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2018 MML Comprehensive Legislative Report - a complete listing of all bills  tracked by MML staff including a bill summary and current status (Updated 2/16/18). 

 


 February 16, 2018

Wireless Facilities Infrastructure Bill
HB 1991 and SB 837 bills attempts to set up a process for wireless telecommunications providers to deploy small cell wireless facilities throughout the state.We are continuing to negotiatewith the sponsor and proponents to address municipal concerns.

HB 1991 (Rep. Rhoads)
Status: The House Utilities Committee voted out a committee substitute bill (HCS) for HB 1991 on Monday, February 12. The committee reported HCS/HB 1991 to the House floor with a “Do Pass” recommendation. A number of the changes made by the committee are amendments proposed by MML.

SB 837
(Sen. Rowden)
Status: Hearing conducted by the Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Committee on February 7. The committee voted out SB 837 to the Senate floor, without amendments, with a "Do Pass" recommendation. The cable industry has floated languageto reduce the video franchise fees to 1% and may try to amend SB 837.

Talking Points:
Municipalities must retain management and oversight of the rights of way (ROW) to insure:
o streets and sidewalks are not obstructed and are maintained in a safe manner;
o that essential public utilities are not damaged or adversely affected;
o that use of ROW remains nondiscriminatory, with no special privileges granted to one type of ROW user;
o municipal taxes and fees are preserved; and
o fees for use of municipal poles and structures in the ROW fairly compensate municipalities for the cost of inspections and maintenance of those facilities.

Action Alert: Urge your representatives and senators to protect municipal management over the ROW and to support MML amendments when they come up on the floor. Also, urge your representatives and senators to oppose any amendments that limit or eliminate municipal video franchise fees.

 

Municipal Court Legislation
SB 553 (Sen. Dixon) addresses many of the concerns from law enforcement and municipal courts from the passage of SB 5 (2015) and SB 572 (2016). The bill repeals provisions stating that failure to appear procedures in moving traffic violation cases that include driving license suspension, shall not apply to minor traffic violations. Likewise, a provision prohibiting a municipal judge from serving as a municipal judge in more than five municipalities is repealed. The terms "annual general operating revenue," "minor traffic violation," and "municipal ordinance violation," as applied in provisions regarding the assessment of fines in minor traffic violation and municipal ordinance violation cases, are modified. The bill repeals a provision prohibiting defendants in minor traffic violation or municipal ordinance violation cases from being placed in confinement for failure to pay a fine unless such nonpayment violates terms of probation or unless due process procedures are followed. Under this bill, if such defendant fails to appear and the
court finds there is not good cause for failing to appear, then the current limitations regarding fines and confinement shall not apply.

Status:The Senate Judiciary Committee conducted a hearing for SB 553 on January 29. No action taken by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Action: Contact members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and urge their support for the bill.

SB 692 (Sen. Emery) also addresses many of the concerns created by the passage of SB 5 (2015) and SB 572 (2016). The bill modifies the definition of the terms "annual general operating revenue" and "minor traffic violation" as applied in provisions regarding the assessment of fines in minor traffic violation and municipal ordinance violation cases. "Annual general operating revenue" now includes, rather than excludes, designated sales or use taxes, restricted user fees, grant funds, funds expended for technological assistance and other revenue designated for a specific purpose. The term "minor traffic violation" now excludes, rather than includes, amended charges.

The bill increases municipal fines and court costs to $500, rather than $225, for minor traffic violations. For multiple municipal ordinance violations committed within a 12-month period, a court shall not assess a fine and court costs more than $300 for second offense ordinance violations, rather than $275, $400 for third offense ordinance violations, rather than $350, and $500 for fourth and subsequent ordinance violations, rather than $450. SB 692 repeals certain exemptions from paying court costs in minor traffic violations and municipal ordinance violations for defendants who are indigent.

This bill also reinstates the previous 30 percent limitation on municipal income that was lowered to be 20 percent in 2016 by SB 5, except in St. Louis County, where the limitation remains at 12.5 percent.

