Missouri Lawmakers Pass High-Profile Gun Bill on Last Day | News headlines
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – The Republican-led Missouri legislature has passed a high-profile measure to ban local enforcement of federal gun laws with only an hour to spare before Friday’s deadline of 6 p.m. by lawmakers.
The GOP-led House voted 111-42 along party lines to send the gun bill to Republican Gov. Mike Parson before adjourning the 2021 regular session.
The measure would block local police enforcement of federal gun laws, an effort increasingly popular in Republican-led states under the administration of Democratic President Joe Biden.
“The Second Amendment is under attack,” said Republican Republican Jered Taylor, sponsor of the bill. “He is under attack by the Democrats, especially the Biden administration.”
Most federal and state gun laws are the same, and federal law enforcement could still enforce gun rules that are only in federal law. The push for the bill is driven by fears that Biden would impose drastic limits on guns.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Tuesday signed similar legislation aimed at thwarting actions by Biden’s executive to tackle gun violence.
Missouri Democrats argued the bill was unconstitutional and predicted it would be quickly overturned by the courts.
“It is embarrassing for our state that we are passing this bill claiming that federal law is null and void and unconstitutional,” said St. Louis Democratic Representative Peter Merideth.
The House also passed legislation that would make Missouri the last state to require out-of-state online stores to collect sales taxes on residents’ purchases, to penalize efforts to dissolve retail services. policy and repeal a cap on the amount of annual tuition fee increases. has been in place for over a decade.
The final bill that was passed would limit the lawsuits that can be brought against companies for misconduct during the pandemic. Parson has called on GOP lawmakers to send him a bill blocking numerous coronavirus-related lawsuits since last year.
Many bills failed to cross the finish line after minority Democrats in the Senate blocked their work in frustration over how Republican leaders handled negotiations on other laws.
Senators achieved next to nothing on Friday after leaving prematurely.
“It was a perfect end to a dysfunctional year,” said Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo.
The problem was a tax on health care providers used to levy additional federal funding for Medicaid, which is then redistributed to those hospitals, pharmacies and other health service providers. Some Republicans wanted to add a ban on funding Medicaid used for devices or drugs that can induce abortions, which Democrats opposed.
Senate leaders said they plan to return to work later this year to re-authorize the tax so Missouri doesn’t miss out on about a third of the money that funds its multibillion-dollar Medicaid program.
The inaction comes after the Republican legislature refused to pay for a voter-approved extension of the state’s Medicaid program to thousands of other low-income adults.
The legislature had already adopted a number of other long-standing priorities, including the gas tax measure.
The bill would increase gasoline taxes in the state for the first time in more than two decades, a gradual increase of 12.5 cents per gallon, to raise money for road and bridge repairs. Parson has indicated he will sign it.
Lawmakers also sent in a Parson Act that will create a statewide prescription drug monitoring program. The policy aims to help doctors see if their patients are receiving pain relievers and other medications from other doctors, a sign that they may be struggling with addiction.
A prescription drug database was another request from Parson.
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