March 21, 2024 3 min read

Top 6: What to Watch in the Second Half of the Legislative Session

Lawmakers return to work on Monday after their annual spring break. In these final eight weeks, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s governmental affairs team will be at the Capitol for long hours fighting for your business.

Employers – We need your voice. Please review the issues below and use the links to contact your legislators on the bills that matter most to your organization.

  1. Improve access to affordable, high-quality child care.

The Missouri Chamber is supporting an innovative legislative package which would increase the capacity of child care providers and help businesses offer child care benefits to support the retention and recruitment of employees. Nearly 90% of Missouri voters believe increasing access to child care will help more parents succeed in the workplace.

Key legislation: House Bill 1488 by Rep. Brenda Shields (R-St. Joseph) and Senate Bill 742 by Sen. Lauren Arthur (D-Kansas City)

Help pass this bill: Ask your lawmakers to address this economic issue for the state by offering three types of tax credits to help child care providers and businesses.

  1. Address Missouri’s rising crime rate.

In the Missouri Chamber’s most recent CEO Survey, 90% of business leaders said public safety was either a top concern or a growing concern. The Missouri Chamber supports a wide variety of crime reduction measures, including Blair’s Law, which addresses celebratory gunfire, tougher criminal penalties for repeat and violent offenders, and clarifying the process to expunge records for minor, non-violent offenses.

Key legislation: House Bill 1659 and House Bill 1652 by Rep. Lane Roberts (R-Joplin), Senate Bill 754 by Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer (R-Parkville), Senate Bill 1115 by Sen. Nick Schroer (R-St. Charles County)

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

  1. Renew the federal reimbursement allowance (FRA) program.

The FRA program includes taxes on certain medical providers and hospitals in Missouri. The program contributes more than $4 billion in direct and matching Medicaid funding to the state budget, and it plays an essential role in Missouri’s economic health by keeping hospitals open in both rural and urban areas. Without its passage, our state would face an insurmountable budget hole.

Key legislation: Senate Bill 748 by Sen. Lincoln Hough (R-Springfield)

Help pass this bill: Don’t allow FRA to fall victim to politics. Ask your legislators to renew the program and ensure access to quality health care and hospitals.

  1. 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 in Missouri, while 25 other states have a two-year statute of limitations, including neighboring states Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas and Kentucky.

Key legislation: House Bill 1964 by Rep. Alex Riley (R-Springfield) and Senate Bill 853 by Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer (R-Parkville)

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

  1. Ensure workplace safety.

Missouri voters legalized the use of recreational marijuana in 2022, creating a gray area in the state’s workers’ compensation law. The Missouri Chamber supports efforts to clarify workers’ compensation statutes and assist employers who wish to maintain drug-free workplaces for the benefit of their employees and customers.

Key legislation: House Bill 1990 by Rep. Sherri Gallick (R-Belton), House Bill 2135 by Rep. John Voss (R-Cape Girardeau), Senate Bill 935 by Sen. Mike Bernskoetter (R-Jefferson City)

Help pass this bill: Tell your lawmakers to make sure critical workplace safety is not compromised by Missouri’s legalization of recreational marijuana.

  1. Defend against government overreach.

During the 2024 legislative session, lawmakers have filed dozens of bills aiming to undermine employers’ right to set their own workplace policies on issues ranging from hiring practices to diversity, equity and inclusion. One proposed mandate would require employers to run E-Verify on all new employees and create a new felony penalty on businesses. These mandates reflect a disregard for the regulatory challenges employers of all sizes face. Our position remains the same: Let business decide.

Key legislation: House Bill 2489 by Rep. Jim Murphy (R-St. Louis County) and Senate Bill 980

Help stop these bills: Tell your legislators to oppose these business mandates.

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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