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UPDATE Oct. 27: SB 1 Will Become Law in Missouri … Sometime

Photo Credit: Missouri State Capitol, Wikimedia Commons - Art Credit: KC Education Enterprise

Last week, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed SB 1 into law. This is the bill modifying the section of the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act regulating online communication among educators and the young people they teach. According to state statute, the new law is to take effect 90 days after the conclusion of the current General Assembly special session.

According to a news alert released yesterday by the Missouri National Education Association legislative director, Otto Fajen, the Senate has adjourned and will not meet again this session. The House of Representatives may adjourn tomorrow when they meet again for a technical session. Or the House may choose to let the session expire on Saturday, Nov. 5, which is 60 days after this special session started. Constitutionally, that is the time limit for special sessions of the Missouri General Assembly.

UPDATE Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011

This just in from the Missouri National Education Association:

Missouri NEA Special Legislative Update
October 27, 2011

By Otto Fajen
MNEA Legislative Director

HOUSE WILL LET CLOCK RUN OUT ON SPECIAL SESSION

The House met again on October 27 for a technical session and adjourned without setting a time to return, but did not make a formal motion to adjourn “sine die,” possibly over concerns that a motion to officially adjourn and terminate a session should be made and approved by a quorum of the House, rather than only by a few members in a technical session. House leaders are also apparently not inclined to require the House to reconvene again in full session and pay additional per diem expenses for all House members just to terminate a session that will be automatically terminated without further action on November 5 under the Constitutional deadline of 60 days after the first day of a special session.

The Senate adjourned “sine die” on October 25, meaning that the Senate is formally finished with all business and cannot meet again in the special session. On October 17, Sen. Mayer said the House and Senate had “irreconcilable differences” on his SB 8, a tax incentive bill, that could not be resolved in the two weeks remaining before the special session must end.

SCHOOL COMMUNICATION BILL WILL BECOME LAW

Governor Jay Nixon signed SCS/SB 1 (Jane Cunningham), a bill pertaining to school board policies on employee-student communications, into law on October 21. The Constitution provides that a bill passed in special session without an emergency clause will go into effect on the 90th day following adjournment of the session.

The House did not finally adjourn on October 27. Assuming that the House waits until the session is terminated automatically under the Constitution on November 5, SCS/SB 1 will go into effect on February 3, 2012.

The bill requires school boards to adopt policies concerning employee-student communications, including electronic communications, no later than March 1, 2012. School districts are already authorized to adopt such policies and many have such policies in place, so districts will not need to wait until the bill becomes effective to begin the process of adopting a new policy if one is needed to comply with the bill.

The Association encourages members to support local association participation in the development of employee-student communications policies under this law.

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About jwmartinez

JoLynne is a journalist and educator. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Park University and is certified to teach high school journalism and English. Former employment includes work for Cable News Network and the University of Missouri-Kansas City in addition to freelancing for clients such as the Kansas City Star and The Pitch.

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