Gov. Parson signs 47 bills into law from 2022 legislative session

By: 
Steve Chapman

Will’s Law, Compassionate Care Visitation Act among legislation passed, signed into Missouri law
 
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed 47 bills into law after they were passed by the Missouri General Assembly during their 2022 legislative session; he also vetoed 10 bills either in full or in part. Parson signed the bulk of the bills between Thursday, June 16 and Friday, July 1.

Modifications to health care laws
One of the bills Parson signed into law was Senate Bill 710, which modifies 17 provisions relating to healthcare.
One of the actions of the act is to establish “Wills Law.” Will’s Law requires individual health plans to be developed by school nurses in public and charter schools. The plans must be made in consultation with the students’ parents or guardians and “appropriate medical professionals that address procedural guidelines and specific directions for particular emergency situations relating to the student's epilepsy or seizure disorder.” The plans must be updated at the beginning of each school year as necessary, and notice must be given to any school employee who will interact with the students “including symptoms of the epilepsy or seizure disorder and any medical and treatment issues that may affect the educational process.”
Will’s Law also requires all school employees to be trained every two years in the care of students with epilepsy and seizure disorders, and it also shields school employees “from being held liable for any good faith act or omission while performing their duties.”
Will’s Law is named for Will Capps, a four-year-old boy from Jefferson County, who suffers from a severe form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. It was reported that his parents, while satisfied with the care that Will receives at the school he attends now, wanted to make sure the same care was available for all Missouri children with epilepsy.
The bill also established the “Compassionate Care Visitation Act,” which requires any healthcare facility to “allow a resident, patient, or guardian of such, to permit in-person contact with a compassionate care visitor during visiting hours.” It also states a compassionate care visitor can be “the patient's or resident's friend, family member, or other person requested by the patient or resident.”
A compassionate care visit is defined as being “a visit necessary to meet the physical or mental needs of the patient or resident, including end-of-life care, assistance with hearing and speaking, emotional support, assistance with eating or drinking, or social support.”
The act also permits residents in healthcare facilities to have at least two compassionate care visitors visit daily during visiting hours, and for the visitors to have in-person contact with the resident; the visitors are also allowed to leave and return during visiting hours. When appropriate, 24-hour visitation can be permitted. In some cases, visitors can be “restricted within the facility to the patient or resident's room or common areas and may be restricted entirely for reasons specified in the act.”
Violations can be reported to the Department of Health and Senior Services, which must investigate within 36 hours of receiving the complaint.
Other provisions of the law include establishing “the third full week in September each year as ‘Sickle Cell Awareness Week,’ establishing “October 1 each year as ‘Biliary Atresia Awareness Day,’ establishing “The Essential Caregiver Program Act,” establishes the week of April 11 through April 17 each year as "Black Maternal Health Week.” The law also transfers authority for the implementation of the federal Older Americans Act of 1965 from the Department of Social Services to the Department of Health and Senior Services and modifies the Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act.

New law provides school innovation waivers
Also signed into law was Senate Bill 662, which “provides for school innovation waivers to exempt schools from specific requirements imposed by statute or regulation.” Under this law, a school intervention team, defined as a “group of persons representing certain schools as set forth in the act,” may submit a state innovation waiver plan to the Missouri State Board of Education (MSBE) for certain purposes, including “improving student readiness for employment, higher education, vocational training, technical training, or any other form of career and job training; increasing the compensation of teachers; or improving the recruitment, retention, training, preparation, or professional development of teachers.”
The law allows the MSBE to “grant school innovation waivers to exempt schools from requirements imposed by current law, or from any regulations promulgated by the State Board or the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.” Any waivers granted to a school district or group of districts would apply to all elementary and secondary schools in the district, unless the plan “specifically provides otherwise.”
Any plan would have to contain “certain information as described in the act, including the specific provision of law for which a waiver is being requested and an explanation for why such provision of law inhibits the goal stated in the plan.” Any waiver granted would be in effect for three years but could be renewed. The law also prohibits the MSBE from authorizing “the waiver of any statutory requirements relating to teacher certification, teacher tenure, or any requirement imposed by federal law.”

Other laws passed
Parson also signed SB 652, which “provides a sales tax exemption for the sale of 2026 FIFA World Cup tickets to matches held in Jackson County”; SB 683, which modifies provisions relating to child care; and SB 718, which “designates the third week of September as ‘Historically Black College and University Week’ in Missouri and modifies provisions regarding higher education.”
Other laws signed by Parson included those which appropriated funds for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Department of Revenue and the Department of Transportation, Department of Agriculture, the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Conservation and many other Missouri state government entities.

All bills signed into law
For a complete list of bills signed into law or vetoed for the 2022 legislative session, go online to www.senate.mo.gov or www.house.mo.gov. At either page, click on the “Legislation” tab. On the Senate page, click on the hyperlink labeled “Governor’s Actions on Truly Agreed Bills.” On the House page, click on the link marked “Current Status of House Bills.”
Unless otherwise specified, all legislation signed into law goes into effect on Sunday, Aug. 28.
 
 

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Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712
www.lawrencecountyrecord.com

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