Finally, the bill repeals provisions that establish procedures to dissolve a municipal government when it fails to remit the revenue collected from certain fines, penalties, and forfeitures more than 20 percent to the Department of Revenue.

Status: The Senate Local Government and Elections Committee conducted a hearing for SB 692 on Tuesday, February 13 . No action taken.

Action: Contact members of the Senate Local Government and Elections Committee and urge their support for the bill.

 

Missouri Municipal Government Expenditure Database
HB 2242(Rep. Wiemann) establishes the "Missouri Municipal Government Expenditure Database," to be maintained by State Treasurer Eric Schmitt. The database must include extensive information about a given municipality's expenditures and the vendors to whom payments were made. Municipalities with websites must provide a link to the database. A municipality must provide the information to State Treasurer Eric Schmitt on a quarterly basis or be fined $100 per day. The fine will be collected by offsetting sales and use tax distributions due to the municipality and will be distributed to the schools of the county.

Status: Ahearing was held on Wednesday of this week in the House Local Government committee. MML,Municipal League of Metro St Louis, and the city of Moberly testified in opposition. Testifying in favor was the State Treasurer's office, the Show-Me Institute, and the New Century Foundation.

Talking Points:

  • HB 2242 singles out municipalities and should include all public entities, such as the state of Missouri, counties and special districts.
  • HB 2242 is an unfunded mandate that cost cities and taxpayers more than just a “token” amount.
  • Again, despite the claims of bill supporters, it takes more than a “click” of a computer key to provide the excessive amount of information mandated by this bill.

Action: Contact members of the House Local Government Committee and urge them to oppose HB 2242.

 

Premption of Municipal Gross Receipts Tax and Occupation Licenses

HB 1587 (Rep. Helms) prohibits municipalities from enacting any new occupation/business licenses and caps existing licenses at twenty-five dollars per year. Most municipal utility/telecommunication gross receipts taxes are based on their business licensing authority, therefore, this bill would also prohibit new gross receipts taxes and cap current ones at the twenty-five dollar level.

Interestingly, this bill was not assigned to the House Local Government Committee, but placed in the House Professional Registration and Licensing Committee – not a committee normally assigned local government bills.

Status:HB 1587has been assigned to the House Rules - Administrative Oversight Committee. No action was taken this week.

 

Prevailing Wage Bills
SB 688 (Sater) was voted "do pass"out of the Senate General Laws Committee. This bill exempts maintenance and repair from prevailing wage.

The House Economic Development Committee heldhearingson HB 1436 (Rep.
Love), HB 1621 (Rep. Rehder) and HB 1729 (Rep.Justus). All these billsrepeal prevailing wage.
The committee voted out a House committee substitute (HCS) for HB 1729 with a "Do Pass" recommendation. HCS/HB 1729 was referred to the House Rules Committee for Legislative Oversight.

Action: Tell your representatives and senators how prevailing wage affects public work projects in your city.

 

 

Historic Preservation Tax Credits
The Senate Local Government and Elections Committee voted out a committee substitute for SB 590 . The Senate Committee Substitute (SCS) for SB 590 made three changes to the original bill.The substitute bill changed the cap from $50 million to $70 million (The current historic preservation tax credit cap is $140 million) ; retained the control of all historic preservation tax credits with the Department of Economic Development but added the provision to "consider" input from local municipalities; and prohibits tax creditsfor new non-income producing single-family, owner occupied residential projects.

February 9, 2018 

 

Wireless Facilities Infrastructure Bill - HB 1991 (Rhoads)

No action was taken this week by the House Utilities Committee onHB 1991, sponsored by Representative Shawn Rhoads (R-West Plains).The legislation attempts to set up a process for wireless telecommunications providers to deploy small cell wireless facilities throughout the state.


We are continuing to negotiatewith the sponsor and proponents to address municipal concerns. An executive session has been set for this bill by the House Utilities Committee for Monday, February 12 at 2:30 pm.

 

 

Municipal Court Legislation
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard SB553 (Dixon) that addresses many of the concerns from law enforcement and municipal courts from the passage of SB5(2015) and SB572(2016).

