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I hope everyone had a blessed Easter while celebrating the resurrection! I enjoyed having my family home for the holiday. It’s so much fun watching the grandbabies dye and hunt Easter eggs. I had a wonderful visit this week in the Capitol with Sharon Gibson from Potosi. Sharon works with the Parents as Teachers program and was advocating on their behalf. It is always so heartwarming to visit with people who have such a passion for what they do. Potosi Parents as Teachers is very lucky to have Sharon. Thanks Sharon for all you do!

Missouri’s Mammography Policies

Currently insurance coverage is required for mammograms every year for women age 50 and over. This week I added an amendment to a bill that will change the guidelines for mammograms from 50 years of age to 40 years and over. This will bring Missouri's mammography policies up to date with the most recent recommendations by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Radiology. If this bill goes on to pass in the Senate, women in Missouri will now be able to get a mammogram every year beginning at age 40. I know that many of your families, like mine, have felt the impact of breast cancer. Detecting and treating breast cancer as early as possible is the best way to prevent death from this terrible disease that has impacted so many of our friends, family, and loved ones.

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

This week the House gave initial approval this week to comprehensive tax reform legislation that would cut the state’s personal and corporate income tax rates and transforms Missouri’s tax system to the most competitive in the nation. The legislation would also make substantive reforms to generate much-needed funding to repair and improve Missouri’s aging transportation infrastructure.

The bill would reduce the state’s highest personal income tax rate from 5.9 percent to 5.0 percent helping to ease the tax burden on Missouri families. The change would place Missouri in the top 10 states for lowest personal 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. This reduction would also put Missouri in the top 10 states for the lowest corporate income tax.

Additionally, to maintain financial stability to the state tax code, the bill would make a number of other reforms including reducing waste in state government by consolidating maintenance between certain government agencies and implementing other necessary reforms that would eliminate government inefficiencies. The reforms are critical components to keep the bill fiscally responsible and as close to revenue neutral as possible. The bill now requires another vote in the House before moving to the Senate.

Bills Headed to the Senate

Welfare Reform- HB 1486 would require any individual participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to comply with the work requirements described in federal statute and regulations. Any nonexempt participant who refuses or fails without good cause to comply with the work requirements would be ineligible to participate in the program for three months for the first occurrence of noncompliance; six months for the second occurrence; and two years for the third occurrence of noncompliance. I believe this could help encourage people to move away from dependency on government help and back to work.

Shared Parenting- HB 1667 would establish a rebuttable presumption that child custody arrangements that award equal parenting time are in the best interest of the child. It is only fair for equal parenting time for both parents to be considered in the best interest of the child, unless there is some evidence showing that one parent is not fit. Oftentimes, courts will still automatically presume that mothers are the best parents and that fathers are not as fit to parent. I do not believe that fathers should have to spend endless hours in court and spend tons of money just to prove that they are equally fit to care for their children. Children need both parents in their lives when both parents are fit parents. I filed a bill that would mandate rebuttal presumption, but due to me being sworn in after the legislative session was well underway it did not have time to make it through the process so I’m am excited to see this bill make it through. I have worked on shared parenting legislation with Representative Jim Neely for the past 5 years and feel it is extremely important for the well being of the child.

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.

Missouri 144th District State Representative Chris Dinkins, R-Annapolis, files a report every week while the state legislature is in session. 

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