The special session has come to a close. Governor Mike Parson has signed two pieces of legislation straight from the General Assembly.
Many were unsure if Parson would actually veto the agriculture bill, given his background in agriculture. But the governor stayed true to his word and vetoed the bill and called for the revision of the bill during the special session. He also made a call for a historic income tax cut.
The special session had a very rocky start, getting pushed back a week during its genesis in early September. There were many signs from the start this session would be long and arduous. Both chambers and both sides of the aisle were in disagreement about what the governor was bringing forth.
The first piece of legislation was a statewide income tax cut. The governor’s proposal was hailed by some Republicans and detracted by others. Democrats were not happy with the proposal either, citing horrible road conditions and lack of teacher pay.
Regardless, a bill that came close to the Governor’s proposal was maneuvered through the senate by Sen. Lincoln Hough. The bill, SBs 3 & 5, was praised by Republicans but was not as well received by Democrats in the chamber. Sen. Razer and Sen. Schupp both made comments lamenting the bill and its potential effects on the future of the Missouri economy.
But in the end, the bill did garner some support from Democratic leadership in the Senate, with Minority Leader Sen. Rizzo praising the bill and Sen. Hough’s efforts. This reduces the state income tax rate from 5.2 to 4.95 percent, with triggers that could potentially lower it even further
The second piece of legislation that was in the spotlight also saw some debate. The agriculture bill passed during the regular session, albeit with help from the minority party. The biggest issue this bill faced this time was a wave of GOP infighting, something that has plagued both chambers of the assembly all year long. The bill faced a lot of resistance, even with a Republican supermajority in the House.
By all accounts, Majority Floor Leader Designate Rep. Dean Plocher had to dig in to get the bill out of the chamber and intact. The bill contained the coveted extension of six years for rural entities seeking MASBDA tax credits.
Many agriculture groups, such as the Missouri Farm Bureau and the Missouri Soybean Association have praised the agriculture bill in their respective releases.
Leadership in both chambers was credited with getting both pieces of legislation through.
Now both bills are signed into law by the governor, signaling the end of a weeks-long endeavor by legislators.
“Missouri’s elected officials have been hard at work at the State Capitol to pass critical support for farmers and ranchers and the largest income tax cut in state history for all taxpaying Missourians,” Governor Parson said. “This summer, we engaged stakeholders, representatives, and senators. We went to them, met them where they were, and formulated a concrete path ahead. Today, on the successful conclusion of our special session, we are proud to sign two historical pieces of legislation into law.” Parson said in a release about the signing.
The full release can be read here. The release also contains links to information for both bill
Kelton is a 2023 graduate of the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies. He is a native of mid-Missouri and likes to write politics at both the state and federal levels. Kelton joined the Missouri Times in April 2022