Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was observed Jan. 21, in honor of his life and achievements as an American civil rights leader. The Senate did not convene for session, and our offices were closed to honor this holiday. This year marked a milestone as it would have been Dr. King’s 90th birthday. After the long weekend, I was rested and ready to resume session.
Committee hearings began this week, and part of each committee’s responsibility is to consider bills that have been assigned to it. Senate Bill 14 was heard by the Seniors, Families and Children Committee on Wednesday, and Senate Bill 15 was heard by the Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee on Thursday. This process allows the committee to hear the bill summary from the sponsor, but also hear witness testimony from those who favor or oppose the bill. The committee members are allowed to ask the sponsor and witnesses questions in order to gather more information about the proposed legislation. This is an important part of the process because it gives citizens the opportunity to present their thoughts and concerns on matters before the committee.
As promised, I want to share with you the rest of the legislation I have filed for the 2019 legislative session.
Senate Bill 169 – Current law sets maximum civil penalties for any entity that violates federally mandated natural gas safety standards. This bill repeals those penalties and states that violations of natural gas safety standards are subject to a civil penalty, not to exceed an amount as determined by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, pursuant to federal regulations.
Senate Bill 180 – This act aims to recruit and bring jobs to Missouri by creating an additional tax credit through the Missouri Works Program. This new tax credit would be used to expand or improve an existing military base or installation. As a member of the Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission, this bill is especially important to me. It is imperative that we do everything we can to incentivize the economic development opportunities surrounding our state’s military bases.
Senate Bill 184 – This bill modifies the Missouri Works Training Program and renames it the Missouri One Start Program. This bill will allow the Department of Economic Development to contract with other entities such as businesses, industries, state agencies and other political subdivisions for the purpose of implementing a training project under the program.
Senate Bill 185 – This proposal provides eligibility for all employees of the Missouri Housing Development Commission and the Environmental Improvement Energy Resource Authority for membership in the Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System. I am a member of the MOSERS Board of Trustees, and I am pleased to propose this act so that more state employees can become members of MOSERS and receive benefits through the organization.
Senate Bill 208 – This act modifies the Senior Citizens Property Tax Credit Program by removing renters from eligibility, making the program applicable only to homeowners.
Senate Bill 211 – The fee imposed on the sale of new tires in the state expires on Jan. 1, 2020. This act extends that expiration date to Dec. 31, 2025.
Senate Bill 258 – This bill would require all state and political subdivision licensing authorities to explicitly list the specific criminal offenses, civil penalties or judgments or disciplinary actions taken by other licensing authorities that would disqualify an applicant from receiving a license and only consider that criteria when assessing an applicant’s character or moral fitness.
Senate Bill 278 – This act requires any public water system or public water supply district that intends to modify the fluoridation of its water supply to seek and receive information about the impact of public water fluoridation from the local health department.
Senate Bill 291 – This proposal modifies provisions relating to the service charge incurred from the purchase of a prepaid wireless emergency telecommunications device. The initial percentage rate of this service charge is to be deposited in the Missouri 911 Service Trust Fund. It also extends the expiration date of the prepaid wireless emergency telephone service charge to Jan. 1, 2024.