It was a full productive week in Jefferson City. This week also happens to be FFA week. Many different members and individuals from the district spent time around the capitol. As a proud supporter and alumni of the legendary blue jacket it was great to see the representation. Even Governor Parson and Lieutenant governor Mike Kehoe drove tractors to the capitol that day.
Along with the other agriculture activities I was able to present my first ever bill in committee. House Bill 1023. Referred to as the Beginning Farmer legislation. It deals with income tax reductions for existing farmers who choose to sell or lease property to young Missouri based farmers in the industry. A real need to keep outside ownership, foreign investors, and large corporations from dominating the future of our industry and threating many family operations.
Many more bills that were heard or voted out of committee and making their way to the floor in both the house in senate. A few more of my committee highlights for the week for all of Missouri include:
HB909 regarding landfill regulations in Kansas City Missouri voted out of committee
Many different Covid Immunization related bills
Sports Betting/Wagering voted out of committee
As always don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions or concerns I thank you for your support and am honored to be your representative in Jefferson City.
House Approves Vital Workforce Development Bill (HB 417)
The members of the Missouri House gave strong bipartisan support to a piece of legislation designed to address the state’s current workforce shortage. By a vote of 124-29, the House approved HB 417 to help employers develop and retain skilled workers.
The bill would allow the Department of Economic Development to award grants to qualifying employers for each employee or prospective employee who obtains upskill credentials. Credentials that could be eligible under the program include manufacturing technology, cybersecurity, blueprint reading, medical assistants, pharmacy technician and medical records coding.
The bill’s sponsor said the measure will help businesses who have good employees or prospective employees that are a good cultural fit but might not have the necessary skills for certain positions.
The sponsor said, “This program allows businesses to do something that I think is vitally important right now and that is to grow their own workers.”
Under the bill, the department could award up to $6 million per fiscal year for upskill training. Each employer could receive up to $2,000 for each employee who obtains upskill credentials. The bill would cap the total an employer could receive at $30,000 per fiscal year.
HB 417 also ensures the funding, which is subject to appropriation, is distributed evenly among small, medium, and large employers. It would reserve one-third of the funding for small businesses with up to 50 employees and another third for medium employers with 51 to 200 employees. Any amount that is reserved and not awarded by March 1 of the fiscal year would be issued to any qualifying employer eligible for an award.
The bill’s sponsor said the provision would ensure the grants are available to Missouri’s many small businesses that can benefit greatly from it. “We want to make sure the mom and pop shops get a chance to upskill their workers just like the large corporations; to try to grow their own workers that can make their business more successful,” he said.
The bill also outlines the process by which an employer can apply for the grants with the Department of Economic Development. The applications would be evaluated on a competitive basis using criteria such as the average wage increase employees would realize with upskill credentials, the level of economic distress in the employer’s region, and the contribution made by the employer toward the cost of obtaining the upskill credentials.
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
House Approves Change to Motor Vehicle Sales Tax Collection (HB 415)
Car buyers would pay their sales tax at the dealership rather than a Department of Revenue (DoR) fee office under a piece of legislation given initial approval this week by the Missouri House of Representatives. With a first-round voice vote, lawmakers approved the bill that would streamline the process for consumers and help eliminate approximately 90 percent of the temporary tag abuse seen in the state.
The sponsor of the bill said, “The way the process will work is that you will go into the dealership, you’ll do all of your paperwork. You will leave with a temp tag, but that will start the ball rolling for DoR to issue your plates and you will receive them in the mail.”
One supporter of the bill said, “I think it does provide a convenience to taxpayers who are purchasing vehicles in order to take care of this all at the auto dealership.”
HB 415 simply states that licensed motor vehicle dealers would collect and remit sales tax on all motor vehicles sold. The sponsor noted that vehicle sales tax is the only sales tax not collected at the point of sale. He said his legislation would put Missouri in line with the other 47 states who require dealerships to collect the vehicle sales tax.
The sponsor said the bill will not only simplify the process, but will also allow car buyers the option to roll the sales tax into their financing rather than write a check for the full amount. He said, “For a lot of folks that becomes a more reasonable proposition because writing a check for $2,000 to pay the sales tax is a lot more difficult than adding $30 to your payment every month.”
The bill will also help address the problem the state has seen with car buyers who utilize their temporary paper plates beyond their expiration date. Current Missouri law allows buyers to pay for their vehicle and drive off the lot with temporary plates that are good for 30 days. Many drivers skip the final step to pay their taxes and get actual plates. The bill sponsor said the state is losing tens of millions of dollars in sales tax revenue under the current system.
The bill now requires another vote in the House before moving to the Senate.
Please contact me at:
201 West Capitol Avenue, Room 114B
Jefferson City, MO 65101-6806