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Restaurant association brings ‘Taste of Missouri’ to Capitol

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Restaurant Association kicked off their Legislative Day with an address from the Lieutenant Governor and rounding out the evening showcasing food made in Missouri’s restaurants.

The annual event is designed to bring together restaurant operators throughout the Show-Me State to Jefferson City in order to promote the industry’s legislative initiatives and priorities to Senators and Representatives.

“I think of how many people start out in your business that you help somebody upon their careers be good citizens, to be good workers,” Parson said.

One-third of Americans get their first job in a restaurant. In Missouri, restaurants employ 11 percent of the state’s workforce — 302,500 people. The industry is the second largest private sector employer in the state and across the country.

Sen. Doug Libla and Rep. Dan Shaul also briefed members on issues and bills working their way through the General Assembly.

“We are going to have to start teaching students what they need to know in the 21st century,” said Libla. “In the past couple hundred years, we pretty much taught the same way and we are 18 years into the 21st century. It is time to move forward.

“The opportunity for young people to learn how to get up, go the work, whether you are waiting tables, or cooking in the back or washing dishes.”

The MRA is focused on several bills in the legislature this year, one of which is Rep. Elijah Haahr’s tax overhaul bill.The main provision in that legislation is the altering the timely-filing allowance where businesses retain 2 percent of sales taxes collected.

In Haahr’s original bill, it was completely eliminated and in the committee substitute, the 2 percent was capped at $1,000 per company.

Rep. Dan Shaul told the members that not altering the timely-filing allowance was ideal, but he had been working on a compromise for businesses. Hours after talking to the MRA, Shaul successfully got this amendment on the tax bill that would cap it at $1,500 per location, per month.

The MRA is also focused on HB 1397, which prohibits a political subdivision from requiring an employer to alter or adjust an employee’s schedule unless required by state or federal law, and HB 1357, which creates a state earned income tax credit equal to 20 percent of the federal credit or the taxpayer’s Missouri income tax liability, whichever amount is lessm along with SB 989 and HB 1943, which authorizes a state sales and use tax exemption for utilities used or consumed in the preparation of food ultimately sold to customers for consumption among others.

They rounded out their Legislative Day will Taste of Missouri, which drew in several hundred people who work in the Capitol. The food-focused event was enjoyed by state Senators, Representatives, and staff who explored fare from Missouri’s restaurants.