by Rep. Jeff Coleman, District 32
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Signed into Law (SB 63)
PDMP was passed by both the House and the Senate and passes by the Governor, however, I did not vote for this new law. I do however see some benefits to having it. Please contact me to get further information about my position.
Legislation approved by the General Assembly to create a statewide prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) was recently signed into law by Gov. Mike Parson.
The PDMP will allow medical professionals to see their patients’ medication history, which will allow them to recognize signs of addiction and prevent dangerous drug interactions. The bill establishes the Joint Oversight Task Force of Prescription Drug Monitoring, which is responsible for collecting and maintaining the prescription and dispensation of prescribed controlled substances to patients within the state.
“SB 63 will help provide necessary information to health care professionals and empower them to make decisions that better serve their patients and assist in fighting the opioid epidemic in Missouri,” said Parson, who called the bill a top priority for his administration.
The bill limits access to private information to medical professionals, specifically prohibits the information from being used to deny firearm purchases, and includes a rolling purge of the data. Under the bill, patient information is considered a closed record under state law and will not be provided to law enforcement agencies, prosecutorial officials, or regulatory bodies for purposes not allowed under HIPAA.
Parson noted that similar statewide prescription drug monitoring programs have been adopted in every other state in the country, as well as the District of Columbia and Guam, in an effort to address the opioid epidemic occurring across the United States.
The bill also extends the expiration date of the RX Cares for Missouri Program to August 28, 2026.
Lawmakers Call for Special Session on Agricultural Issues
The leaders of agriculture committees in the House and Senate have asked Gov. Mike Parson to call a special session to address some of the important agriculture issues left on the table from the recently-ended legislative session. The chairs and vice-chairs of the House Agriculture Policy Committee and the Senate Agriculture Committee wrote a letter to the governor asking for a special session “to address a number of legislative items directly affecting agriculture in our great state.”
The letter asks for the governor to include provisions contained in Senate Bill 37, which received widespread support during the regular session but ultimately did not pass. The bill deals with regulation changes for anhydrous ammonia. The lawmakers said it provides a “critical update to our current laws that will keep Missouri in line with federal standards and prevent possible intervention from the EPA.”
Senate Bill 37 also extends the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority tax credit programs that are set to sunset on December 31 of this year. The letter notes these programs “have brought in $247 million in direct and indirect benefits to Missouri since 2000.” Additional provisions in the bill include a pilot program to allow recipients to use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits at local farmers markets, and tax credits for ethanol and biodiesel.
The legislative leaders have also called on Gov. Parson to include provisions from House Bill 527, which would restrict the use of eminent domain for merchant utility lines. It would require all impacted county commissioners to present a resolution of support for the proposed project to the Public Service Commission before proceeding. The letter notes the issue is “of great concern for agriculturalists and all Missouri landowners, and we have a duty to provide them with certainty moving forward.”
Lawmakers Call for Special Session to Protect Police Budgets and Improve Public Safety
A group of state lawmakers have asked Gov. Parson to call a special session focused on preventing cities from cutting funding for law enforcement. Republican lawmakers from both the St. Louis and Kansas City areas are calling on Parson to help prevent cuts to the police departments in the state’s two largest cities.
In St. Louis, the mayor has proposed a $4 million cut from the budget for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. In Kansas City, the Kansas City Council approved a $42 million cut to the budget for the Kansas City Police Department. Lawmakers expressed concern that the cuts are coming at a time when the rate of violent crime continues to increase in these areas. They noted St. Louis and Kansas City were two of the most deadly cities in the nation in 2020. St. Louis had its worse homicide rate in 50 years with 262 murders. Kansas City also set a record with 180 murders.
Gov. Parson has not made a commitment to calling a special session but a spokesperson from his office issued a statement saying, “Governor Parson believes in law and order, which means there must be brave men and women in uniform willing to enforce the law and protect victims. It is imperative that communities support our law enforcement officers who risk their lives daily to keep Missourians safe. Any effort to defund the police is dangerous and irresponsible.”
Please let me know If you have other concerns and suggestions. If you would like to schedule a specific time to meet locally, please call my office at 573-751-1487, or email my office at email@example.com.