Around the State
The most recent report on Missouri employment and wages is showing very good news for our state. Overall, wages increased this last year by 3.6 percent, which is an astonishing number. Not only are worker wages keeping pace with the cost of living, they are making up some ground from the last two decades of declining real wages. Unemployment remains at 3.3 percent. Here are some highlights taken from the Department of Economic Development:
- Missouri’s statewide annual average wage reached an all-time high of $49,050 in 2018, a 3.6 percent increase over 2017 and a 10.6 percent increase over 2014.
- 74 percent of Missouri’s 114 counties had an annual average wage increase of more than 2 percent in 2018.
- St. Louis City and County each had an annual average wage of over $60,500 in 2018. Jackson County, home to Kansas City and Independence, reached an annual average wage of $56,500. (https://themissouritimes.com/62602/jobs-continue-to-grow-while-wages-increase/)
The final fact reflects that many of the new high paying jobs are in technology, and situated in large cities because of the available infrastructure in those locations. However, as I have been informing you throughout the year, the legislature and the governor are committed to improving rural Missouri’s broadband connections so that all Missourians can benefit from the new economy.
Finally, this week I will continue with a summary of Truly Agreed and Finally Passed (TAFP’d) bills. This week I will once again summarize the House bills by number.
Bills Truly Agreed and Finally Passed (TAFP’d)
SS HB 821 — LAND BANK ACT
This bill establishes the “Land Bank Act,” which allows the establishment of a land bank agency for the management, sale, transfer, and other disposition of interests in real estate owned by the land bank. Here are some of the most important details of the bill:
- The bill specifies that a land bank agency shall not possess the power of eminent domain or the power to tax.
- The beneficiaries of the land bank agency shall be the taxing authorities that held or owned tax bills against the real estate acquired by the agency.
- The agency shall notify the county assessor and collector upon acquisition or sale of any real estate and such real estate shall be exempt from all taxation during the agency's ownership.
- Upon issuance of a deed of a delinquent land tax auction, the agency shall pay the amount of the land bank agency's bid that exceeds the amount of all tax bills included in the judgment, interest, penalties, attorney's fees, taxes, and costs due.
- A land bank agency shall maintain and make available for public review and inspection an inventory and history of all real property the land bank agency holds or formerly held.
This bill applies to the City of St. Joseph only.
HB 831 — SPECIAL LICENSE PLATES
This bill authorizes a special license plate with the official lineman emblem of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. The license plate requires an annual $25 contribution for emblem use to the association, which shall be used for lineman training programs and administrative costs. Criteria for the license plate design submitted by the association are specified in the bill. Previously issued special plates will not bear the Lineman emblem unless reauthorized with the $25 contribution fee. The bill also authorizes a special license plate with the official lineman emblem of the Missouri Association of Municipal Utilities.
HB 898 — ANOTHER SPECIALTY LICENSE PLATE
This bill creates a “Back the Blue” license plate, which will be available for a $10 contribution to the Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation and a $15 fee in addition to normal registration costs. The Missouri Department of Revenue may specify the design in accordance with statutory criteria and may enact rules for the program.
SCS HB 926 — DEALER LICENSE PLATES
This bill allows use of specified motor vehicle dealer license plates on cars used by customers while their vehicles are being serviced or repaired by a motor vehicle dealer. The bill also allows any Missouri resident to receive license plates with the official lineman emblem, and the $25 fee to the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives for authorization of use of the emblem.
For more complete information on each bill, please see: https://house.mo.gov/LegislationSP.aspx
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. 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.