred to Committee
Last Action: 2022-01-10 S - Referred to Senate Committee on Education
SB740 - Modifies and creates provisions regarding elementary and secondary education
Sponsor: Sen. Bill Eigel (R)
Summary:

SB 740 - This act modifies and creates various provisions relating to elementary and secondary education.

PUBLIC EDUCATION TRANSPARENCY ACT

This act establishes the "Public Education Transparency Act." Under the act, all professional development materials sponsored by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall be posted on the Department's website prior to use. The Department shall not contract with any vendor for proprietary materials that cannot be viewed by the public.

The State Board of Education shall draft standards for the Missouri School Improvement Program that evaluate local school board compliance with certain provisions regarding instructional materials as provided in the act. The Department and every school shall post on their websites certain statements regarding the curricula and instructional materials used and the professional development and training materials used by the Department or school. Such websites shall also detail procedures for parents to opt students out of formal and informal instruction. Such information shall remain displayed on the website for at least two years. Failure to comply with this provision regarding posting of information on the website shall result in a fine of $1,000 per day.

Each school district and charter school shall make available to the public on the district or school website certain financial information regarding the district's or school's budgets, expenditures, vendors, and contracts.

The State Board of Education shall require that all academic standards used to design, implement, assess, and evaluate instruction in public schools reflect a non-indoctrination principle, prohibiting imposition of any orthodoxy of a political, religious, or ideological nature. No school shall direct or compel students to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere to statements that ascribe character traits, values, moral or ethical codes, privileges, or beliefs to a race or sex, or to an individual because of the individual's race, sex, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin. Teachers are not permitted to require a student to engage in political activism as part of the grade for a class. No school shall compel a teacher, administrator, or student to adhere to any belief that violates their freedom of conscience or engage in any activity that violates their freedom of speech.

The State Board of Education shall adopt a Missouri School Improvement Program standard that evaluates school districts for compliance with the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and federal civil rights laws regarding employment.

Placement of students in special education settings shall be done in accordance with federal law and without reference to that student's membership in a group identified by sex, race, ethnicity, religion, skin color, or national origin.

The act sets forth judicial remedies for any violations of this act that may be brought by parents or the Attorney General. (Section 160.3100 to 160.3118).

SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS

Currently, school board elections are held at specified election dates as determined by the designation and location of school districts. Beginning in 2024, this act requires school board elections for seven-director school districts, urban school districts, and school districts with subdistricts to be held during the November general election. For all existing school boards not holding an initial election the terms will be staggered and four years in length, as specified in the bill. Any member whose term ends in 2021 or any other odd-number year will serve until the election in the following even-numbered year. (Sections 162.082 to 162.910).

These provisions are similar to HB 361 (2019) and HCS/HB 1424 (2018).

MANDATORY FACE MASKS OR COVERINGS

No public or charter school shall implement or enforce any student dress requirements that include a mask or face covering mandate. No student shall be required, as a condition of school attendance or participation in school-sponsored extracurricular activities, to wear a mask or face covering. (Section 167.029).

MANDATORY COVID VACCINE IN SCHOOLS

No student shall be required, as a condition of school attendance or participation in school-sponsored activities, to be immunized against COVID-19. No student shall be required to alternatively undergo COVID-19 diagnostic testing, provided that nothing in this provision shall preclude a school from requiring a student who has been in close contact with a source of COVID-19 to be tested as a condition of attending school or extracurricular activities. (Section 167.181).

SINGLE-SEX ATHLETICS IN MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOLS

Under this act, middle school and high school sports teams which compete against public middle schools and high schools shall be expressly designated as male, female, or coeducational using terms provided in the act.

No athletic team or sport designated for females, women, or girls shall be open to students of the male sex, as assigned at birth.

No governmental entity, licensing or accrediting organization, or athletic association or organization shall take any adverse action, as described in the act, against a school for maintaining separate interscholastic or intramural athletic teams or sports for students of the female sex.

This act establishes a private cause of action for students deprived of an athletic opportunity or who suffers direct or indirect harm as a result of a violation of this act, students subject to retaliation or other adverse action by a school or athletic association or organization as a result of certain reports of violations of this act, and schools that suffer a direct or indirect harm as a result of a violation of this act. Such civil action may be brought within two years after the harm has occurred. Prevailing plaintiffs shall be awarded monetary damages, reasonable attorneys' fees and costs, and any other relief considered appropriate by the court.

This provision is similar to SB 503 (2021).

Progress: Chamber 1: Referred to Committee
Last Action: 2022-03-29 S - Not heard in committee
SB781 - Establishes the "Save Women's Sports Act" relating to female-only athletics in middle school, high schools, and colleges
Sponsor: Sen. Mike Moon (R)
Summary:

SS/SCS/SB 781 - This act establishes the "Save Women's Sports Act."

