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Rick Francis

Representative Rick Francis, 145th District Representative

Submitted photo by Tim Bommel

Missouri House Approves Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HB 1266)

We approved legislation this week that would prohibit abortions on any fetus a doctor determines is capable of feeling pain. House Bill 1266 would prevent such abortions, unless they are found to be necessary, to avert the mother’s death. I supported this legislation because there is scientific evidence that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Tax Reform Bill Receives First-Round Approval (HB 2540)

This week we gave initial approval for tax reform legislation that would cut the state’s personal and corporate income tax rates and transform Missouri’s tax system to the most competitive in the nation. This legislation also generates much-needed funding to repair and improve Missouri’s aging transportation infrastructure.

In an effort to ease the tax burden on Missouri families, the bill would reduce the state’s highest personal income tax rate from 5.9 percent to 5.0 percent. The change would place Missouri in the top 10 states for lowest personal and corporate income tax. The bill would also help Missouri’s business climate by cutting the corporate income tax from 6.25 percent to 5.0 percent.

Additionally, the bill would generate much-needed revenues for the state’s roads and bridges. It would put Missouri in line with many other states by indexing vehicle user fees to the cost of inflation. The state’s current vehicle license and registration fees were put in statute in 1984, and have not changed in more than 30 years. The tax reform bill would update fees from their 1984 value to present day value. The increase is a key component to the effort to generate more than $2 billion in additional funding for transportation infrastructure over the next decade.

Additionally, to try and maintain financial stability to the state tax code, the bill would make a number of other reforms including:

• Joining the Streamlined Sales Tax agreement so that Missouri collects sales tax on online purchases so that Missouri brick and mortar businesses are on equal footing with online competitors;

• Phasing out the federal income tax deduction on state returns for individuals and corporations with over $150,000 in income;

• Implementing other necessary reforms that would eliminate government inefficiencies.

This bill is over 400 pages long. I am trying to go through it so I know exactly what it does. This bill thankfully would not take effect until 2020, which gives us more time to figure out if revenue will balance tax cuts allowing us to create a balanced budget. I want to cut our income tax, our business tax, fund our roads and bridges but I am concerned our revenue generators may not balance our tax cut. If cuts are necessary; funding for education and our most vulnerable citizens becomes very real.

My colleague, Elijah Haahr from Springfield, said “We go to Jefferson City to do bold and ambitious things for the state.”

This would definitely be one. Your thoughts and input is always appreciated.

Firefighters and First Responders Honored at State Capitol

It was a privilege for me to welcome and visit with firefighters and first responders from around the state at the Capitol building last week as part of the state’s annual Firefighters Day. Hundreds of first responders were on hand to participate in the event that is meant to recognize the importance of the work they do to keep Missouri families and communities safe.

Missouri’s fire service includes more than 24,000 career and volunteer responders working across more than 850 departments. Members of Missouri’s fire service not only respond to fires, vehicle accidents, and medical emergencies, they also play key roles in other emergencies including complex technical rescues, hazardous materials incidents, natural disasters, and homeland security special details. Firefighters also perform many other critical tasks, including fire safety inspections and working to educate the public about fire safety and prevention.


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