Status: No action taken by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee hearing was cancelled do to a filibuster in the Senate that began Wednesday evening.

Action: Contact members of the Judiciary Committee and urge their support for the bill.

 

 

Missouri Municipal Government Expenditure Database

HB 2242(Rep. Wiemann) establishes the "Missouri Municipal Government Expenditure Database," to be maintained by State Treasurer Eric Schmitt. The database must include extensive information about a given municipality's expenditures and the vendors to whom payments were made. Municipalities with websites must provide a link to the database. A municipality must provide the information to Treasurer Eric Schmitt on a quarterly basis or be fined $100 per day. The fine will be collected by offsetting sales and use tax distributions due to the municipality and will be distributed to the schools of the county.

Status: Ahearing was held on Wednesday of this week in the House Local Government committee. MML,Municipal League of Metro St Louis, and the city of Moberly testified in opposition. Testifying in favor was the State Treasurer's office, the Show-Me Institute, and the New Century Foundation.

 

 

Preemptionof Municipal Gross Receipts Tax and Occupation Licenses

HB 1587 (Rep. Helms) prohibits municipalities from enacting any new occupation/business licenses and caps existing licenses at twenty-five dollars per year. Most municipal utility/telecommunication gross receipts taxes are based on their business licensing authority, therefore, this bill would also prohibit new gross receipts taxes and cap current ones at the twenty-five dollar level.

Interestingly, this bill was not assigned to the House Local Government Committee, but placed in the House Professional Registration and Licensing Committee – not a committee normally assigned local government bills.

Status:
HB 1587has been assigned to the House Rules - Administrative Oversight Committee. No action was taken this week.

 

 

Prevailing Wage Bills

SB 688 (Sater) was voted "do pass"out of the Senate General Laws Committee. This bill exempts maintenance and repair from prevailing wage.

The House Economic Development Committee heldhearingson HB 1436-Love,HB 1621-Rehder, andHB 1729-Justusdealing with prevailing wage.

 

 

General Assembly Moving Two Tax Credit Bills

Senate Bill 590, sponsored by Senator Dan Hegeman (R-Cosby), is currently on the Senate’s Perfection Calendar awaiting debate by the full Senate. Currently, the Department of Economic Development can issue historic preservation tax credits in an amount up to $140 million annually. This bill would reduce the annual cap on these credits to $70 million. It also makes changes to the Capitol Complex Tax Credit Act and the Public Buildings Preservation Tax Credit Act.

In the House, Representative Kevin Engler (R-Farmington) is handling the HCS HBs 1288, 1370 & 2050. The bill initially dealt with extending the sunset on maternity home tax credits. This tax credit, as well as several other benevolent tax credit programs, will expire in 2019. Through a House Committee Substitute and several amendments adopted during the perfection process, many of the benevolent tax credits set to expire in 2019 have been added to the bill in an effort to try and extend them this session rather than waiting until next year when it could be more difficult. One of the programs added to this legislation is the home accessibility tax credit program which allows people to receive a tax credit for modifying their home to make it more accessible. This enables people with disabilities to remain in their homes longer. The bill also includes a provision to increase the tax credit from $100,000 to $200,000 annually. The bill still needs one more vote in the House before heading to the Senate.

 

 

February 2, 2018 

Wireless Facilities Infrastructure Bill -HB 1991(Rhoads)

No action was taken this week by TheHouse Utilities CommitteeonHB 1991, sponsored byRepresentative Shawn Rhoads (R-West Plains). Several people showed up to the committee to share testimony on the bill. The legislation attempts to set up a process for wireless telecommunications providers to deploy small cell wireless facilities throughout the state.

 

We expect the bill to be reported out ofCommitteenext Wednesday. We are continuing to negotiatewith the sponsor and proponents to address municipal concerns.

Municipal Court Legislation
TheSenate Judiciary CommitteeheardSB553(Dixon) that addresses many of the concerns from law enforcement and municipal courts from the passage ofSB5(2015)andSB572(2016).

Status:Expected to be reported out of Committee next week.

