FIRST REGULAR SESSION
HOUSE BILL NO. 435
93RD GENERAL ASSEMBLY
INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES RECTOR (Sponsor), LEMBKE, PHILLIPS, WILSON (119), CUNNINGHAM (86), DAY, BAKER (123), MYERS, COOPER (158), WOOD, ICET, PARKER, BIVINS, SANDER, BEHNEN, COOPER (155), SUTHERLAND, WHORTON, ROORDA, MEADOWS, HARRIS (110), YAEGER, SWINGER, DEMPSEY, MEINERS, STEVENSON, BEARDEN, MOORE, VIEBROCK AND WRIGHT (159) (Co-sponsors).
Read 1st time February 2, 2005 and copies ordered printed.
STEPHEN S. DAVIS, Chief Clerk
To amend chapter 301, RSMo, by adding thereto four new sections relating to the state's policy of protection of human life.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Chapter 301, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto four new sections, to be known as section 301.3030, 1, 2, and 3, to read as follows:
301.3030. 1. Any person may receive special license plates with words and an emblem that denotes the state's respect for human life both before and after birth, pursuant to this section, for any motor vehicle such person owns either solely or jointly, other than an apportioned motor vehicle or a commercial motor vehicle licensed in excess of eighteen thousand pounds gross weight after a contribution of at least twenty-five dollars, or at least fifty dollars in the case of a biennial registration, to the alternatives to abortion support fund. Such license plates shall be called "Respect Life License Plates".
2. Respect life license plates shall bear the words "RESPECT LIFE" in place of the words "SHOW-ME STATE" and shall bear the image of a single red rose. Such license plates shall be made with fully reflective material with a common color scheme and design, shall be clearly visible at night, and shall be aesthetically attractive, pursuant to section 301.130. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 301.144, no additional fee shall be charged for the personalization of license plates issued pursuant to this section.
3. The contribution of at least twenty-five dollars, or at least fifty dollars in the case of a biennial registration, to the alternatives to abortion support fund shall be made to the director of revenue at the time of registration of the vehicle. The director shall transfer such contributions to the state treasurer for deposit in the alternatives to abortion support fund. Upon the receipt of such contribution, payment of the regular registration fees and presentation of other documents that may be required by law, the director of revenue shall issue respect life license plates to the vehicle owner.
4. There shall be no limit on the number of sets of respect life license plates a person may obtain pursuant to this section so long as such license plates are issued for vehicles owned solely or jointly by such person, and so long as a contribution of at least twenty-five dollars, or at least fifty dollars in the case of a biennial registration, is made for each set of respect life license plates.
5. A vehicle owner who was previously issued respect life license plates but who does not make a contribution of at least twenty-five dollars, or at least fifty dollars in the case of a biennial registration, to the alternatives to abortion support fund at a subsequent time of registration shall be issued new plates that are not respect life license plates, as otherwise provided by law.
6. The director of revenue shall issue samples of respect life license plates to all offices in this state where vehicles are registered and license plates are issued. Such sample license plates shall be prominently displayed in such offices along with literature prepared by the director or by the respect life commission describing the license plates, the alternatives to abortion support fund, and the purposes for which the fund is used.
7. The general assembly may appropriate moneys annually from the alternatives to abortion support fund to the department of revenue to offset costs reasonably incurred by the director of revenue pursuant to subsections 1 to 6 of this section.
Section 1. As used in sections 1 to 3 of this act, the following terms mean:
(1) "Alternatives to abortion agency" or "alternatives to abortion agencies", an agency or agencies located in this state established and operating primarily to offer alternatives to abortion services, including by way of example but not limitation maternity homes, pregnancy resource centers, and agencies commonly known and referred to as crisis pregnancy centers, and which does not perform, induce, or refer for abortions or hold itself out as performing, inducing, or referring for abortions, and which if it is a private agency is exempt from income taxation pursuant to the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended;
(2) "Alternatives to abortion services", services or counseling offered to a pregnant woman to assist her in carrying her unborn child to term instead of having an abortion, and to assist her in caring for her dependent child or placing her child for adoption;
(3) "Commission", the respect life commission.
Section 2. 1. There is hereby established in the state treasury the "Alternatives to Abortion Support Fund". The state treasurer shall credit to and deposit in such fund:
(1) Moneys that may be required by law to be credited to or deposited in such fund;
(2) Moneys that may be appropriated to it by the general assembly;
(3) Other amounts that may be received from general revenue, other state funds, grants, gifts, devises, bequests, settlements, awards, or from federal, state, or local sources; and
(4) Any other sources granted or given for this specific purpose.
2. The state treasurer shall invest moneys in the alternatives to abortion support fund in the same manner as surplus state funds are invested pursuant to section 30.260, RSMo. All earnings that result from the investment of moneys in the fund shall be credited to such fund.
3. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 33.080, RSMo, to the contrary, moneys in the alternatives to abortion support fund shall not revert to the credit of general revenue at the end of the biennium.