No athletic team or sport designated for biological females, as defined in the act, shall be open to students that are biological males, as defined in the act.

No governmental entity, licensing or accrediting organization, or athletic association or organization shall take any adverse action, as described in the act, against a school for maintaining separate interscholastic or intramural athletic teams or sports for students that are biological females.

No public or private middle school or high school or a public or private institution of postsecondary education that has biological males playing biological female’s sports shall be eligible for money appropriated by the General Assembly.

This act is similar to SB 503 (2021).

Progress: Chamber 1: Referred to Committee
Last Action: 2022-04-28 S - Placed on Informal Calendar
SB835 - Provides that no public school shall be a member of a statewide activities association if such association prohibits a home school student from participating in any event or activity offered by a public school in the school district in which the student resides
Sponsor: Sen. Cindy O'Laughlin (R)
Summary:

SB 835 - School districts shall not be a member of, or remit any funds to, a statewide activities association that prohibits a home school student from participating in any event or activity offered by the school district or an attendance center of the school district in which the student resides for any reason relating to such student's home instruction or that requires a student to attend more than one class directly related to, and necessary for, participation in an event or activity in order to participate.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education may withhold state aid payments until the district provides satisfactory proof to the State Board of Education that the school district has ceased membership in the association and has ceased remission of any funds to said association.

A statewide activities association shall not prohibit or restrict any member school district from participating in any events with any school that is not a member of the association. School disciplinary policies shall apply to all participants in events or activities offered by the school district.

Any records created by a school district or attendance center under this section shall not be disclosed by such district for any purpose.

This act is similar to SB 55 (2021), SB 875 (2020) and SB 130 (2019).

Progress: Chamber 1: Referred to Committee
Last Action: 2022-04-28 S - Voted Do Pass
SB839 - Modifies provisions relating to child custody arrangements
Sponsor: Sen. Rick Brattin (R)
Summary:

SCS/SB 839 - This act adds a rebuttable presumption when determining child custody arrangements that an award of equal or approximately equal parenting time to each parent is in the best interests of the child. Such presumption shall be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence, as specified in the act, including an agreement by the parents on all issues related to custody.

This act also modifies the factors a court shall consider when awarding custody to parents, including the willingness and ability of parents to cooperate in the rearing of their child; the child's physical, emotional, educational, and other needs; the mental health or substance use history experienced by either parent; the history of domestic and child abuse of any individuals involved; the distance between the residences of the parents; and the reasonable input of the child as to the child's custodian.

Under this act, the General Assembly encourages the courts to enter a temporary parenting plan as early as practicable when determining child custody.

Current law gives preference to a relative of a child when awarding third-party custody or visitation. Under this act, third-party custody or visitation shall be awarded to any person or persons deemed by the court to be suitable and able to provide an adequate and stable environment for the child. Consideration shall be given first to any relatives within the second degree of consanguinity and to those with a familial relationship. If the court finds that a relative or individual with a familial relationship is not suitable, then the court may award custody or visitation to another suitable person.

Finally, this act modifies the effective date of certain provisions of law relating to child custody. Those provisions, as they existed on August 27, 2021, shall apply to all pending actions and proceedings brought as of that date, except that actions on appeal shall be governed by the law in effect at the time of the judgment or decree becoming final. Any amendments to such sections thereafter shall apply to all pending actions and proceedings brought on or after August 28, 2021, except as otherwise provided.

Provisions of this act are identical to provisions in SB 1176 (2022) and similar to provisions in SCS/SB 459 (2021), SB 199 (2021), SB 531 (2020), SCS/HCS/HB 229 (2019), SB 14 (2019), SCS/HCS/HB 1667 (2018), SB 645 (2018), and HCS/HB 724 (2017).

Progress: Chamber 1: Referred to Committee
Last Action: 2022-04-20 S - Reported Do Pass as substituted
SB873 - Allows for an income tax deduction for educator expenses
Sponsor: Sen. Lauren Arthur (D)
Summary:

SB 873 - For all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2023, this act establishes a tax deduction in the amount of 100% of unreimbursed educator expenses incurred by an eligible educator, not to exceed $500.

An eligible educator is defined as an individual who is a kindergarten through grade twelve teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide in a school for at least 900 hours during a school year, or is a teacher in an early childhood education program.

Educator expenses are defined as expenses incurred as a result of the participation by the educator in professional development courses related to the curriculum in which the educator provides instruction, and expenses in connection with books, supplies, computer equipment and other equipment, and supplementary materials used by the eligible educator in the classroom.

This act is identical to SB 228 (2021), SCS/SB 583 (2020), and to a provision contained in SB 1055 (2020) and HB 2750 (2020), and is substantially similar to HB 1338 (2020), SB 61 (2019), and HCS/HBs 299 & 364 (2019).

