House Approves Legislation to Protect Victims from Their Abusers

CAPITOL REPORT:  REPRESENTATIVE PATRICIA PIKE

Dear Citizens: The members of the Missouri House gave strong bipartisan support to legislation (HB 744) that would allow victims of abuse to obtain lifetime orders of protection against extreme, obsessive abusers. The bill’s sponsor said the legislation “would end the necessity for victims to have to return to court every year to get a new protection order, and incurring the associated costs, as well as having to face their abuser again in court.”

Missouri law currently allows for orders of protection that last for one year. The legislation approved by the House would give a judge the option to grant a lifetime protection order against those who are obsessive and will not stop threatening their victims. The length of time the order of protection is issued or renewed would depend on whether the court makes specific findings during an evidentiary hearing that the respondent poses a serious danger to the physical or mental health of the petitioner or of a minor household member of the petitioner.

The sponsor of the bill, who previously served as the chief of police for the city of Joplin and as the director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety, said, “I can tell you from personal experience that when you have to look a woman in the eye and explain to her why the law won’t protect her, it is very difficult, and they shouldn’t have to live that way. I think this is frankly a fairly significant step to correct what I think should be common sense.”

The bill also contains a provision that states adult protection orders and child protection orders, full or ex parte, may be granted to restrain or enjoin an individual from committing or threatening to commit abuse against a pet. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

House Moves to Exempt Stimulus Payments from State Income Tax (HB 991) The House has given initial support to legislation that would exempt the federal stimulus payments received by Missourians from state income tax. The bill is similar to one approved by the legislature last year that exempted the first round of stimulus payments from state income tax.

The House Budget Chairman, who sponsors the bill, noted last year’s bill did not account for future rounds of stimulus payments.

He said, “Since then we’ve had two payments in the state of Missouri. Those would be subject to state tax if we don’t change that in statute. So this bill takes care of those and also seeks to eliminate tax liability for any future stimulus payments related to the pandemic.”  The bill requires another round of approval in the House before moving to the Senate.

For more information, contact Representative Patricia Pike at [email protected] or call 573-751-5388.

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