Greetings, My Fellow Missourians,

We officially adjourned the 100th Legislative session Friday, May 15th at 6:00 pm, and what a Session it was. It was my 8th and final Session because of term limits. The second week of March the news of the Covid-19 Virus Pandemic broke out and caused the Session to be cut short by seven weeks. That caused a lot of legislation to not get across the finish line. Three of my priorities and many other Missourians was the Wayfair/Internet Sales and Use Tax collection issue, Passage of the PDMP (Prescription Drug Monitoring Program), and an inflation adjustment to our Fuel Tax that funds our Transportation Infrastructure.

Due to the Radical Conservatives in the House and Senate the Fuel and Wayfair Tax issues didn’t get the time of day. The PDMP issue got a lot of committee discussion and floor time in the House and Senate, but due to the lack of a Conference Committee compromise it also failed to make it to the Governor’s desk. So Missouri continues to be the only State in the Nation without a PDMP which would help prevent People from Doctor hopping and purchasing prescription drugs from various pharmacies and selling them. The Legislative body also failed to address the Wayfair/Internet Tax Collection issue and Missouri along with Florida continue to be the only two States in the Nation that have not adopted policy to collect the Sales/Use tax on out-of-state businesses that ship and deliver merchandise into our State. This really hurts our local Brick and Mortar Stores as unfair competition and it is causing a severe decline in revenue for our Counties and Municipalities that depend on Sales tax for Law enforcement, Fire Protection, and other local government services.

These three priorities were big disappointments to me because I have been a Sponsor of the Wayfair/Internet Bill for eight straight years which would allow Missouri to join the 24 Streamline Sales Tax States who have already been collecting this much needed revenue. I have also been Co-Sponsors of the PDMP Bills for eight straight years. So due to term limits it will be up to new House and Senate members to tackle these controversial issues.

I was pleased to get two Memorial Highway naming Bills amended to an omnibus transportation bill that goes to the Governor for his signature.

This bill designates a portion of State Highway 13 from County Road NE 1000 south to County Road NE 800 thru Lowry City in St. Clair County as the “J.D. Stehwein Memorial Highway.”

The other bill designates the bridge on State Highway 13 crossing the Osage River in the city of Osceola as the “NASA Scientist Dr. Charles T. Bourland Memorial Bridge.

Upcoming events

The Discover More on Route 54 Annual Board Directors Meeting will be held at Smith’s Restaurant in Collins, MO at 2:15 pm May 20. All who are interested in promoting business and tourism along Hwy. 54 are welcome to attend, we really need volunteers. For more info call 417-830-1950.

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