4. Moneys credited to and deposited in the alternatives to abortion support fund shall only be used for the purposes authorized under this section. None of the moneys in the fund shall be granted or given to any person who or entity which performs, induces, or refers for abortions or holds himself, herself, or itself out as performing, inducing, or referring for abortions.
5. Until the amount in the alternatives to abortion support fund exceeds one million dollars, not more than one-half of the moneys credited to and deposited in the fund from all sources, plus all earnings from the investment of moneys in the fund during the previous fiscal year, shall be available for disbursement. When the state treasurer certifies that the assets in the fund exceed one million dollars, all credited earnings plus all future credits to the fund from all sources shall be available for disbursement.
6. The alternatives to abortion support fund shall be used to promote childbirth and to support alternatives to abortion by grants to or contracts with:
(1) Alternatives to abortion agencies; and
(2) Other public and private agencies to provide alternatives to abortion services.
Section 3. 1. There is hereby established the "Respect Life Commission" within the office of administration. The commission shall consist of a number of members equal to the number of congressional districts in the state, one from each congressional district, appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. Not more than half of the members if there is an even number of members and not more than a simple majority of the members if there is an odd number of members shall be from the same political party.
2. The members of the respect life commission shall serve four-year terms, except that of the initial appointments, half of the members if there is an even number of members and a simple majority of the members if there is an odd number of members shall be appointed for a term of four years and the remainder shall be appointed for a term of two years. Before the expiration of the term of a member, the governor shall appoint a successor whose term begins on July first next following. Each member shall serve until his or her successor is appointed. A member is eligible for reappointment. If there is a vacancy of a member for any cause, the governor shall make an appointment for the unexpired term with the advice and consent of the senate.
3. To be eligible for appointment to the respect life commission, a person shall demonstrate agreement with the principles and goals set forth in this section regarding respect for human life from conception until death, and the need to promote childbirth and to offer alternatives to abortion services for pregnant women so that such women are encouraged to carry their pregnancies to term instead of having abortions. In making appointments to the commission, the governor shall consider nominees recommended to the governor for appointment by pro-life organizations in this state. In giving its advice and consent for nominees to appointment to the commission, the senate shall assess the eligibility and qualifications of each nominee for appointment to the commission as provided by this subsection.
4. Any member may be removed by the governor for misconduct, incompetency, or neglect of duty after first being given the opportunity to be heard on his or her own behalf.
5. The respect life commission shall elect one of its members to serve as chairperson, and may elect such other officers and establish such committees as deemed necessary.
6. The respect life commission may appoint an executive director who shall serve subject to the supervision of and at the pleasure of the commission. The executive director shall be responsible for the administrative operations of the commission and shall perform such other duties as may be delegated or assigned to the executive director by law or by the commission. The office of administration shall provide all necessary office space, facilities, and equipment. The executive director may hire and set the compensation of such staff as is approved by the commission, within the limitations of appropriations for such purpose.
7. Each member of the respect life commission shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of his or her duties.
8. The respect life commission shall exercise its powers and duties independently of the office of administration, and the office of administration shall not participate in or supervise any substantive matters relating to policies, regulative functions, or appeals from decisions of the commission. The commissioner of administration, any employee of the office of administration, or the governor, either directly or indirectly, shall not participate or interfere with the activities of the commission in any manner not specifically provided by law, and shall not in any manner interfere with the budget request of the commission or withhold any moneys appropriated to the commission by the general assembly.
9. The respect life commission shall meet at least quarterly.
10. The powers and duties of the respect life commission shall include but not be limited to the following:
(1) To disburse funds from the alternatives to abortion support fund and any other funds authorized by law to be disbursed by the commission;
(2) To consult with appropriate state agencies, commissions, boards, and public and private agencies to determine the effectiveness of and need for alternatives to abortion services and effectiveness of and need for programs that foster respect for human life both before and after birth;
(3) To facilitate information exchange and coordination among agencies and groups concerned with offering and promoting alternatives to abortion services, and concerned with offering and promoting programs that foster respect for human life both before and after birth;
(4) To develop statewide educational and public informational campaigns, conferences, and workshops for the purpose of developing appropriate public awareness regarding:
(a) Respect for human life both before and after birth; and
(b) The need to offer and promote alternatives to abortion services;
(5) To identify problems and conditions some pregnant women have and encounter that causes them to choose to have abortions instead of choosing to carry their pregnancies to term, and propose solutions to such problems and conditions;
(6) To develop and operate an Internet web site;
(7) To recommend statutory changes and appropriations to promote alternatives to abortion services and to promote programs that foster respect for human life both before and after birth;
(8) To solicit and accept state funds, grants, gifts, devises, bequests, settlements, awards, or other aid from the general assembly, any person or business, organization or foundation, public or private, or from federal, state, or local sources; and
(9) To perform any other functions or duties consistent with the provisions of this section or otherwise required or permitted by law.
11. The respect life commission shall submit an annual report of its activities to the president pro tem of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives and the governor before December thirty-first of each year.