Action:Contact members of theJudiciary Committeeand urge their support for the bill.
ACTION ALERT: Premption of Municipal Gross Receipts Tax and Occupation Licenses

HB 1587(Rep. Helms) prohibits municipalities from enacting any new occupation/business licenses and caps existing licenses at twenty-five dollars per year. Most municipal utility/telecommunication gross receipts taxes are based on their business licensing authority;therefore, this bill would also prohibit new gross receipts taxes and cap current ones at the twenty-five dollar level.

Interestingly, this bill was not assigned to the House Local Government Committee, but placed in the House Professional Registration and Licensing Committee – not a committee normally assigned local government bills.


Status:HB 1587will be heard in theHouse Rules - Administrative Oversight Committee.

Action:Contact yourstate representativeas soon as possible and urge themto vote againstHB 1587when it comes up for a vote on the House floor.


Talking Points:
  • Licensing local businesses and occupational licenses are used to insure compliance with local public health and safety regulations.
  • Utility gross receipts taxes are levied based on a municipality's business license authority and are an important source of revenue to fund essential local services.
  • The state of Missouri relies on local business license issuance to identify companies that are evading state taxes.
Hearings To Be Held on Prevailing Wage Bills
TheHouse Economic Development Committeewill hold hearings on Tuesday at 5 p.m. on several bills dealing with prevailingwage:
House Hearings
HB 1436-Love PREVAILING WAGE
 
HB 1621-Rehder PREVAILING WAGE
 
HB 1729-Justus PREVAILING WAGE

 

January 26, 2018

Hearing Held on Wireless Facilities Infrastructure Bill -HB 1991(Rhoads)

The House Utilities Committee heardHB 1991, sponsored by Representative Shawn Rhoads (R-West Plains), on Wednesday evening. Several people showed up to the committee to share testimony on the bill. The legislation attempts to set up a process for wireless telecommunications providers to deploy small cell wireless facilities throughout the state. The providers testified that they are prepared to make a significant investment in Missouri that would surpass $2 billion and likely create over 10,000 jobs. Similar legislation has passed in other states and 18 states will consider it this year. Several witnesses spoke in opposition to the bill citing concerns about conflicts in the definitions, access to the rights-of-way, fees, the ability to approve or deny an application, and the time constraints for processing the application.

 

The municipalities have been working with the providers in order to address their specific concerns. Bill Ojile, an attorney for the Missouri Municipal League, and Municipal League of Metro St. Louis, met with the House and Senate bill sponsors, as well as the providers, prior to the hearing in order to outline the cities’ specific concerns and propose amendments. He also outlined those concerns during his testimony to the committee.The groups will meet again next week to talk further.

 

Other opposition to the bill expressed at the hearing came from the Missouri Cable Telecommunications Association, the city attorney for Jefferson City, the Missouri Public Utilities Alliance, representatives from individual cities throughout the state, and the director of Kirkwood Electric.

 

The cable industry has raised concerns that the bill provides unequal protection because cable pays a franchise fee, but wireless providers would not have to pay that fee. Wireless contends, however, that they would be subject to a gross receipts tax. City utilities say that they have concerns about attaching these structures to their poles because it could create safety issues and cause residents to experience other outages, i.e. electric. The director of Kirkwood Electric opposed the bill because they are currently working with two wireless providers and say that their negotiations have gone very well resulting in enhanced service for their residents. He is concerned that the bill hamstrings cities and utilities by taking away their ability to negotiate with providers to reach a resolution that is in the best interests of all parties.

 

Committee members seem torn between the potential economic benefit of the bill and overall public safety. As has been said many times about this legislation, the devil is in the details, and this bill still needs some work. The Chairman of the Committee announced that the groups should all continue to work together and submit language for the committee to consider at a later date. A similar bill has been filed in theSenate (SB 837), but it is not yet set for a hearing.

ACTION ALERT: Premption of Municipal Gross Receipts Tax and Occupation Licenses

HB 1587(Rep. Helms) prohibits municipalities from enacting any new occupation/business licenses and caps existing licenses at twenty-five dollars per year. Most municipal utility/telecommunication gross receipts taxes are based on their business licensing authority;therefore, this bill would also prohibit new gross receipts taxes and cap current ones at the twenty-five dollar level.

