Capitol Report 03/05/2015

Reducing Red Tape & Support at the Fort
The House passed legislation this week to make Missouri friendlier to businesses of all sizes. The legislation (HB 513) would reduce the filing fees for businesses throughout Missouri, and make Missouri the state with the lowest business fees in the nation.

Just a few weeks ago the Missouri House approved a resolution to urge the Department of Defense and Missouri’s Congressional delegation to protect, promote, and leverage Missouri’s military bases and agencies. This week nearly 80 members of the General Assembly traveled to Fort Leonard Wood, along with statewide and federal elected officials, to support thousands of jobs at Fort Leonard Wood.

Also this week my colleagues and I made the trip from Jefferson City to Clayton to pay respects to State Auditor Tom Schweich, who tragically passed away last week. It was a somber and emotional moment as we remembered this man who had worked so hard for our state, and who had such a bright future of service ahead of him.

Upon returning to the Capitol, the House met to approve a resolution honoring and memorializing Schweich. As the resolution said, “Schweich’s professionalism, passion for civil service, and relentless defense against corruption, waste, and abuse serve as a standard for us all.” I know I speak for all of my colleagues in the legislature when I say Schweich was a great public servant who will be dearly missed by both Republicans and Democrats.

You may read more about what is happening at your Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently and tirelessly for you as your State Representative.

Reducing Red Tape
The House also passed legislation this week to make Missouri friendlier to businesses of all sizes. The legislation would reduce the filing fees for businesses throughout Missouri, and make Missouri the state with the lowest business fees in the nation.

Right now, filing fees can vary based on the type of business entity and the type of work being performed. The bill we approved reduces all of the fees and makes them streamlined to $5 on business filings. These dollars go to the technology trust fund that pays for our state’s new online filing system.

One thing we know from talking to businesses all around the state is that they find all of the bureaucratic red tape to be confusing and a substantial obstacle. By cutting some of this tape we can get government even more out of the way so that businesses can freely grow and prosper.

Support at the Fort
Just a few weeks ago the Missouri House approved a resolution to urge the Department of Defense and Missouri’s Congressional delegation to protect, promote, and leverage Missouri’s military bases and agencies. This week nearly 80 members of the General Assembly traveled to Fort Leonard Wood, along with statewide and federal elected officials, to support thousands of jobs at Fort Leonard Wood.

I’m proud of my colleagues for taking a stand in support of the men and women of our Armed Forces. Right now, Fort Leonard Wood is facing the threat of losing 5,400 jobs at the base. The proposed cuts are part of the federal government’s efforts to cut the military workforce by 14 percent. While we understand the need for the budget reductions, we also know such a drastic cut to the workforce would be extremely harmful to the communities around Fort Leonard Wood, and to our state’s economy.030215-0232

In the weeks and months to come I know we will continue to see the state’s leaders work together to do all we can to save these jobs. The thousands of folks who turned out for the listening post this week are testimony to the importance of the base to the surrounding communities and our state. My hope is that we can save these jobs and prevent the devastating impact the cuts would have on Missouri families.

Honoring Auditor Schweich
Also this week my colleagues and I made the trip from Jefferson City to Clayton to pay respects to State Auditor Tom Schweich, who tragically passed away last week. It was a somber and emotional moment as we remembered this man who had worked so hard for our state, and who had such a bright future of service ahead of him.

Upon returning to the Capitol, the House met to approve a resolution honoring and memorializing Schweich. As the resolution said, “Schweich’s professionalism, passion for civil service, and relentless defense against corruption, waste, and abuse serve as a standard for us all.” I know I speak for all of my colleagues in the legislature when I say Schweich was a great public servant who will be dearly missed by both Republicans and Democrats.

Property Tax Credit
The Missouri Property Tax Credit Claim gives credit to certain senior citizens and 100 percent disabled individuals for a portion of the (county) real estate taxes or rent they have paid for the year. The credit is for a maximum of $750 for renters and $1,100 for owners who owned and occupied their home. The actual credit is based on the amount of real estate taxes or rent paid and total household income (taxable and nontaxable).If you rent from a facility that does not pay property taxes, you are not eligible for a Property Tax Credit. Visit the link below for additional details:

http://dor.mo.gov/personal/ptc/

HB 179 Passes the House
I am very proud that my first bill, HB 179, which allows a retired military member to provide a Veterans’ Identification Card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs in order to receive a veteran designation on his or her driver’s license, has passed the House with a vote of 156”ayes” to 0 “noes”. You can listen to the vote on HB 179 here! The bill now moves on to the Senate.

Constituent Visits
I was quite honored to receive a visit from friend and constituent Les Young and his son this week on the House Floor. 030415-0972

District Events
March 12th 6 PM– Lincoln Days at the Recklein Auditorium in Cuba, MO.

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 115H, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

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