May 1, 2023 3 min read

Top 6: Our Priorities With Two Weeks Left

Just two weeks remain in the 2023 Missouri Legislative Session, and several critical business issues remain in play as the clock ticks down to May 12.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s governmental affairs team will be at the Capitol for long hours over the next two weeks fighting for employers on these issues. As we make this final legislative push before the end of session, we need your voice to amplify our message.

Please review the issues below and use our links to contact your lawmakers on the issues that matter most to your business.

  1. Address Missouri’s child care crisis.

Child care is not a working parents’ issue; it’s an economic issue. In fact, our report showed that Missouri misses out on an estimated $1.35 billion annually due to child care issues. Missouri can become a national leader in addressing this crisis by passing an innovative legislative package to expand the capacity of child care providers and help businesses offer child care benefits to support the retention and recruitment of employees.

Key legislation: House Bill 870 from Rep. Brenda Shields (R-St. Joseph), House Bill 668 from Rep. Dan Houx (R-Warrensburg) and Senate Bill 184 from Sen. Lauren Arthur (D-Kansas City)

Help pass these bills: Ask your lawmakers to address this economic issue by offering four types of tax credits to help child care providers and businesses.

2. Curb our rising crime rate.

The Missouri Chamber’s annual poll of more than 600 CEOs and business leaders found that two-thirds of employers believe the state’s rising crime rate is negatively impacting economic competitiveness. In addition, more than 500 employers and individuals have signed our petition urging lawmakers to act on public safety measures. Now is the time to address this urgent, statewide issue.

Key legislation: House Bill 301 from Rep. Lane Roberts (R-Joplin)

Help pass this bill: Sign our petition urging legislators to take action to address rising crime.

3. Build and retain a skilled workforce.

In the global competition for talent, Missouri employers need every tool in their toolbox to attract and retain workers. That’s why the Missouri Chamber is backing the creation of a short-term upskill credential program. This competitive grant program would reimburse employers who help their employees earn short-term certificates or credentials in vital areas for Missouri’s economy.

Key legislation: House Bill 417 from Rep. Mike Henderson (R-Bonne Terre) and House Bill 668 from Rep. Dan Houx (R-Warrensburg)

Help pass these bills: Tell your lawmakers that these measures will help build a workforce prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

4. Protect Missouri businesses from cyberattacks.

A recent study found Missouri is outpacing other states in financial loss from cyberattacks. Missouri businesses were the No. 1 victims of phishing attacks in 2020 with an average per-incident loss of over $375,000.  Legislation is needed to create a grant program for employers to enhance their cybersecurity protection, with 50 percent of the funding reserved for small businesses.

Key legislation: House Bill 668 from Rep. Dan Houx (R-Warrensburg)

Help pass this bill: Tell your lawmakers that Missouri employers need help to enhance their cybersecurity protection.

5. Reform the statute of limitations.

Missouri’s outdated statute of limitations is creating costly delays in our state’s legal system. Currently, plaintiffs are allowed to delay filing personal injury lawsuits for up to five years. There are 47 states that have shorter time limits than Missouri, including all eight of Missouri’s bordering states. Reform is needed to ensure prompt justice for all parties.

Key legislation: Senate Bill 117 from Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer (R-Parkville) and House Bill 272 from Rep. Alex Riley (R-Springfield)

Help pass these bills: Tell your lawmakers to support this reform to help improve our legal climate.  

6. Support businesses that become employee-owned.

We want to ensure Missouri businesses stay in Missouri. To do this, lawmakers must renew a key incentive – a 50 percent income tax deduction on the proceeds business owners receive when they sell their companies to their employees. This will encourage businesses to go the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) route versus selling to a competitor or passing their business to out-of-state ownership.

Key legislation: House Bill 356 from Rep. Mike McGirl (R-Potosi), House Bill 512 from Rep. Don Mayhew (R-Crocker), House Bill 934 from Rep. Barry Hovis (R-Whitewater), Senate Bill 247 from Sen. Justin Brown (R-Rolla)

Help pass these bills: Tell your legislators that these incentives will help ensure Missouri companies stay in Missouri.

Contact our team:

Kara Corches, vice president of governmental affairs,

Heidi Geisbuhler Sutherland, director of legislative affairs,

Phillip Arnzen, director of legislative affairs,


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