Senator Rusty Black's Legislative Column for the Week of March 13

Thursday, March 16, 2023

As we have reached the halfway point in the Missouri legislative session, there is still a lot of work to be done. As you may have heard, Senate Bill 49, which would ban a physician or health care provider from providing gender transition procedures to any minor or refer any minor to another health care provider for such procedures, including puberty blocking drugs, hormones and gender reassignment surgeries, was laid over. This past week, the Senate has spent a large portion of its time debating this bill and, because of a filibuster, SB 49 was not able to be perfected. However, this does not mean the debate is over or the bill is dead. In fact, SB 49 can be brought up at any time going forward and would still have the same effective date if it were signed into law. I support these bans and I support SB 49.


Another priority that will be making its way to the Missouri Senate are the budget bills, House Bills 1-20, which appropriate money to Missouri’s state governmental departments. I expect them to be passed by the Missouri House of Representatives and sent to the Missouri Senate towards the end of March, at which point the Senate Appropriations Committee will start making changes. The constitutional deadline to pass the budget is May 5.


Looking forward, in addition to SB 49, the Missouri Senate can begin debate on modifying the initiative petition process. Currently, House Joint Resolution 43 would require any constitutional measure referred to the voters of Missouri to receive approval from 60% of the voters in order to pass. The Senate Local Government and Elections Committee has heard testimony for a number of bills that would alter the way initiative petitions proposing constitutional amendments are approved. I expect that changes to HJR 43 will happen during debate.


Another bill that came over from the Missouri House of Representatives is House Bill 115. This bill would allow physical therapists with a doctorate of physical therapy or 5 years of clinical experience to evaluate and initiate treatment on a patient without a referral from a physician. This measure would remove unnecessary and burdensome regulations, which will save the patient time and money.


As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is 573-751-1415, my email is and my mailing address is 201 W. Capitol Ave., Room 331, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.