My Fellow Missourians:
2017 Session reaches final week with several unresolved priorities:
As the Missouri House comes down to the final days of the 2017 legislative session, legislators have seen several of their top issues cross the finish line, but continue to wait for several other bills to receive approval from both chambers. To date the House has sent several of the legislative priorities of the House to the governor to become law, including bills that will:
· Make Missouri a Right-to-Work state to encourage more job creators to relocate to the state;
·End Project Labor Agreements to ensure public construction projects are more affordable for taxpayers;
·Establish a regulatory framework to allow rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft to expand throughout Missouri and create thousands of jobs;
·Implement substantive tort reform, including new expert witness standards that will make Missouri’s court system fairer for all; and
·Create penalties that will protect crops and farmland from the misuse of illegal pesticides.
The House has passed several bills this year that will make Missouri a better place to live, work and enjoy life. If we compared these bills to baling hay, the House has already baled more hay than the Senate will ever get picked up out of the field and put in the barn. My fear is that some of the really good hay is going to get rained on and rot in the field. They are:
·Prevailing Wage – Legislation that would repeal Missouri’s prevailing wage law to help reduce the cost of construction and maintenance projects for municipalities and school districts.
·REAL ID – Legislation that would give Missourians the option to obtain photo identification that complies with the federal REAL ID Act.
·Prescription Drug Monitoring Program – Legislation that would implement a prescription drug tracking system in an effort to prevent opioid abuse in Missouri.
At least one very important subject we finished before the Constitution-required May 5 deadline was the $27.7 billion state budget.