One of the bills the Governor signed into law was HB 1599, legislation designed to strengthen the rights of adoptees in Missouri. The Missouri Adoptee Rights Act is meant to provide an easier process for an adopted individual to obtain a copy of his or her original birth certificate. Under current Missouri law, files and records that provide identifying information about an adoptee’s biological parents are closed except by order of the court or by mutual decisions of the birth parents and the adoptee.
HB 1599 will allow adoptees who are born in Missouri and who are at least 18 years of age to file a written application to the State’s Registrar to obtain the original certificate of their birth. The bill also gives the birth parents the right to file a statement indicating they do not want to be contacted by the adoptee. If both biological parents indicate they would prefer not to be contacted, a copy of the original birth certificate would not be released. However, if just one biological parent wishes not to be contacted, his or her identifying information will be redacted from the birth certificate copy before it is released. One of the main reasons for adoptees to want to secure information about their biological parents is for future medical purposes, as well as to know who their biological parents are.
HB 1577 is another bill signed into law by the Governor and is legislation that establishes a committee on capitol security. This Joint Committee on Capitol Security will meet to discuss safety and security at the Missouri State Capitol Building. Unfortunately, in today’s world, heightened security measures at all public buildings has become a necessity.
The Governor took additional action by signing HB 1559 that designated July 1 as “Lucille Bluford Day” in Missouri, starting in 2017. Bluford was a Kansas City legend and one of our state’s greatest Civil Rights leaders. Recognition of her dedication in fighting injustice and breaking down racial barriers at the University of Missouri is well-deserved. She fought discrimination at MU’s School of Journalism where she was originally accepted into the school’s graduate program but denied admittance when she showed up and they saw that she was black. After she won a court case, the school disbanded the program to prevent her from attending. In efforts to right their wrong, in 1984 the MU School of Journalism awarded Bluford its Honor Medal Distinguished Service in Journalism. Five years later the University awarded her an honorary doctorate in humanities.
Governor Nixon also signed HB 1936, legislation that amends the law regarding Missouri’s sheriffs’ ability, upon request, to provide assistance to other counties by removing language that presently limits assistance only to adjoining counties.
Finally, the Governor signed two bills—SB 625 and SB 852—to name several portions of state roadways after specific individuals. Both of these Senate bills are highway naming bills and carry my House Bill 2633 that designates a portion of I-49 from its intersection with State Highway 86 and continuing north to Iris Road in Newton County as Special Agent Thomas Crowell Memorial Highway.
These bills will all take effect on August 28 of this year.