I hope everyone had a wonderful week. I attended Old Greenville Days and presented Vicki Patterson and the Historic Greenville Community Center with a U.S. and Missouri State flag that had been flown over our Capitol with certificates from the governor.
It was great weather for the festival and it was nice to visit with so many people. Later I attended the 199th Homecoming Celebration for Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church. The church originated in 1820 and is still thriving today. So often now days it seems that we see a lot of churches closing up their doors so it was a true honor to be able to present them with a House Resolution celebrating their milestone.
Special Session Legislation Signed into Law (HB 1)
Gov. Mike Parson recently signed legislation into law that will benefit Missourians who trade in more than one vehicle on the purchase of a new one. The members of the House and Senate returned to Jefferson City during their annual veto session a few weeks ago to work on the bill during a special session called by the governor.
The bill they passed fixes a state statute to allow the sales proceeds of more than one vehicle, trailer, boat, or outboard motor to be used as a credit against the sales tax owed on the purchase of another. The fix was necessary because a ruling by the Missouri Supreme Court clarified that the sales proceeds of only one vehicle may be used as a credit against the sales tax owed on the purchase of a new vehicle. With the special session bill now set to become law, the sale of multiple vehicles will be allowed to be used as a credit.
The governor called the special session to run concurrently with the constitutionally-mandated veto session in order to keep costs down for Missouri taxpayers. The governor signed the bill on Sept. 25. It will become law 90 days from that date.
While the the legislature was in Jefferson City to work on the special session legislation, Gov. Parson traveled to St. Louis to unveil his plan to help combat violent crime in the area. His plan was crafted after multiple meetings with state, local, and federal leaders and community groups to better understand the issues.
The governor’s plan will go into effect on October 1. Some of the key components of the plan include:
• Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Strike Force – Two state troopers will be assigned to the ATF Strike Force. As part of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives within the U.S. Department of Justice, the strike force works to protect communities and combat the growing number of violent crimes involving firearms, explosives, arson, and alcohol and tobacco products.
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• U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force – Two state troopers will be assigned to the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, which combines the efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to locate and apprehend the most dangerous fugitives and assist in high profile investigations.
• Mission SAVE (Strike Against Violence Early) Task Force – Two state troopers and one cyber analyst will be assigned to the Mission SAVE Task Force. Mission SAVE targets the most violent individuals while also working on long-term drug investigations around organized crime and gang activity.
• Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) Interstate Surges – Patrol surges will take place on interstates throughout St. Louis City, primarily on I-70 as well as I-55, I-44, and I-64, with four to six troopers assigned to each surge. The patrol surges are intended to apprehend violent criminals, remove them from the interstates, and free up local officers to patrol other high-crime areas.
• U.S. Attorney’s Office Adoptive Cases – The Missouri Attorney General’s Office is working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to assist with federal-level gun and drug cases. In addition to the Assistant Attorneys General the state has already provided, Governor Parson’s plan will assign two additional investigators to this already successful partnership.
• Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Funding – The state currently has approximately $2 million in VOCA funds available specifically for the St. Louis region, which will be used to support Victim Service Days through the Missouri Department of Public Safety. These will be staffed by two program representatives from the Crime Victim Services Unit and two social workers. VOCA funds will also potentially support additional victim advocates in the area.
• Probation and Parole Police Partnership – Probation and Parole is currently working with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) on a heightened supervision program for violent offenders. Probation and Parole is looking to better partner with local law enforcement agencies to further this program.
None of us, no matter where we’re from, want to see our children being shot in the streets. If we are to change violent criminal acts across our state, we must do our jobs, work together, and support our law enforcement officers to accomplish that goal.
Missouri’s Unemployment Rate Continues to Decline
Missouri received good news for the month of August as both the state’s workforce and economy continued to grow. The state’s most recent jobs report saw the state’s unemployment rate drop to 3.2 percent, which is down from the July rate of 3.3 percent. Missouri’s unemployment rate continues to be well below the national rate, which was at 3.7 percent for the month of August. Overall, Missouri has seen solid job growth with employment growing by 38,200 jobs over the last year. Growth has occurred in key industries such as health care and social assistance, which has grown by 13,700 jobs, and professional, scientific, and technical services, which have grown by 5,700 jobs.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, concerns, or suggestions you might have. As your Representative I am here to assist you however I can. I can be reached by email at Chris.Dinkins@house.mo.gov or by phone at 573-751-2112.