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Senate Democratic Caucus puts forward 2017 legislative priorities

   

Good jobs, good schools, and safe communities for all Missourians top Democratic agenda

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Senate Democratic Caucus today put forward their legislative priorities for the 2017 Legislative Session. This comprehensive set of bills will help to ensure good schools, good jobs, and safe communities for all Missourians.

“I’m proud to lead this caucus of dedicated public servants who are committed to strengthening the middle class and growing Missouri’s economy so that we can invest in priorities including education, infrastructure, and public safety,” said Senate Democratic Leader Gina Walsh. “There are many challenges and opportunities facing the General Assembly this year, but I believe that by working together we can keep our state on the right track without leaving communities behind or breaking our promises to the people of this state.”

The legislative initiatives highlighted today, and their Democratic sponsors, include: 

Senate Joint Resolution 15: Fully Fund the Formula

Sponsored by Senator Rizzo

This legislation would provide Missouri voters the opportunity to approve a Constitutional Amendment to fully fund the Missouri Public School Finance Formula.

“Supporting our public schools should not be a political position, it should a shared value uniting all Missourians,” said State Senator John Rizzo. “Unfortunately, the promise to fully fund our schools has been broken too often by politicians in Jefferson City. It’s time we give this power back to the people by having their voices heard at the ballot box.”

 

Senate Bill 59: Comprehensive Lobbyist Gift Ban

Sponsored by Senator Sifton

This legislation would prohibit statewide elected officials and members of the General Assembly, in addition to their family, employees, and staff, from receiving any tangible or intangible item, service, or thing of value from lobbyists. The act would further bars lobbyists from delivering such items to such individuals.

 

Senate Bill 254: Raise the Wage

Sponsored by Senator Nasheed

This legislation would allow Missouri Voters to approve at the ballot box an increase of Missouri’s minimum wage from $7.65 to $10.00, effective Jan. 1, 2018. This legislation would also increase the minimum tipped wage from 50 percent to 60 percent.

 

Senate Bill 338: Missouri Non-Discrimination Act

Sponsored by Senator Schupp

This legislation would prohibit discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Such prohibited discrimination would include unlawful housing practices, denial of loans or other financial assistance, denial of membership into an organization relating to the selling or renting of dwellings, unlawful employment practices, and denial of the right to use public accommodations.

 

Senate Bill 339: Prohibition on Dark Money in Political Campaigns

Sponsored by Senator Schupp

This legislation would require all 501(c)(4) organizations to make disclosures regarding expenditures for the purpose of electioneering activities by means of covered communications made in the previous calendar year. This legislation follows the most recent General Election in Missouri in which the largest single contribution in state history, the true source of which has never been disclosed, was made to a candidate.

 

Senate Bill 340: Establishing the Missouri Narcotics Control Act

Sponsored by Senator Schupp

This legislation would direct the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to implement a statewide prescription drug monitoring program for the prescribing and dispensing of all Schedule II, III, and IV controlled substances in Missouri.

 

Senate Bill 342: Working Class Tax Cut

Sponsored by Senator Holsman

This legislation would create a twenty percent tax credit for low-income, working Missourians who qualify for the federal earned income tax credit. Under the proposed legislation, if the tax credit exceeds the amount of the taxpayer’s liability, it will be issued to that taxpayer as a refund.

 

Senate Bill 345: Optional Revenue Stream for Law Enforcement Body Cameras

Sponsored by Senator Nasheed

This legislation would allow counties and cities to impose court surcharge of up to $1 on each criminal case, including municipal or county ordinance violations if approved by a majority of the voters in the county or municipality. This money would then be used for the purchase, maintenance, and replacement of body cameras for law enforcement.

 

Senate Bills 350 and 205. Close the Gender Pay Gap

Sponsored by Senators Walsh and Sifton

This legislation would prohibit any employer from paying wages and benefits less than those earned by employees of the opposite gender for the same work performed under similar working conditions. Employers are prohibited from reducing wages or benefits to comply with these provisions.

 

Senate Bill 361: REAL ID Fix

Sponsored by Senator Hummel

This legislation would require the Missouri Department of Revenue to change its application and issuance procedures of drivers’ licenses and identification cards to comply with federal law.