The Missouri Legislature Returns to Session Amid a Pandemic. Here’s What You Need to Know

Missouri friends… the MO legislature goes back into session today. They have 3 weeks to pass the budget and address the mounting concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its fallout. In addition the constitutionally-required items (such as the budget) and health concerns, there will still be room for special interests.

On Tuesday, April 28 the Senate Government Reform Committee will hear HB 2049, which would protect insurance companies that wrongfully deny a claim. If you cause an accident and your insurance company says it will not defend you or will not pay a judgment against you, HB 2049 would allow the insurance company to step into the lawsuit against you and admit evidence that would be detrimental to your defense.

The Missouri House may also end up hearing SB 591. This was the bill passed in the Senate after an overnight filibuster that protects wrongdoers by making it harder to obtain punitive damages to punish reprehensible conduct. It also protects businesses that defraud Missourians by limiting the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA).

One lifelong Republican told a journalist: “I have to scratch my head and wonder what are House and Senate leadership doing still pushing a bill that undermines two rising National stars in the GOP, Josh Hawley and Eric Schmitt… Continuing to make a priority out of SB 591, at this time, which would prohibit Schmitt from recovering tens of millions of dollars from China… seems like a really bad vote for a Republican with any political aspirations. It also seems like really bad timing to restrict the use of MMPA claims with all the stories of people getting ripped off on COVID-19 equipment.”

These bills are bad for Missouri and bad for Missourians. They gratuitously protect special interests and needlessly restrict our rights under the 7th Amendment.

Now is a good time to call or email your state rep and state senator to let them know they should vote against these bills.