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Henderson: ‘This is not something any of us take lightly’

The 2018 Legislative Session officially ends at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 18th. This was a very productive Session and I am proud of the Members of the House for what we have accomplished. With the distractions that have taken place with our Governor, both the House and Senate Chambers have continued to work together to introduce, to debate and to eventually Truly Agree and Finally Pass many good pieces of legislation that will benefit our constituents.

At approximately 7:00 pm this Friday, the House will gavel into Special Session for the purpose of looking at charges that could lead to impeachment of the Governor. This is not something any of us take lightly. It is also something that has become muddied by politics getting involved in it. There have been text messages between Democrat Members of the House and the alleged victim. Also, Kim Gardner, Prosecutor from St. Louis and a former Democratic Member of the House of Representatives has been texting the alleged victim.

My job as a Member of the House under the State Constitution will be to decide if the information provided shows the Governor may have violated his constitutional oath. The House of Representatives serves a function similar to a grand jury. We decide if there is enough evidence that there should be a trial. If we would vote to impeach, the Senate would then impanel seven sitting Judges. These Judges would then make the final decision if the Governor violated the Constitution.

My Bills:

HB 1290 is now on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature. HB 1290 requires that the POW/MIA flag be flown on state properties that have the proper poles to fly the US, Missouri and POW/MIA flags together. It also says that if they do not have a flag and one is not provided by a citizen or local VFW they are not required to fly it. The bill has no cost to the state of Missouri but is very important to the veterans in our area. This bill was brought to me by several veterans from our local VFW’s.

HB 1291 has been Truly Agreed and Finally Passed. HB 1291 is an omnibus local and County government bill. For St Francois County it gives the County Commissioners flexibility in their use of the Special Road and Bridge Tax money. This bill was brought to me by our County Commissioners and will be put it to good use to help all the citizens of the county.

HB 2306 is now rolled into Senate bill 659 and was Truly Agreed and Finally Passed this week. It now just needs the signature of the Governor. It allows the creation of a non-profit land trust for the purpose of managing contaminated land. The purpose is to allow the people of St. François County to access the $24.5 million in ASARCO funds. These are the funds from the settlement from lead contamination. The same funds that were used to purchase state parks in areas that were not affected by lead contamination. It is imperative we get these funds moving in the area they were intended for.

HB 2225 is now rolled into SB 892 and was passed on the last day of session. This is a consumer protection bill related to the billing practices of insurance companies. . Anyone who has been frustrated with getting insurance to pay those unexpected emergency room and out of network bills will be very excited about this bill.

Bills of Interest:

SB 1007 This bill modifies and repeals several provisions relating to the State Personnel Law, commonly referred to as the merit system. Currently, with the exception of attorneys, all offices, positions, and employees within numerous state departments and agencies are subject to the merit system. This bill modifies the merit system so that it only applies to employees in eleemosynary or penal institutions and employees in agencies that are required to maintain merit standards by federal law or regulations for grant-in-aid programs. SB 1007 will not affect the Merit System for those employed the Department of Corrections!

SB 564 is commonly called the Ameren bill. This bill authorizes electrical corporations to apply to the Public Service Commission for an interim rate change mechanism outside of a general rate case to adjust for impacts to utility revenues. However, the authorization shall only be granted from January 1, 2019, to January 1, 2029. Any electrical corporation that applies for an interim rate change mechanism shall quarterly file a surveillance report with required components detailed in the bill.

HB 2540 There are three components to HB 2540. The first is that it lowers the individual tax rate by .4%, from 5.9% to 5.5% starting in tax year 2019. To offset this cut, the federal income tax deduction is phased out at incomes above $125,000. Finally, it lowers the business income pass through exemption to 20%, down from 25%. This change will make Missouri the 14th lowest state out of states with an income tax.

Along with lowering personal income tax rates, SB 884 lowers the corporate rate from 6.25% to 4%. It maintains revenue neutral by eliminating the 3 factor apportionment method for businesses and moves to single sales factor only. Under the 3 factor apportionment method, out of state businesses paid a lower percentage of their income in taxes due to not having capital or payroll in the state. Going to single sales factor only encourages businesses to invest in Missouri and puts in state businesses on a level playing field.

I will be sending out an End of Session report once report is finalized. With Session ending, I will be back in our district and available to attend various events. I am also available to you should you need any help with state matters.

It has been my honor to serve this first term as your State Representative.

Missouri 117th District House Representative Mike Henderson, R-Bonne Terre, files his Capitol report at the end of each week during the state legislative session.

Henderson

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