Government & Politics

Greitens signs 77 bills on his final day, including one outlawing ‘revenge porn’

With moving trucks parked outside his official residence, Gov. Eric Greitens, who announced his resignation Tuesday, on Friday signed more than half of the bills approved by lawmakers during the 2018 legislative session.
With moving trucks parked outside his official residence, Gov. Eric Greitens, who announced his resignation Tuesday, on Friday signed more than half of the bills approved by lawmakers during the 2018 legislative session. AP file

With moving trucks parked outside his official residence, Gov. Eric Greitens on Friday signed more than half of the bills approved by lawmakers during the 2018 legislative session.

Among the most high-profile bills Greitens signed: legislation making it a felony to threaten to disseminate or distribute a sexually explicit image taken without consent.

Greitens faces possible criminal charges stemming from allegations that he took a nude photo without consent of a woman with whom he had an affair in 2015 and threatened to release it if she ever discussed the relationship. A judge assigned Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker to review the allegations to consider filling charges.

The new law can’t be applied retroactively to Greitens.

Greitens also signed a bill cutting taxes on corporations and another enacting strict new regulations on public employee unions.

Parker Briden, Greitens' press secretary, said Greitens signed 77 bills today. According to the Missouri Senate, lawmakers passed 144 bills this year.

There are no plans for vetoes, Briden said, but there will be pardon and commutation announcements this afternoon.

Republican legislators began posting on Facebook about the governor signing their bills in private ceremonies Friday morning.

Rep. Paul Curtman, a Franklin County Republican running for state auditor, looked on as Greitens signed his bill legalizing growth and cultivation of industrial hemp.

Greitens also signed a bill sponsored by Rep. Steve Lynch, R-Pulaski County, extending eligibility for a jobs program targeting veterans.

First lady Sheena Greitens tweeted Friday that her husband signed two bills aimed at improving the state's foster care system.

The lengthy list of bills includes one that reworks the regulatory system for utility companies and another that eases regulations on hair braiders.

At 5:30 p.m., Lt. Gov. Mike Parson will be sworn in as Missouri’s 57th governor.

Greitens announced his resignation on Tuesday, just 17 months after taking office and as he faced a criminal charge and possible impeachment.

A charge of felony computer tampering stemming from allegations he stole a donor list belonging to a veterans charity was dismissed Wednesday after he reached a deal with prosecutors that included his resignation. A previous felony invasion-of-privacy charge connected to his 2015 affair also was dropped, but Baker may refile.

Greitens’ office also is facing a 1 p.m. deadline to turn over the identities of all official staff members who downloaded an app called Confide, which deletes a text message after its read. The Governor’s Office was sued in late December over allegations that it was using Confide to circumvent the state’s open records laws.

Meanwhile, the legal squabble with the Missouri House continues, as the governor’s political nonprofit continues to fight to avoid turning over documents that lawmakers believe might demonstrate efforts to illegally circumvent the state's campaign disclosure laws.

A judge previously ordered the nonprofit to turn over the documents to the House by the end of business today.

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