Updates from the floor of the Missouri Senate
During the final week of the 2018 legislative session, the Missouri Senate was able to pass numerous bills that allow business owners to operate in a more competitive climate. In addition, lawmakers were also able to pass two tax reform bills that aim to put money back into the pockets of working Missourians.
This week, lawmakers truly agreed and finally passed Senate Bill 608, a proposal that protects businesses against frivolous lawsuits stemming from third-party criminal activity that occurs on their property without their knowledge. The proposal gives landowners a solid defense from people who are committing crimes on their property. I believe the burden of violent crimes should be on criminals, not law-abiding business owners.
Lawmakers also truly agreed and finally passed Senate Bill 882, which allows students to transfer money from a MOST 529 college savings account to the Missouri Achieving a Better Life Experience (MO ABLE) savings account. A MOST 529 college savings account can help with any supplemental costs students may incur while they are enrolled in school. In the event a student develops a disability prior to the age of 26, they can transfer their funds from one account to the other without a tax penalty.
By allowing the transfer without the tax penalty, a family who receives an unexpected diagnosis that changes their life plan has more options in order to make smart, financial decisions for their child’s future. This is a great opportunity for Missouri families who have children with disabilities to improve their child’s quality of life, while also creating future opportunities for their child to become self-sufficient.
Senate Bill 773 is a proposal that extends allocations for taxes collected from out of state athletes and entertainers for five cultural partners including the Missouri Arts Council Trust Fund; Humanities Council Trust Fun; State Library Networking Fund; Public Television Broadcasting Corporation Special Fund and the Historic Preservation Revolving Fund. The proposal also reforms the state’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit program by lowering the program’s cap to $90 million was approved by the General Assembly. Currently, the cap sits at $140 million. This proposal would allow communities with a poverty rate of 30 percent or higher to exceed the cap by $30 million. This program provides incentives to developers looking to restore some of our state’s historic treasures while also promoting economic growth in our communities.
In Lexington, there is a cannon ball embedded in the courthouse that was salvaged from the Battle of Lexington of 1861. This artifact is a significant piece of Missouri’s military history. I would like to see this program utilized in small towns to revitalize their historic town squares and downtowns within their communities.
In the Missouri Senate, term limits provide a finite time stamp for lawmakers working to improve the legislative landscape for all Missourians. It is an element that all lawmakers are cognizant of. We are elected by the people of Missouri to serve, and this reminds us that no seat in office is guaranteed. I am excited to report that Senate Concurrent Resolution 40, a proposal to amend the United States Constitution regarding term limits for members of Congress, was passed and adopted by the Legislature. I believe this measure holds lawmakers accountable for their work and is a step in the right direction for all elected officials in Congress who serve the American people.
It has been a pleasure to serve as your senator in the 21st Senatorial District, and I can’t wait to be back in the community. Working among my fellow colleagues to pass meaningful legislation that improves the lives of all Missourians, including my constituents, is truly an honor. As always, I appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. During the interim, please feel free to contact me in email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.