Missouri Business Headlines

One week left: Twelve pro-business bills that still have a chance

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While only days remain in the legislative session, the Missouri General Assembly has made measured progress toward improving our state’s business climate.

Lawmakers addressed the state’s dismal litigation climate by passing bills to reform Missouri’s expert witness standards and collateral source rule.

They’ve also passed a forward-looking bill that allows biosimilar medication substitutions in the state.

But like previous years, much work remains undone as we begin the final week of lawmaking. Below is a look at ten pro-business bills that have a realistic chance—some more than others—of passage before 6 p.m. on May 13.

Please ask your House and Senate members to pass these bills.

rheder

Rep. Holly Rehder is the sponsor of the Paycheck Protection and Prescription Drug Monitoring Program bills.

1. House Bill 1891: Paycheck Protection

Public employees should have a say whether funds taken from their salaries are dumped into political campaigns. Needing a veto override, this bill would become law with a final vote from the Senate.

2. House Bill 2030: Encouraging ESOPs

This bill would provide special tax benefits to business owners who decide to sell to their employees through employee stock ownership plans, often called ESOPs. This arrangement helps ensure Missouri companies stay locally held.

3. House Bill 1718: Protecting arbitration agreements

Recent Missouri court decisions have called into question the validity of many workplace arbitration agreements—a situation that could lead to more costly litigation. This bill would help workplace arbitration agreements stand up in court.

4. Senate Bill 703: Show Me Rural Jobs Act

When it comes to financing startup companies or business expansions, rural Missouri is being left behind. This bill would incentivize investors to put their money into rural job-creation opportunities.

5. House Bill 2065: Streamlining data center incentives

One important tool is missing from Missouri’s effort to attract data center investment—easy access to local property tax incentives. This bill would help data centers to access this benefit.

6. House Bill 1698: Meet in Missouri Act

Conventions are big business in Missouri, filling hotels and generating tourism dollars. This bill would help attract more large conventions that draw out-of-state residents.

7. House Bill 1892: Prescription Drug Monitoring

Missouri is the only state that lacks a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Not tracking dangerous drugs enables addictions, hurting families and our workforce. This bill would address the problem.

8. Senate Bill 873: Creating STEM internships

Missouri has done a lot of work to improve our education efforts in science, technology, engineering and math. This bill would incentivize businesses that create internships for STEM students, helping transition success in the classroom into success in the workforce.

9. House Bill 861: Investing in river ports

In recent years, Missouri has begun reinvesting in our state’s network of river ports. This bill would help private businesses take advantage of this unique transportation opportunity.

10. Senate Bill 623: Fixing our roads and bridges

Missouri is facing a significant transportation funding shortfall. If we don’t act soon, many highways and bridges could become degraded. This bill would put a fuel tax increase on the ballot for voters to consider.

11. Senate Bill 700: Affordable work comp rates

This bill would help employers keep workers’ compensation rates low by changing the way the law caps the amount of out-of-pocket expenses that can be paid for a workplace injury by employers.

12. House Bill 1613: Ready for work or college

Nearly one in four high school graduates need remediation in college. This bill, as amended, requires each school district in Missouri to develop a system by 2018 for identifying ninth-grade students who are at risk of not being ready for college-level work or for entry-level career positions. The bill gives students the opportunity to develop a personal plan of study with help from the school’s guidance counselors to help set goals to keep the students on track.

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