The Missouri Legislature is now nearly a third of the way through the 2019 Legislative Session. During the first weeks of session, both the House and Senate have made substantial progress moving some of their key priorities, as well as progressing on the Governor’s top legislative priorities.
Recently, the Senate unanimously passed legislation to reform the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. Senator Dan Hegeman sponsored the bill and shepherded it through the legislative process with the assistance of Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden. The legislation would allow the state to save nearly a billion dollars over the next decade and restart this key program that provides quality, affordable housing to low-income Missourians across the state.
“I believe the Senate had a productive debate and ultimately came to a compromise that addresses housing needs, while ensuring greater accountability and an increased return on the investment of taxpayer dollars,” Governor Parson said.
Earlier this month, the House passed legislation to establish a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) in the state. Representative Holly Rehder sponsored the legislation in the House. The legislation would combat prescription drug abuse by providing prescribers a tool to find and address abuses. If passed, Missouri would join the rest of the country in implementing a PDMP.
The Governor’s main infrastructure priority for this legislative session, his bonding plan to repair or replace 250 bridges across the state, has been heard in both Senator Rowden’s Senate Rules Committee and Representative Becky Ruth’s House Transportation Committee. The plan has received no testimony in opposition and was voted out of Senate Committee unanimously. Several senators have also joined the Governor at stops across the state to express their support of the proposal.
“Missouri’s roads and bridges are a vital part of our state’s infrastructure and a critical part of local communities’ ability to promote and attract business, as well as ensure the safety of Missourians,” Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz said. “I also share the Governor’s optimism in being able to work together on this big issue and the potential it represents for communities across Missouri.”
The Governor’s plan is funded through budget savings and will accelerate more than $1 billion worth of local projects with no new tax dollars.
Two of the Governor’s top workforce development priorities, Fast Track and Missouri One Start, have received positive feedback and are working through the legislative process. Fast Track was voted out of Senator Gary Romine’s Senate Education Committee and Representative Kathy Swan’s House Workforce Committee unanimously with no testimony in opposition. The legislation has been heard on the House and Senate floors. Additionally, Missouri One Start was unanimously voted out of Representative Derek Grier’s House Economic Development Committee and has been heard in Senator Wayne Wallingford’s Senate Economic Development Committee.
“I am excited and committed to developing a vibrant workforce by passing innovative and bold ideas like Fast Track and Missouri One Start through the Missouri House,” Speaker of the House Elijah Haahr said. “We appreciate our ability to work with Governor Parson and look forward to continuing our progress that will make a difference for thousands of Missourians.”
The 2019 Legislative Session began on January 9 and will conclude on May 17.
“The legislature’s willingness to tackle big issues important to the lives of all Missourians has made for a productive start to the 2019 Legislative Session and based on the hard work and dedication of the legislature, I look forward to celebrating many shared victories in May,” Governor Parson said.