Interestingly, this bill was not assigned to the House Local Government Committee, but placed in the House Professional Registration and Licensing Committee – not a committee normally assigned local government bills.


Status:HB 1587has been reported out of the House Professional Registration and Licensing Committee with a "Do Pass" recommendation.

Action: contact yourstate representativeas soon as possible and urge them to vote againstHB 1587when it comes up for a vote on the House floor.


Talking Points:
  • Licensing local businesses and occupational licenses are used to insure compliance with local public health and safety regulations.
  • Utility gross receipts taxes are levied based on a municipality's business license authority and are an important source of revenue to fund essential local services.
  • The state of Missouri relies on local business license issuance to identify companies that are evading state taxes.
Hearings Held on Prevailing Wage Bills
Senate Hearings
This week the Senate General Laws Committee conducted a hearing onHB 555(Sen. Brown),SB 599(Sen. Schatz) andSB 688(Sen. Sater). These bills present three different approaches for "fixing" Missouri's broken prevailing wage law:
  • Senator Brown's bill it a total repeal of the prevailing wage;
  • Senator Schatz's measure exempts all public works projects of $500,000 or less from the prevailing wage law and sets the county average wage as established by the Missouri Department of Economic Development as the prevailing wage;
  • and, Senator Sater’s bill exempts maintenance projects from prevailing wage.
House Hearings
The House Economic Development Committee also scheduled a hearing on three bills that reform the prevailing law. However, the committee could only complete a hearing on two bills,HB 1313(Rep. White) andHB 1594(Rep. Davis).
  • Rep. White's bill grants a prevailing wage exemption to projects funded by housing tax credit. Rep. Davis' billallows cities and counties to opt out of prevailing wage.
  • HB 1272(Rep. Lant) exempting public works projects under $750,000 or less from prevailing wage was not heard.

 

January 19, 2018

Deployment of Wireless Facilities in Municipal Rights of Way - Hearing Scheduled for HB 1991

HB 1991 limits a municipality’s ability to control the placement of wireless antennas and “adjacent” equipment on municipal rights of way. The bill gives wireless companies the right to collocate wireless facilities on municipally owned poles, facilities and traffic devices located in the right of way. The bill also establishes permitting and fee requirements. As currently written, HB 1991 could be interrupted to exempt wireless companies from some generally applied taxes and fees; such as property and gross receipts taxes.
The MML has prepared amendments to HB 1991 that address the discrepancies we see in the bill.

Status: House Utilities Committee hearing  scheduled for Wednesday, January 24 at 5:00 p.m. in House Hearing Room 5. 

Talking Points: 

  • The definition of right of way is too broad. Includes utility easement and "similar property" in the definition.
  • The bill does not protect residential areas from unsightly equipment placement.
  • Wireless companies are given preferential treatment over other right-o- way users.
  • Language in the bill is too broad and may eliminate all fees, taxes (including property ad sales taxes) that other right-of-way users pay.
  • Wireless companies receive special permit privileges under the bill.
  • The bill gives rights to not only wireless companies, but also companies building wireless infrastructure in the right of way.

Action:
Contact members of the House Utilities Committee and urge them to vote to accept MML amendments to HB 1991.

 

Senate Committee Hears Sales Tax Cap/Tax Bill

The Senate Committee on Ways and Means met on Tuesday to hear two of the tax proposals sponsored by Senators Bill Eigel (R-St. Charles) and Andrew Koenig (R-Manchester).  The bills were presented simultaneously and witnesses were given the opportunity to testify on both at the same time.  While the bills share certain things in common, such as drastically changing the state’s current tax structures and tax credit programs, they also tackle different tax issues.  For example, Senator Eigel’s bill (SB 617) attempts to decouple the MO standard deduction from the federal deduction and sets the amount of the deduction at 2016 tax year levels, while Senator Koenig’s SB 611 would place a cap on the combined rate of local sales taxes at 7.275% and allocate up to $40 million in corporate tax deductions for the Senior Services Protection Program.  Both bills attempt to increase the fuel tax, cap tax credits, repeal the timely filing allowance (although Senator Koenig’s would only repeal it on income tax and not corporate tax), and require the Department of Revenue to enter into the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement.  

