A moving van is seen parked outside the governor's mansion in Jefferson City, Mo., Friday, June 1, 2018.

(AP Photo/Blake Nelson)

Outgoing Gov. Greitens Signs 77 Bills, Including 'Revenge Porn' Law

Greitens was leaving with a flurry of activity — signing 77 bills into law.

June 01, 2018 - 3:55 pm
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By DAVID A. LIEB, Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hours before he was to leave office, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Friday signed into law a measure that makes it a crime to try to blackmail a person using a private sexual image — the same allegation that led to his downfall.

The new "revenge porn" law makes it a felony to threaten the nonconsensual dissemination of such an image by coercing another person to refrain from an action.

The governor has been accused of taking a nonconsensual photo of a partially nude woman with whom he had an affair in 2015 and warning her he would distribute it if she ever spoke of their encounter.

He has acknowledged having the affair but denied criminal wrongdoing and refused to directly answer questions about whether he took the photo.

Greitens cannot be charged under the law because it was not in effect at the time. But a special prosecutor still is weighing whether to refile an invasion-of-privacy charge against Greitens under a different law.

The scandal-plagued governor was to formally step down at 5 p.m. to be replaced by Republican Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, who was to be sworn in shortly thereafter in a low-key ceremony in the governor's office.

Greitens was leaving with a flurry of activity — signing 77 bills into law while his campaign attorney filed last-minute court papers opposing the disclosure of documents and movers loaded his personal belongings onto a truck at the governor's mansion.

In a news release announcing the bill signings, Greitens touted other bills he signed, such as a corporate income tax cut and changes to the state foster care system.

His resignation is part of a deal with a St. Louis prosecutor to drop a felony charge alleging misuse of a charity donor list to raise money for his 2016 gubernatorial campaign. His voluntary departure also avoids the potentially dubious distinction of becoming the first Missouri governor to be impeached by the House.

Parson said he wants to assure people "that everything's fine and government is going to go forward."

His job now, he told St. Louis radio station KMOX, is to "work hard and make sure I'm prepared and do the best I can to make this transfer of power as smooth as possible."

Though he's leaving, Greitens isn't entirely clear of legal problems.

The Missouri Ethics Commission continues to investigate a complaint that Greitens' campaign filed false documents about the charity donor list. The FBI also has received information about Greitens from the chairman of a House investigatory panel and a private attorney representing the ex-husband of the woman with whom he had an affair.

On Friday, an attorney for Greitens' campaign and a pro-Greitens nonprofit called A New Missouri asked a judge to delay and reverse his previous order to turn over records to a House committee.

Lawyer Catherine Hanaway argued that the panel created to investigate allegations against the governor no longer has authority because Greitens is leaving office. But the House has said it still wants to enforce subpoenas for records related to potential coordination between Greitens, his campaign committee and the nonprofit organization.

In a separate case, the judge ordered Greitens to supply by Friday the names of all governor's office employees who downloaded a smartphone app called Confide that automatically deletes messages. The order also directs Greitens to provide phone numbers and other details about the devices, which would allow the plaintiffs in a lawsuit alleging violations of the state records-retention law to request information from Confide.

The 44-year-old Greitens is a former Navy SEAL officer who won election in 2016 as a political outsider pledging to take on "career politicians" and crack down on perceived corruption in Jefferson City.

Parson, 62, who was elected separately from Greitens, is an Army veteran who built a career as a law officer and lawmaker. He spent 12 years as the rural Polk County sheriff before serving another dozen years in the Missouri House and Senate. He is also a cattle farmer and was moving his animals when he got the call Tuesday that Greitens was resigning.

"In my career, I've had the opportunities to handle tough situations," Parson said. "At least I have the experience to draw on and frankly the wisdom to draw on."

Parson kept a low profile as scandals grew around the governor following the January revelation that Greitens had engaged in an affair in which a woman alleged he restrained, slapped, shoved and belittled her.

As the governor denied any violence, Parson shied away from joining some other top Republicans who called on Greitens to resign. Instead, Parson emphasized the need for unity.

He will serve the remainder of Greitens' term, which runs until January 2021.

Associated Press writers Summer Ballentine and Blake Nelson contributed to this report.

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The full list of signed bills is below:

HB 1250: Establishes the Missouri Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, which allows fiduciaries to access electronic records of the account holder

HB 1252: Changes the law regarding low-dose mammography screening

HB 1286: Modifies provisions of law relating to the detonation of explosives and actions for private nuisances brought against certain permittees

HB 1355: “Justice Reinvestment Act” Allows retired police officers to return to work when a disaster or emergency has been proclaimed by the governor or there is a national disaster

HB 1364: Modifies provisions relating to hazardous waste fees paid to the Missouri Emergency Response Commission

HB 1413: Requires authorization for certain labor unions to use dues and fees to make political contributions and requires consent for withholding earnings from paychecks

HB 1428: Allows the county commission of noncharter counties to appoint persons to vacated county elected offices

HB 1446: Modifies provisions relating to non-election successions in certain political subdivisions

HB 1461: Modifies provisions relating to the Address Confidentiality Program

HB 1465: Modifies various provisions relating to degree offerings at public institutions of higher education

HB 1469: Modifies provisions of the Missouri military code by changing the name of the "Missouri reserve military force" to the "Missouri state defense force"

HB 1484: Changes the laws regarding the requirements for the operation of a bingo game

HB 1492: Changes the law regarding the Show-Me Heroes program

HB 1500: Modifies provisions relating to the practice of cosmetology and barbering

HB 1503: Establishes a fund for providing state-guaranteed small business loans to veterans.

