Tuesday I traveled to the Lake of the Ozarks for the annual Lakeside with the Locators meeting hosted by the Missouri Economic Development Council. This annual event brings economic development professionals from across the state and the country to discuss Missouri’s business environment. It is always a meeting packed with information and a way to let industries and services know that we are open for business! The meeting proved successful, as always, and many of the site locators believe we have improved our competitive position in the mid-continent area. Of course, there is always Texas to compete with, and they are serious! However, Missouri is holding its own and moving ahead. Most of the participants agreed that we must concentrate on job training for the next few years to improve the skill set of our state’s workforce.
Also, this week the special session got underway in the Senate. A package of proposals that will alter state abortion regulations advanced out of committee on day two of the special session. The Seniors, Families and Children Committee endorsed a plan that would overturn an anti-discrimination ordinance put in place by St. Louis aldermen in February. The local ordinance is designed to bar employers and landlords from discriminating against women who have had abortions or plan to undergo one. A second proposal would give the attorney general more power to prosecute violations of abortion-related laws. A third proposal, sponsored by Sen. Bob Onder, would tighten restrictions on clinics and what can be done with fetal tissue.
The legislation moved to the Senate on a party line vote of 4-2. Following the Senate’s action on the legislation, the proposals could be moved to the House by the middle of next week. The governor stated that this special session will ultimately “highlight the crucial and life-saving work of pregnancy care centers around the state and bring Missourians together to celebrate and promote a culture of life.”
Finally as promised, three additional TAFP’d bills are summarized below. More TAFP’d bill summaries will follow in the weeks to come. Finally, before Veto Session in September, the governor’s actions on all bills will be reviewed.