Through House Bill 194, State Rep. Diane Franklin (R-Camdenton) is once again working to prevent fetal tissue from abortions from being donated for medical or scientific use.

A Lake area state representative has filed a bill regarding the handling of fetal remains after an abortion.

Through House Bill 194, State Rep. Diane Franklin (R-Camdenton) is once again working to prevent fetal tissue from abortions from being donated for medical or scientific use. HB 194 is similar to legislation she carried during the 2016 session that received House approval but failed to make it through the Senate before the legislative session ended.

The bill seeks to prohibit an individual from knowingly donating the fetal organs or tissue resulting from an abortion to any person or entity for medical, scientific, experimental, therapeutic or any other use. The bill stems from the recommendations made by Franklin’s committee and another House committee that investigated allegations that Planned Parenthood sold tissues and organs from aborted fetuses.

“The actions of Planned Parenthood raised a great deal of concern about how fetal tissues were being used. Whether or not you agree with abortions being performed, I think we can all agree that nobody should be making a profit from these babies and we must preserve the dignity of those who have had their lives taken,” said Representative Franklin. “I want to thank my colleagues in the House for the overwhelming support they gave this idea during our last session. I am hopeful they will work with me again to move the bill out of the House quickly so that the Senate will have time to take up the bill and pass it into law.”

In addition to the ban on the donation of fetal tissues from abortions, Franklin’s legislation would establish a tracking system for fetal remains. Specifically, it requires all tissue removed from an abortion to be sent to a pathologist. Currently, only a representative sample of tissue removed at the time of abortion must be sent to a pathologist. Each fetal tissue specimen must be given a unique identification number to allow the specimen to be tracked from the abortion facility or hospital where the abortion was performed to the pathology lab and its final disposition location.

The bill also requires the department of health and senior services to conduct annual, unannounced, on-site inspections and investigations of abortion facilities.

In this legislative session, Franklin is chairman of Children and Families committee and sits on the professional registration and licensing committee and on a special committee on tourism.

In addition to sponsoring HB 194, she is co-sponsor of House Bills 110, 161 and 262.

Sponsored by State Rep. Charlie Davis (R-Webb City), HB 110 would add vehicles owned and operated by the Civil Support Team of the Missouri National Guard when used during operations involving hazardous materials to the definition of “emergency vehicle”. Again sponsored by Davis, HB 161 modifies definitions to give veterans priority in low-income housing tax credits. HB 262 is sponsored by State Rep. Chrissy Sommer (R-St. Charles) and would revise the definition of “service dog” to include animals that provide support or therapeutic functions for individuals with psychiatric or mental disabilities.

What our other state officials are up to so far this session

State Rep. Rocky Miller (R-Lake Ozark)

Committees: Chairman of Utilities and on Economic Development and Special Committee on Tourism

•Sponsoring HB326: Currently, a person is not permitted to knowingly perform an abortion on a minor unless the attending physician has secured the informed written consent of the minor and one parent or guardian of the minor. This bill requires, except in the case of an emergency, the consenting parent or guardian of the minor to notify any other custodial parent or guardian in writing prior to the securing of the informed written consent of the minor and consenting parent or guardian. This bill is the same as HB 1370 (2016).

• Sponsoring HB350: This bill prohibits the sale of Native American arts and crafts, and other goods represented as being Native American made, unless the arts and crafts are made by citizens or members of federally recognized Native American tribes. Any merchant who knowingly violates this provision shall be subject to a fine up to $200 and 90 days in prison.

State Rep. David Wood (R-Versailles)

Committees: Elementary and Secondary Education, Budget and Fiscal Review

• Sponsoring HB118: Would make several changes in law regarding elementary and secondary education in regards to student transfers and transportation and parental notification in regards to unaccredited school districts. This bill is similar to HB 42 (2015).

State Senator Dan Brown (R-Rolla)

Committees: Appropriations, Chairman; General Laws; Veterans and Military Affairs; Joint Committee on Life Sciences; Joint Committee on Public Assistance; Senate Interim Committee on Long-Term Care Facilities; Senate Interim Committee on MO HealthNet Pharmacy Benefits, Vice-Chairman; Missouri Veterans Commission

•Sponsoring SB19: Employers would be barred from requiring employees to become or refrain from becoming a member of a labor organization or pay dues or other charges required of labor organization members as a condition of employment. Employers who do so commit a Class C misdemeanor. Prosecuting attorneys and the Attorney General are charged with investigating complaints.

•Sponsoring SB20: This would repeal the law pertaining to prevailing wage.

•Sponsoring SB21: This would allows public employee labor unions to withhold fees from public employee paychecks only upon the annual written consent of the employee. The act also requires the public employee's annual consent for public employee labor unions to use fees and dues for political purposes. Employees are required to authorize the amount to be used for political contributions to be transferred to the labor union's continuing committee. Authorizing or refraining from authorizing any amount shall in no way affect employment. Public labor unions shall keep records of all authorizations for political contributions and submit them to the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission.

•Sponsoring SB87: This would require the State Board of Mediation to conduct an election every two years to certify the exclusive bargaining representation of a collective bargaining unit. If a representative fails to receive 51% of the vote in favor of certification or recertification, the State Board shall decertify the representative. If a representative is decertified, the affected employees may not be included in a substantially similar collective bargaining unit for twelve months from the date of decertification.

•Sponsoring SB88: This act provides that malpractice actions against veterinarians or entities providing veterinary services for damages shall be brought within two years from the date of the occurrence of the act.

•Sponsoring SB179: For all tax years beginning after Jan. 1, 2018, this would create a tax credit in an amount equal to fifty percent of a taxpayer's contribution to Love INC. The tax credit shall not be excess of $5,000. The tax credit may be carried forward over the next 3 years until fully claimed is non-transferrable. Act would sunset after six years unless reauthorized by an act of the General Assembly.

State Senator Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City)

Majority Floor Leader

Committees: Administration, Vice-Chairman

Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources

Gubernatorial Appointments, Vice-Chairman

Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics, Chairman

Joint Committee on Capitol Improvements

Senate Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life

Senate Select Committee on Capital Improvements, Chairman

Blue Ribbon Panel on Immigration

Joint Committee on Corrections

•Sponsoring SB 189: Under current law, the maximum duration for an individual to receive unemployment benefits is 20 weeks. This would make the duration of benefits related to the state’s average unemployment rate in a range from 13 weeks when unemployment is below 6% to 20 weeks when it’s 9% or higher. It would also make changes in wages and employer contributions related to unemployment.

•Sponsoring SB249: Would authorize the Gasconade R-II school district, which crosses county boundaries, to use the county that yields the highest dollar value modifier under the school foundation formula

•Sponsoring SB250: Would exempt from property tax land that is an out-of-service rail corridor being used as a trail under federal law

•Sponsoring SB251: Would require the Division of State Parks to maintain the fence coinciding with the boundary between individual landowner property and the Missouri Rock Island Trail

•Sponsoring SCR4: Applies to Congress for the calling of an Article V convention of states to propose certain amendments to the United States Constitution which place limits on the federal government.