AIM keeps tax cut discussion alive in Senate hearing this morning

Ray McCarty, president of Associated Industries of Missouri, testified today before the Senate Ways and Means Committee as the committee reviewed different ways to reform Missouri’s tax policy. The committee’s chairman, Senator Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit), opened testimony to the public to help the committee review tax structure in general rather than reviewing specific bills. “While the committee opened testimony to the public on general taxation concerns, AIM stands by its Broad-Based Tax Relief Act that will bring tax savings to every Missouri business,” said McCarty. “The fact of the matter surrounding tax policy is Missouri is not on a level playing field. Our neighbors are using the tools they have to attract businesses to Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arkansas or Iowa. As long as Missouri uses targeted tax credits rather than broad-based relief, the Show Me State will continue to lose those non-targeted businesses.” The Ways and Means hearing today comes a week after AIM’s tax cut bill, Senate Bill

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AIM promotes data center incentives priority

Associated Industries of Missouri testified this week before a House and Senate committee in favor of two initiatives to create incentives that will attract data centers to Missouri. Senate Bill 46, filed by Senator Mike Parson (R-Bolivar), and House Bill 222, filed by Representative Anne Zerr (R-St. Charles) are two bills in a long list of  bills that have been filed over the last five years. “AIM has been working to pass data center incentives for many years now,” said AIM President Ray McCarty. “According to one of our board members, if Missouri passed this initiative when we first had the chance, Missouri would have been fifth-friendliest state to data centers which provide great jobs. Now, five years later, we won’t be the fifth best, but we still have an opportunity to be high on the list by taking advantage of Missouri’s low energy rates and vast number of caves that house many of these centers.”

AIM meets with state leaders to discuss Second Injury Fund solution

AIM President Ray McCarty and three AIM board members met Monday in Jefferson City with Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, Senator Scott Rupp (R-St. Charles) and other business leaders to discuss the demise of the Second Injury Fund. Rupp is the sponsor of Senate Bill 1 which proposes several reforms to the Second Injury Fund, while Attorney General Koster’s office is tasked with defending the Fund against claims. “Attorney General Koster made it very clear that he wants the Fund simply fixed with a surcharge increase to afford the growing number of claims against the Fund,” said McCarty. “AIM, our board members and the other business leaders present made it clear that the business community intends to stand firm on a moderate surcharge increase only with real reforms to actually solve the problems of the Fund. The Fund’s problem is not limited to the amount of money available, but the amount of claims paid for injuries that are not work-related.”

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Nixon’s State of the State Address contains four business impact policies

At the dais of the Missouri House of Representatives, Governor Jay Nixon spoke for the fifth time to Missouri’s General Assembly on Monday night. Knowing that everyone in the chamber came from different backgrounds, ideologies and interests, he spoke to a common purpose. “Whatever our small differences may be, we are united in a common purpose: to serve all the people of Missouri; to make their lives better and to make life better for our children and grandchildren,” Nixon said. “These past four years, Missouri has weathered historic challenges – from nearly double-digit unemployment to the tornado in Joplin.” While Nixon addressed his vision for Missouri’s future, he discussed four initiatives in his 2013 budget that would impact Missouri business. The first will most likely be met with resistance to those Missourians too young to vote. “Right now, Missouri has the fourth-shortest school year in the nation,” said Nixon. “Adding six more days to the next school year will give

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Business community on the same page for Second Injury Fund reforms

The Missouri Senate’s Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee approved Senate Bill 1 today after the Senate adjourned this week in Jefferson City. Associated Industries of Missouri and every other business group in Missouri supports the bill that brings reforms to Missouri’s Second Injury Fund and clarifies the workers’ compensation law includes coverage of occupational diseases. “Business groups are united in a solution to fix the Second Injury Fund, which includes reforms and additional payments,” said AIM President Ray McCarty. “Plaintiff’s attorneys and organized labor argued against the bill due to the amount of funding. They don’t believe a three percent increase is enough, while business leaders know a six percent surcharge, combined with reforms, should be sufficient.” The plan approved this morning contains five reforms of the Second Injury Fund: Eliminates permanent partial disability claims Limits future claims to previous injuries or conditions resulting from work or military service Reduces the interest rate paid on outstanding SIF liabilities to the

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Business groups unite for ‘broad-based tax relief’ in Senate hearing

Eight different business groups joined the Senate Ways and Means Committee as it heard Associated Industries of Missouri’s “Broad-Based Tax Relief Act today in the Capitol. AIM, the Missouri Retailers Association, Missouri Grocers Association, National Federation of Independent Business, Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity, the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants, and others testified in favor of Senate Bill 11, filed by Senator Eric Schmitt (R-Glendale). “The theory is simple,” said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of AIM. “For less than three week’s worth of unemployment benefits per unemployed Missourian, the legislature can pass a bill to allow Missouri businesses to create jobs for those unemployed Missourians. Uncertainty at the federal level is stifling job creation. Missouri can offset that with real tax relief for every Missouri business.” While discussion in the hearing focused on Senate Bill 11, two other bills were also heard. Senate Bill 26, filed by the committee’s chairman, Senator Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit),

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AIM’s McCarty responds to St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial

The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch addressed Missouri’s Second Injury Fund and the Missouri Legislature’s “inaction” on the issue, calling it a “travesty” in an editorial Tuesday. The editorial had some inaccuracies. Associated Industries of Missouri responded with a letter to the editor. The Post has not responded to AIM’s call to get the facts straight. You can view the Post-Dispatch’s original editorial HERE and AIM President Ray McCarty’s response below. ——————————————————– Dear Editor, I’m writing in regards to the Post-Dispatch editorial board’s article on Missouri’s Second Injury Fund. I would like to start by thanking the board for starting the article by addressing the original intent of the Fund: veterans. The board was spot on in its explanation of benefits being paid to returning WWII veterans who wanted to enter the workplace, while employers were afraid to hire them. However, the board continues its argument stating the Fund owes money to new claimants who are mostly injured veterans. That is inaccurate. Since

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AIM partner BizLibrary hosts free webinar on Employee Performance Appraisals

AIM Events Associated Industries of Missouri has a partnership with online training provider BizLibrary. BizLibrary has helped many AIM members throughout the years. One of the benefits BizLibrary provides to our members is a weekly, free training webinar for HRCI credit. While those webinars are for members only, BizLibrary has agreed to host a webinar for friends of Associated Industries on Tuesday, January 22 at 1 p.m. The webinar will address performance reviews, which can be a burden for any manager. Attendees will also receive the same HRCI credit they do on the dedicated BizLibrary webinars. REGISTER today!

AIM’s McCarty: ‘Auditor Schweich’s report on SIF is no surprise’

Missouri State Auditor Thomas Schweich released a report on Missouri’s Second Injury Fund today stating the fund is insolvent due to fund cap limitations within 2005 legislative changes. Schweich stated in his report that the $28.1 million liability exists due to a three percent cap on the surcharge rate that was implemented in 2005. “Auditor Schweich’s release is no surprise to the business community,” said Ray McCarty, president of Associated Industries of Missouri. “AIM and other Missouri employers do take issue with his assumption that the surcharge cap caused the insolvency of the fund. In fact, paying claims for non-work related conditions such as diabetes, obesity or old sports injuries has resulted in outrageous payments from the Fund. “The entire business community embraced a package of reforms and additional funding more than a year ago. But, the plan did not satisfy plaintiffs’ attorneys who simply want to profit at the expense of employers.