This week, I attended a business expansion announcement at Sedalia/Pettis County Economic Development along with Rep. Denny Hoskins. (Contributed photo)
There has been a lot of activity in the Missouri House of Representatives during the first half of the session. With Spring Break week, I thought I would take the opportunity to recap some of these bills and inform you of others that have not yet been mentioned in my reports.
Small Business Assistance
The House approved several bills designed to help grow Missouri's economy and spur new job creation in the state. HBs 1310 and 1501 would create the Missouri Angel Investment Incentive Act to be administered by the Missouri Technology Corporation. The Angel Investment Incentive Act encourages individuals to provide seed-capital financing for emerging Missouri businesses engaged in the development, implementation, and commercialization of innovative technologies, products, and services. This bill will create major investment opportunities, spur economic development, and make Missouri more competitive with surrounding states for jobs and development. Investing capital in early stage companies is investing in future growth of Missouri's economy.
HB 1501 also contains incentives for businesses that forward freight internationally through any Missouri airport. Under this legislation, qualified freight forwarders would receive tax credits against income tax, based on the volume of outbound air cargo. The bill also would revive the "distressed areas land assemblage" tax credit. It would be redefined to include engineering, site and redevelopment planning, and it would expand coverage of maintenance costs from five years to 12.
Agriculture and Rural Missouri
HCR 20 establishes a resolution to urge the USDA and EPA to approve 2,4-D and dicamba tolerant crops to allow Missouri farmers fair access to needed advancements in agriculture.
HB 1435 provides tax exemption for specified products being sold at farmers markets.
HB 1391 guarantees the right to participate and conduct rodeos in Missouri. A law or rule cannot prohibit a rodeo from taking place or prevent someone's participation unless it interferes with time, place or manner of other similar events, or if the animal(s) are sick or diseased.
SBs 649, 650, and 651 reinstate a state law originally enacted last year that was struck down by a Cole County judge on procedural grounds that would pave the way for increased rural broadband access.
There will be a public educational meeting at the Missouri State Fair Grounds located in the Agricultural building at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 5. If you would like to attend please RSVP to the Pettis County Farm Bureau at 660-826-6054. I urge everyone to attend to learn about the Right to Farm and to support agriculture in our state.
Adjusting tax brackets: Under HB 1268 approved by the Missouri House our state income tax brackets would be adjusted for the first time in decades. The bill we passed would require our tax brackets to be adjusted each year for inflation beginning in 2015. This adjustment would be to the advantage of lower income individuals.
Kansas-Missouri border war: HB 1646 Prohibits issuance of certain incentives to a business relocating from certain counties in Kansas if Kansas enacts a similar prohibition. HB 1173 also contributes to a more stable border situation. This bill establishes a statutory cause of action in medical malpractice suits. As Kansas has medical malpractice caps and we do not, this legislation provides needed protection to keep doctors in our state.
Education supplemental budget: HB 2014 contains $22 million for the foundation formula and $5 million for the Normandy School District to help them complete the year while avoiding bankruptcy. The House Budget Committee has been working very hard and is expected to bring the budget bills to the floor shortly after we reconvene from Spring Break.
Members of the Missouri Chiropractic Association, Parents as Teachers, Fine Arts Education, West Central Living Solutions, and Missouri Federation Republican Women visited the Capitol before we adjourned for Spring Break.
It is an honor to serve the 51st District in the Missouri House of Representatives. Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City and Missouri. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our state government and the quality of life for all Missourians. My telephone number is 573-751-2204 or you may contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for working with me to make Missouri a great place to live.