The top subject of county officials who gathered at their monthly meeting with the Phelps County Commission on Thursday was the lack of bills passed by the Missouri Legislature during its 2010 Session.


The top subject of county officials who gathered at their monthly meeting with the Phelps County Commission on Thursday was the lack of bills passed by the Missouri Legislature during its 2010 Session.

 

Giving a brief synopsis of the bills most important to counties, Treasurer Carol Green and Commissioner Bud Dean both agreed the legislative session that ended May 14 might be best remembered for what it did not accomplish, as compared to what it did.

 

All total, Missouri legislators proposed 1,784 bills and 81 joint resolutions (proposed constitutional amendments). Of these, only 105 bills were passed.

 

According to the Missouri Association of Counties, this legislative session represents the lowest number of bills passed since 2000. “Lack of consensus defined the 2010 Session,” the organization’s newsletter stated.

 

Citing a report issued from MAC, Green deduced the 10 bills most relevant to Phelps County that passed or failed included:

Reductions in appropriations (2): Passed
The Senate Appropriations Committee reduced the current prisoner per diem level of $22 to $19.58, which remained the same amount by the conference committee.
Assessment maintenance funding remains at $4 a parcel, down from $6 a parcel that was passed by legislators in the 2010 budget.

County classification changes — HB 1806: Passed
The bill increases assessed valuation for all classifications of counties. Phelps County, presently defined as a third-class county by virtue of its total assessed valuation, will remain a third-class county because its total assessed valuation is below a maximum amount of $600 million.
Additionally, the required assessed valuation for each classification of counties shall be increased annually by an amount equal to any percentage change in the annual average of the consumer price index for all urban consumers, or zero, whichever is greater.

Projected tax-liability notice “fix” — SB 588: Passed
Should the State Tax Commission provide the County Assessor’s Office with new software that calculates projected tax-liabilities for taxpayers and also provides taxpayers with a notice of increased assessed value, the Assessor’s Office will be required to provide the notices in the year after the software is provided.

Additional Sunshine Law requirement — SB 851: Passed
All governing bodies or local governments are now required to post a notification at least four days before voting on tax increases, issues pertaining to eminent domain, certain districts and projects.

Modifications made to county depositories — SB 771: Passed
Financial institutions offering bids to become an official county depositary must also include a certified check for an amount equal to a certain percentage of the county general revenue, rather than all county revenue. The check serves as a guaranty of good faith that the required security will be provided.

Modifications made on various ethics’ bills — SB 844: Passed
Passed on the final day of session, this law modifies several ethics’ bills, including new provisions regulating lobbyist contribution limits, new laws on violation investigations, new guidelines for political-action committees and new provisions pertaining to financial disclosures by candidates.

Modifications to public administrator training — SB 808: Passed
Public administrators in second, third or fourth-class counties who receive an annual salary must complete 20 hours of instruction each year, or they will forfeit $2,000 of their salary.

County-budget law — a provision of SB 808: Failed
This provision, if passed, would have allowed county commissions to amend budgets to adjust for revenue shortfalls. Presently, commissions can amend budgets whenever increases in revenue occur but cannot adjust budgets downward.

County incarceration of state inmates — SB 1014: Failed
This bill would have diverted additional state inmates to county jails, without reimbursing county jails for the extra expense. It ran into fierce opposition in the House as a plethora of county officials objected to the huge unfunded mandate.