Rick Francis

Representative Rick Francis, 145th District Representative

We gave preliminary approval to legislation that would give Missourians a break on late payment of taxes. The bill comes in response to issues within the Missouri Department of Revenue that have resulted in many Missourians owing more income tax or getting smaller tax refunds this year. This bill would block late payment penalties on tax debt owed to the state by individual taxpayers through the end of this year.

Because of changes in the Federal tax code, our overall debt is down. Missourians are keeping more money in their pockets, but we’ve got to fix this withholding thing for Missourians.

House Approves Bill with Campus Carry Provision (HB 575)

This week we voted to allow individuals with concealed carry permits to carry firearms on college campuses in Missouri. The intent of this legislation is to help students protect themselves from sexual assaults and other threats on campus. When Kansas passed this a few years ago they saw a 60-percent decrease in violent assaults on campus. Why? It’s because there was a deterrent. The legislation also allows higher education institutions to designate and train staff members to be campus security officers who may carry concealed firearms.

Other Bills Sent to the Senate

HB 584 would increase specified motor vehicle and trailer registration fees. Current fees of $2.50 or $3.50 depending upon what type of license and this fee would be increased to a flat $6. Fees have not been increased since 1999. Without an increase some of the state’s license bureaus will close. The Marble Hill License office was closed 3 years ago when I took office, I worked with the Department of Revenue and Governor Greitens to get it reopened. In 2018, the license bureau lost $1,000. Thank goodness the owners also see it as a community service. Fredericktown has had its license office closed within the last year and now has reopened by a not-for-profit organization (Madison County Health Department). If we don’t increase fees more rural license bureaus will close. Folks will have to travel out of their county or do their transactions online. This will cause inconveniences especially for our senior citizens.

HB 745 requires courts to notify school administrators of any change in a child's custody, where a child is a person under 18 years of age, within one business day of the change, and for the school to acknowledge the change notification within one business day. The bill will help prevent child endangerment and ensure that custody orders are enforced promptly to prevent harm. As a middle school principal I have had situations where the court did not inform us that custody had been changed and that put me in a situation that the custodial parent was irate that I let a parent pick up a child when they were not supposed to. This bill will allow the courts and the schools to work together to do what is in the best interest of the child.

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