HB 1504: Requires certain counties to adopt ordinances regulating land use around National Guard training centers.

HB 1531: Modifies provisions relating to civil proceedings

HB 1558: Creates the offense of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images

HB 1617: Modifies provisions relating to telehealth

HB 1625: Establishes the Missouri Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program to provide low-income seniors with fresh, Missouri-grown produce

HB 1635: Modifies mandated reporting requirements for sexual assault victims in long-term care facilities

HB 1646: Modifies provisions relating to landowners' obligation to control brush adjacent to county roads

HB 1665: Establishes a visiting scholars certificate of license to teach

HB 1690: Modifies provision of the Missouri life and health insurane guarantee act

HB 1719: Modifies provisions relating to professional registration

HB 1744: Modifies the A+ Schools Program by removing the requirement that the student's attendance of public high school occur in the three years immediately prior to graduation

HB 1769: Establishes the offense of filing false documents

HB 1797: Establishes the Nuclear Power Plant Security Guard Act

HB 1809: Changes the laws regarding the Bi-state Metropolitan Development District compact by adding Franklin County

HB 1832: Changes merchandising practices and credit user protection law and creates the offenses of defacing a credit card reader and illegal use of a card scanner

HB 1838: Authorizes the conveyance of certain state property

HB 1858: Requires the Department of Revenue to feature a map of all special taxing districts on its website

HB 1872: Establishes a grant program for the installation of broadband internet service

HB 1879: Changes the laws regarding financial transactions by public entities

HB 1880: Declares the intent of the general assembly to facilitate and encourage development of fiber optic infrastructure by rural electric cooperatives

HB 1887: Prohibits a property owners' association from preventing a property owner from placing political signs on his or her property

HB 1991: Modifies provisions relating to wireless facilities and related infrastructure

HB 2034: Modifies provisions relating to industrial hemp

HB 2116: Exempts certain types of vessels from provisions prohibiting passengers from riding in certain areas of a motorboat

HB 2171: Modifies provisions relating to the blind pension fund

HB 2280: Expands MO HealthNet benefits for pregnant women to provide substance abuse treatment for up to one year after giving birth

HB 2330: Designates a portion of State Highway 30 in St. Louis County as the "Officer Blake Snyder Memorial Highway"

HB 2347: Designates a portion of Interstate 44 in Greene County as the "Captain Aaron J Eidem Memorial Highway"

SB 564: Modifies provisions relating to public utilities

SB 573: Allows an income tax deduction for certain military personnel

SB 590: Modifies the Historic Preservation Tax Credit

SB 598: Requires that the Department of Transportation utility corridor be 12 feet wide with the location determined by the State Highways and Transportation Commission and modifies provisions relating to the public service commission

SB 603: Modifies provisions relating to virtual education

SB 623: Changes the laws regarding foreclosure proceeds

SB 627: Modifies provisions relating to agriculture

SB 629: Modifies provisions relating to tax increment financing

SB 660: Modifies provisions relating to mental health

SB 683: Modifies provisions relating to the transportation of construction cranes

SB 705: Modifies provisions relating to rate adjustments outside of general rate proceedings for certain public utilities

SB 768: Allows telephone companies to select an alternate method of property tax assessment

SB 775: Extends the sunset on certain health care provider reimbursement allowance taxes and modifies the hospital reimbursement allowance tax

SB 793: Requires children under the age of 18 to be prosecuted for most criminal offenses in juvenile courts unless the child is certified as an adult

SB 800: Modifies provisions relating to juvenile court proceedings

SB 802: Modifies provisions relating to women's and minority business enterprises

SB 806: Modifies provisions relating to guardianship and conservatorship proceedings

SB 814: Modifies provisions relating to driver's licenses for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing

SB 819: Modifies provisions of law relating to foster care case management and criminal background checks

SB 840: Modifies provisions relating to dietitians

SB 843: Modifies the composition, duties or repeals outright certain administrative boards, commissions, and councils

SB 862: Modifies provisions relating to electrical contractors

SB 881: Modifies provisions relating to transportation

SB 882: Modifies provisions of the Missouri Higher Education Savings Program

SB 884: Modifies provisions relating to taxation

SB 891: Designates the week beginning the second Saturday in October as "Buy Missouri Week"

SB 907: Authorizes the conveyance of a certain state properties

SB 917: Modifies provisions relating to coal ash

SB 981: Modifies provisions relating to methods of self-insurance for workers' compensation

SB 982: Enacts provisions relating to payments for health care services

SB 990: Modifies provisions relating to the attachment of school districts to community college districts

SB 999: Designates certain memorial infrastructure

SB 975: Repeals expired, ineffective, and obsolete statutory provisions

SB 1007: Modifies the merit system