 

We are told that the Chairman of the Committee will likely allow the committee to vote out some version of both bills, but he is not inclined to make changes to the tax credit programs.  The problem with removing the tax credit programs from the discussion is that the sponsors are attempting to make their bills revenue neutral.  Cutting spending on the tax credit programs is a big part of that balancing act.  Senator Eigel’s bill will likely focus on changes to the tax code, and Senator Koenig’s bill will potentially focus on MO entering into the Streamlined Sales & Use Tax Agreement. 

 

The bill sponsors are working on committee substitutes now that we should see by next week. Senator Cierpiot (R-Lee’s Summit) is working on tax proposal #3 that will be introduced soon.

 

1/12/2018

Second Week of the 2018 Legislative Session Concludes
Many of the bills that have been introduced so far this session are repeat legislation from the 2017 session. It is likely that bills from last session will receive expedited committee action. In fact both the House and Senate began committee hearings this week with bills carried over from 2017.

Committee hearings will be the main legislative activity for the next six week, with a number of bills of municipal interest being heard. League staff will reach out to municipal officials to contact their legislators on many of these important legislative measures. Watch for MML Legislative Alerts and other requests to contact your legislator. Please do not hesitate to contact League staff if you have any questions, information or concerns about any bills being consider this session. Also, let us know when you contact your legislator on a particular bill and how they responded to your contact.

Next week is a short week in Jefferson City. On Monday, state offices will be closed and the Legislature will not be in session in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The House and Senate will convene on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

 

Municipal Bills Heard in House Election Committee
HB 1446 (Rep. Eggleston)
Sponsored by Rep. Eggleston
A carry over bill from last session, expands the existing law by allowing candidates in municipalities with populations of 2,000 or less to assume office without holding an election if the election is uncontested and the number of candidates equal the number of open positions. Current law allows municipalities with 1,000 or less persons to forego holding an election when all open seats are uncontested. This bill was voted out of the Elections Committee last year and passed in the House, but ran into opposition in the Senate. The Election Committee heard another bill that was much more contentious.

HB 1234 (Rep. Stacy)
Sponsored by Rep. Stacy
Requires elections to create and elect members of the board of directors of a transportation development district (TDD) to be held on general election days, removing primary and special election dates as an option. The bill also eliminates mail-in voting and removes the provision allowing non-resident property owners to participate in TDD elections.

 

Action Needed
The Senate Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on SB 611 (Senator Koenig) on Tuesday, January 16, at 2:00 p.m.

SB 611 makes a number of significant changes to current state tax statutes. Of utmost importance to municipal officials is a provision that caps local sales taxes rate at 7.275 percent (inclusive of municipal sales taxes; county sales taxes, and special districts sales taxes; such as ambulance, fire or others authorized to levy a sales tax). This is a very harmful provision that needs to be removed from the bill.


Please contact members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee as soon as possible to urge them to oppose the cap on local sales taxes and ask them to remove the provision from the bill.
Be sure to let committee members know how this local sales tax cap would affect your city and of any voter-approved bonds that would be jeopardized by imposing a local sales tax cap.

Other provisions of the bill include: personal and corporate state income tax cuts. It directs the Missouri Department of Revenue to enter into the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement with other states, and establishes caps on historic preservation and low-income tax credits.

 

Municipal Court Legislation
SB 553 (Sen. Dixon)
Sponsored by Senator Dixon
Fixes many of the municipal court problems caused by ill-conceived legislation from past sessions; SB 5 (2015) and SB 572 (2016). Senator Dixon has indicated that SB 553 is his priority bill and the Judiciary Committee will be scheduling a hearing soon. Senator Dixon is the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

MML LEGISLATIVE ALERT -  1/11/2018

The Senate Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on SB 611 (Senator Koenig) on Tuesday, January 16 at 2:00 p.m.

