March 16, 2023 3 min read

Top five things to watch in the second half of the legislative session

Lawmakers return to work on Monday after their annual spring break. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s governmental affairs team will be in the Capitol for long hours over the next eight weeks 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. Curb our rising crime rate.

The Missouri Chamber’s poll of more than 600 Missouri CEOs and business leaders found that two-thirds of employers said the rising crime rate in Missouri is impacting the state’s economic competitiveness. The Missouri Chamber’s public safety report, Safer Missouri, Stronger Missouri, has guided advocacy efforts this session, with the goal of implementing its comprehensive recommendations through multiple pieces of legislation.

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

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

  1. Address Missouri’s child care crisis.

The Missouri Chamber is supporting an innovative legislative package which would expand the capacity of child care providers and help businesses offer child care benefits to support the retention and recruitment of employees. In the Missouri Chamber CEO poll, almost 80 percent of respondents said the cost and availability of child care is making it harder for them to recruit and retain employees.

Key legislation: House Bill 870 by Rep. Brenda Shields (R-St. Joseph) and Senate Bills 184 and 509 by Sen. Lauren Arthur (D-Kansas City)

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

  1. Increase capacity on I-70.

There is $859 million to expand this highway in Gov. Mike Parson’s proposed budget. The governor’s plan focuses on expanding parts of the highway in Kansas City, Columbia and St. Louis, doing the most expensive areas first before looking at the rest of the interstate highway. Eighty-four percent of respondents surveyed in the Missouri Chamber CEO poll supported leveraging state and federal funds to increase capacity on I-70.

Legislative action: The House Budget Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee continue their work on the budget.

Help this issue pass: Tell lawmakers that costs to improve I-70 will only rise if the legislature continues to wait to take action.

  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. There are 47 states that have shorter time limits than Missouri, including all eight of Missouri’s bordering states.

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

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

  1. Build and retain a skilled workforce.

The Missouri Chamber is supporting bills that would give employers more tools to retain their current workers through 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 by Rep. Mike Henderson (R-Bonne Terre) and Senate Bill 53 by Sen. Karla Eslinger (R-Wasola)

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

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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