Another day, another set of vetoes from Missouri’s Governor.
Tuesday, Jay Nixon nixed bills that would have allowed limited foreign ownership of farmland in the state. The Governor says the issue needs more scrutiny by lawmakers, who aimed to let foreigners own up to one percent of the state’s agricultural land. Current laws generally ban overseas ownership. Nixon did sign an ag bill that focuses on farm loans, MU Extension districts and urban agriculture zones.
He also vetoed two bills that could have made it harder for some people to receive jobless benefits by broadening what constitutes “misconduct” on the job.
Unemployment benefits can be denied to workers who are fired because of misconduct. The governor said they would have greatly expanded the types of misconduct that disqualify people for jobless benefits to include activities outside the workplace and outside normal working hours.
Proponents of the legislation said the broader definition would help protect the integrity of the state’s unemployment system.
Also, Governor Nixon thinks Missouri lawmakers are saying one thing and doing another when it comes to your privacy.
The governor vetoed a bill yesterday that would start an online database of workers’ compensation claims that employers could access. Businesses would be able to look up the status of claims by providing a worker’s name and social security number.
Nixon didn’t directly link the bill to an electronic database of personal info collected from applicants for driver’s licenses, but called it “an affront to the privacy of our citizens.”
Supporters of the bill say employers can already get the information in question, but putting it online could speed up the hiring process.
The Governor did give the go ahead to plenty of other bills though, including what state lawmakers call a smarter way to prosecute and punish sexual offenders.
Part of the legislation signed Tuesday is an expanded definition of forcible rape, described in current law as sex with another person by “forcible compulsion.” The bill adds a definition of rape as sex with a person who is incapable of consent.
The legislation also renames some sexual offenses and categorizes them into tiers, which allows for a jury to convict a defendant of a lesser offense.