 

SB 611 makes a number of significant changes to current state tax statutes. Of utmost importance to municipal officials is a provision that caps all local sales taxes at 7.275 percent (including municipal sales taxes; county sales taxes, and special districts sales taxes; such as ambulance, fire or others authorized to levy a sales tax).  This is a very harmful provision that needs to be removed from the bill.

 

Other provisions of the bill include: personal and corporate state income tax cuts. It directs the Missouri Department of Revenue to enter into the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement with other states, and establishes caps on historic preservation and low-income tax credits.

 

Contact your State Senator to urge their opposition to the local sales tax cap in SB 611.

 

Second Session of the 99th General Assembly Convenes

The first week of the 2018 legislative session has come and gone without too much controversy, but the House and Senate are as distinct as ever. Speaker Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) is starting his final session in the House. In his speech he talked about the many legislative accomplishments he has seen during his tenure and called on all members of the House to work together toward the common goal of doing what is best for Missourians. The House Republicans said they will focus on legislation relating to human trafficking, banning lobbyist gifts, hair braiding, tax policy, tort reform, and labor reform. House Democrats listed their top issues as education, ethics reform, restoration of the anti-discrimination laws that were modified last session, and resolving the opioid epidemic.

Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard (R-Joplin) will also depart the Legislature after this session due to term limits. He said that the Senate will focus on regulatory reform in order to make Missouri a state that is attractive to businesses. He also said they will work on tax reform, prevailing wage, funding for in-home and nursing home services, and tax reform. He mentioned that they will proceed with caution on tax cuts because he does not want to see Missouri end up like Kansas did when they went too far in cutting taxes.

 

21st Century Transportation Task Force Releases Report

The much anticipated report of the transportation task force was released on Tuesday during a press conference at the capitol. Additional funding for state roads and bridges would come from increased user fees. If the gas tax were raised by ten cents and the diesel tax by twelve cents, the state would take in an additional $430 million annually. These increases must be approved by the voters so lawmakers are being asked to pass a resolution that places this proposal on the ballot.

 

In addition, the task force has recommended that the registration fees for hybrid and electric vehicles be doubled. They also included ideas about changing the current system by tying registration fees to fuel mileage or imposing a tax that would be charged at electric recharging stations. These ideas are in line with the concept of keeping fees tied to actual vehicle use on the roadways.

 

Other recommendations include: enabling political subdivisions to enact local construction excise taxes to be used for transportation; the use of express managed lanes in metro areas to increase highway capacity, reduce congestion, and improve travel reliability; encouraging the legislature to evaluate greater flexibility in enabling state P3 (public-private-partnerships) legislation for transportation projects; advance safety measures including legislation requiring primary seatbelt use and enforcement, enhanced distracted driving legislation (a/k/a prohibition on texting while driving for all drivers), graduated driver’s license training requirements; and eliminate or reduce the two percent timely filing discount for retailers paying the state sales tax. 

 

 

 

Important Legislative Dates:

January 2018

3 – General Assembly Convenes – Noon

10 – State of the State Address – Joint Session in House Chamber – 7:00 pm

15 – Martin Luther King Day – No Session

 

March 2018

1 – Last Day to Introduce Senate Bills

1 – Last Day to Introduce House Bills

15 – Last Day to Place Senate Consent Bills on the Senate Calendar

15 – Spring Break Begins Upon Adjournment

26 – Session Reconvenes

 

April 2018

2 – Easter Holiday – No Session

12 – Last Day to Place House Consent Bills on the Senate Calendar

May 2018
11 – Appropriations Bills Must Be “Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed”
18 – Session Ends – 6:00 p.m.
30 – Constitutional Adjournment

 

July 2018

14 – Deadline for Governor to Sign or Veto Legislation

August 2018
7 – Primary Election
28 – Effective Date of Most Bills (unless otherwise specified)


Key Legislative Contact Information

 

 


Key Legislative Contact Information

House Leadership                    Senate Leadership           

House Committees                  Senate Committees

House Members                       Senate Members

Key Legislative Contact Information

House Leadership                    Senate Leadership           

House Committees                  Senate Committees

House Members                       Senate Members

  2015 Legislative Session

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