HB 2412 & SB 1281: Missouri Bills to Halt the Sale of Five Invasive Plants

March 8, 2024 | Cease the Sale, News

Update as of March 7, 2024: Committee Hearing on SB 1281 Scheduled for March 12

In February 2024, the Missouri House Conservation & Natural Resources Committee unanimously passed HB 2412, the Invasive Plant Bill, out of committee, and it was subsequently discussed on the House floor, but it has not be scheduled for a House vote. 

The companion Missouri SB 1281 is scheduled to have a hearing in the Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee on March 12 at 8:30 a.m. in Room Senate Committee Room 1 in the Missouri State Capitol. Please consider testifying in person. The Missouri Senate does not permit written testimony for hearings, but you can contact the members of this committee before or soon after the hearing to voice your support for this bill and urge them to vote YES on the bill. It is best to send them individual emails, not one group email. Click here for talking points re. SB 1281 (and an update on HB 2412). 

By clicking on the Missouri Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee link, then, by clicking on each senator’s photo, you can find an email link as well. Phone numbers for the committee members are provided in the committee link above, and their email addresses are below, as well:

The Missouri House of Representatives may vote on HB2412, the Invasive Plant Bill at any time. Voicing your support to your Missouri Representative for this bill is extremely important. If you are a Missouri resident, please contact your Missouri Representative and urge him or her to vote YES on HB2412.

Points to stress:

  • Some have stated that these bills are an infringement of personal freedoms, yet there are many non-invasive alternatives to purchase instead of invasive species. And, invasive plants that spread give homeowners less freedom to grow what they want on their own property–invasive plants are definitely an infringement on personal freedoms, expensive to control, and a threat to livestock, forest-product, and outdoor-recreation industries.
  • This bill is not intended to put any plant grower or seller out of business. During House committee testimony, one nursery grower stated that the combination of all 142 plants known to be invasive in the state comprised only 7% of his entire stock. This bill deals with only 5 of the worst of those species. Moreover, these bills include a grace period to allow plant growers/sellers sufficient time to sell any inventory of the 5 species they may have and switch to growing/stocking non-invasive plants. There are many other plants available in the horticulture trade that are not invasive and can be sold and purchased.
  • Some legislators have stated that the bills do not address making Internet sales of invasive plants illegal. This is correct. There is no silver bullet–these bills will not address all invasive plant problems in Missouri. But, it will take a big bite out of the apple. Yes, anyone could buy almost anything on the internet, but these bills would eliminate the vast majority of active sales of these plants into the Missouri landscape. 
  • Urge your Representative to vote YES on HB2412 and urge members of the Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee to vote YES on SB 1281.

More general information:

Both bills aim to prohibit future sales and intentional distribution in Missouri of five invasive plant species: burning bush (Euonymus alatus), Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana and its cultivars, including Bradford and Chanticleer), climbing euonymus (Euonymus fortunei; also known as wintercreeper); Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), and sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata). 

If passed, enforcement may take effect January 1, 2026, with the exception that burning bush and Callery pear plants acquired by a licensed Missouri wholesale or retail plant nursery before January 1, 2025, would be exempt from enforcement until January 1, 2028.

This is an important opportunity to voice support for removing these five species from sale in Missouri.

You can find your Missouri Representative contact information herehttps://www.senate.mo.gov/legislookup/default (it says “senate” but you can find your representative here too). Find contact information for Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee.

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