Jefferson City, Mo. ( Associated Press) — Missouri’s GOP-led House spent its last day of session Friday defending patient visitor access and the rights of farm owners at the hospital.
House lawmakers had little left to do after the Republican-led Senate approved new congressional districts on Thursday, then adjourned the session, cutting work on all other bills.
The House also passed a top Republican priority on Thursday: once again requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls. The measure, which allows voters to cast a provisional vote if they do not bring proper ID to vote, was accompanied by a Democratic-backed amendment allowing two weeks of individual, no-excuse early voting.
On Friday, House lawmakers worked on the less-controversial bills with bipartisan support.
House members voted overwhelmingly in favor of rules on hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and other long-term care patients. The measure was inspired by visitor restrictions and restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mike Parson, who has yet to heed the proposal, the bill would guarantee hospital and nursing home patients can have at least two designated visitors.
During emergencies, patients can designate an urgent caregiver who can visit them in person.
The law still allows hospitals and nursing homes to impose rules and restrictions on visitors, including for patients with contagious infections such as the coronavirus.
Hospitals and nursing homes may ban visitors if the patient’s health is at risk or is required by federal law. During pandemics or other emergencies, facilities may receive permission from a state health department to impose week-long visitor restrictions.
The members of the House on Friday also gave final approval to an eminent domain bill.
Primarily Republican lawmakers have been working for years to block the use of Eminent Domain for the Grain Belt Express, a large wind-power power line that cuts through Missouri.
Lawmakers this year downplayed the proposal to exempt the Grain Belt Express and apply only to projects going forward.
The measure requires that farm owners be paid at least 150% of the market value if their property is taken through reputed domains.