April 28, 2022 5 min read

Top 7: Our priorities with two weeks left

With just two weeks remaining in the 2022 Missouri Legislative Session, it’s time to take stock of what issues remain in play as the clock ticks down to May 13.

Bills have been moving at a remarkably slow pace this year due to hardline political tactics and lengthy, unresolved debates over how to draw the state’s congressional district lines. With these challenges, a number of critical issues hang in the balance as the session nears its conclusion.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s governmental affairs team will be in the capitol for long hours every day fighting for your business on these issues. As we do, we need your voice.

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

  1. Stop government overreach into employer vaccination policies

The Missouri Chamber stood up against Biden administration efforts to dictate employer vaccination policies. With some Missouri lawmakers now seeking to do the same, we will continue voicing our opposition. Dozens of bills have been filed this session that would revoke the long-held employer right to make workplace decisions about vaccination. This is government overreach. The Missouri Chamber’s message is that we should continue to let business decide. Hundreds of business leaders have joined our call.

Key legislation: We are tracking dozens of bills and amendments on this topic

Help defeat this legislation: Tell your lawmakers to Let Business Decide

  1. Protect our transportation investment

The Missouri Chamber is fighting an effort to overturn a recently-passed and much-needed investment in statewide and local transportation projects. The 2021 law established a gradual gas tax increase over five years as well as new fees on electric vehicles. The investments are expected to generate a $1.8 billion positive impact, create $722 million in additional earnings across the state and more than 17,000 jobs. Despite this positive progress, there is a persistent effort in the General Assembly by lawmakers who want to repeal this investment.

Key legislation: House Bill 1594 by Rep. Sarah Walsh

Help defeat this bill: Tell your lawmakers to protect our transportation investment

  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Missouri’s outdated statute of limitations is creating costly delays in our state’s legal system.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 — that’s double or more the amount of time provided by many other states. Allowing years to go by before filing means records can be lost or discarded, witnesses may pass away or cannot be located, and memories fade — all factors that work against justice and can slant Missouri’s system against defendants, which are often businesses. Addressing this issue is the Missouri Chamber’s top legal climate reform priority for 2022.

Key legislation: Senate Bill 631 by Sen. Dan Hegeman, House Bill 2206 by Rep. Curtis Trent

Help pass these bills: Tell your lawmaker to support this reform

  1. Extend and expand Fast Track

Championed by the Missouri Chamber and passed into law in 2019, Fast Track addresses workforce needs by encouraging adults to pursue a certificate, degree, or industry-recognized credential in a job field designated as high need. Fast Track fully covers tuition and fees when combined with other federal and state financial aid. The program will expire unless the legislature passes an extension this year. The bills under consideration would also expand Fast Track, allowing these benefits to be used for apprenticeships.

Key legislation: Senate Bill 672 by Sen. Lincoln Hough,  House Bill 2203 by Rep. Travis Fitzwater

Help pass these bills: Ask your lawmakers to support Fast Track

  1. Get Missourians back to work sooner

Missouri Chamber is championing legislation to make the state’s unemployment system more responsive to the economic climate. The proposal would provide Missourians more weeks of unemployment compensation when jobs are scarce. However, when jobs are plentiful — like in today’s economy — the benefits would end much sooner, encouraging Missourians to re-enter the workforce. Similar legislation has been under consideration for years, and nearly became law in the recent past. The Missouri Chamber believes that today’s current labor shortages create an urgent need to finally pass this legislation into law as soon as possible.

Key legislation: Senate Bill 665 by Sen. Mike Bernskoetter, House Bill 1860 by Rep. J. Eggleston
Help pass these bills: Ask your lawmakers to support unemployment reform

  1. Encourage Missouri-made innovation

Research and development are critical to Missouri’s future economic growth. Legislation under consideration this year would create a tax credit that businesses can use to offset the cost of research and development activities. The bill would allow businesses to claim a tax credit worth 15% of qualified expenses. If the research is conducted in collaboration with a Missouri college or university, businesses could claim a tax credit worth 20% of expenses.

Key legislation: Senate Bill 688 by Sen. Brian Williams, House Bill 1579 by Rep. Don Mayhew

Help pass these bills: Ask your lawmakers to help grow research and development in Missouri

  1. Keeping energy affordable, reliable and resilient

Lawmakers this year are seeking to continue Missouri’s progress on utility modernization. Legislation under consideration this year contains several important regulatory updates. If passed, the bills would help spur investment to modernize utility infrastructure and ensure energy remains affordable, reliable and resilient.

Key bills: Senate Bill 756 by Sen. Bill White, House Bill 1734 by Rep. Michael O’Donnell

Help pass these bills: Ask your lawmakers to support utility modernization

That’s not all — seven more

In addition to our top priorities, the Missouri Chamber continues to work on legislation across many policy areas. Here is a look at some of the additional ideas we are focused on during the session’s final weeks:


Contact our team:

Kara Corches, vice president of governmental affairs, kcorches@mochamberdreampress.stage.site

Ross Lien, director of governmental affairs, rlien@mochamberdreampress.stage.site

Carol Mitchell, general counsel, cmitchell@mochamberdreampress.stage.site

 


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