Progress: Chamber 1: Referred to Committee
Last Action: 2022-01-27 S - Referred to Senate Committee on Ways and Means
SB1064 - Creates new unlawful employment practices
Sponsor: Sen. Mike Cierpiot (R)
Summary:

SB 1064 - Under this act, it is an unlawful employment practice for any employer to refuse an employee a reasonable accommodation from any requirement related to COVID-19 because of the employee's sincerely held religious, ethical, or moral beliefs. In granting an employee a reasonable accommodation, an employer shall apply the same standards as are required by federal law and regulations promulgated by the Missouri Commission on Human Rights for reasonable accommodations for disabilities. A reasonable accommodation under this act may include an exemption from vaccination requirements for COVID-19 or mandatory testing for COVID-19.

This provision is identical to SB 702 (2022).

Progress: Chamber 1: Referred to Committee
Last Action: 2022-03-01 S - Referred to Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy, and the Environment
SB1117 - Establishes procedures for entering into and dissolving covenant marriages
Sponsor: Sen. Mike Moon (R)
Summary:

SB 1117 - This act establishes the "Missouri Covenant Marriage Act". Persons with the legal capacity to marry under current law may enter into a covenant marriage by declaring their intent on their marriage license application. The marriage license shall be designated as a covenant marriage license and shall be recorded as such and shall be considered valid and recognized by all governmental agencies, with all the benefits and rights of a standard marriage license.

This act specifies the additional declarations and affidavits to be submitted by the parties to the covenant marriage and by the clergy or counselors who provided at least 8 hours of premarital counseling to the parties. Premarital counseling shall include: (1) a discussion of the seriousness of covenant marriage, (2) communication of the fact that covenant marriage is a commitment for life, (3) a discussion of the obligation to seek marital counseling in times of marital difficulties, and (4) a discussion of the limited grounds for legally terminating a covenant marriage by dissolution or legal separation.

If a husband and wife have previously obtained a standard marriage license, they may convert that to a covenant marriage license by submitting a declaration and affidavit, as specified in the act. The husband and wife shall not be required to receive premarital counseling or have the converted covenant marriage solemnized.

The state of Missouri shall publish information on covenant marriages on its website.

Additionally, this act establishes the requirements for terminating a covenant marriage. A husband or wife may file a petition in court for legal separation at any time, but a dissolution may only be granted after the court has first ordered a legal separation. The court shall order both parties to attend at least 40 hours of marital counseling prior to ordering a dissolution of marriage. This counseling may be provided by either a faith-based organization or a professional marriage counselor or agency. The court shall not enter a decree of dissolution until at least 2 years have passed after the initial filing for legal separation or dissolution and after first ordering a legal separation, for the following reasons: (1) adultery by either spouse; (2) habitual drug or alcohol abuse by either spouse; (3) a spouse has committed a felony and been sentenced to death or imprisonment; (4) a spouse has physically or sexually abused the other spouse, a child, a relative permanently living in the matrimonial domicile, or has committed domestic violence or severe emotional abuse; (5) a spouse has abandoned the matrimonial domicile and has not been in contact with the other spouse for at least 2 years; (6) the spouses have been living separately and continuously without reconciliation for at least 2 years; or (7) the husband and wife have both attended at least 40 hours of marital counseling over the course of at least 2 years.

Finally, whether a husband and wife have entered into a standard or covenant marriage, if a court has ordered divorcing or separating parents to attend a parenting education class, then the parties may opt for a faith-based alternative program if that program informs the parties of the devastating effects of divorce on families and children.

This act is identical to HB 1693 (2022).

Progress: Chamber 1: Referred to Committee
Last Action: 2022-03-07 S - Referred to Senate Committee on Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence
SB1140 - Relating to compulsory age for school attendance
Sponsor: Sen. Jill Schupp (D)
Summary:

SB 1140 - This act changes the compulsory attendance age for school from seven to five years old.

Progress: Chamber 1: Referred to Committee
Last Action: 2022-03-10 S - Referred to Senate Committee on Education
SJR47 - Prohibits laws or public policies infringing on the right of individuals to refuse medical procedures or treatments
Sponsor: Sen. Mike Moon (R)
Summary:

SJR 47 - This constitutional amendment, if adopted by the voters, prohibits the passage or implementation of any law, order, ordinance, regulation or public policy of the state or any political subdivision of the state, including schools and institutions of higher education that receive public funds, that infringes upon the unquestionable right of individuals to refuse any medical procedure or treatment, including, but not limited to, injections, vaccines, or prophylactics. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged to any person in this state because of the exercise of this right. Nothing in this amendment shall be interpreted to infringe upon a parent's right to exercise control over their minor, unemancipated child's physical and mental care.

Progress: Chamber 1: Referred to Committee
Last Action: 2022-03-29 S - Referred to Senate-Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight