House sends bill limiting UI benefits to governor

The Missouri House of Representatives Wednesday sent Governor Nixon a bill that would reduce the weeks an unemployed person in Missouri would be eligible for benefits based on the state’s unemployment rate. Senate Bill 673, sponsored by Sen. Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City) would reduce the benefit weeks from the current full amount of 20 at 9 percent unemployment, down to 13 weeks when the state’s rate is less than 6 percent. The bill’s handler in the House, Rep. Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City), said the bill brings more rationality to Missouri’s unemployment system. “As the economy is better, the need for unemployment benefits decreases and so too should those benefits,” said Barnes. The state’s unemployment rate for the first quarter of the year has fluctuated between 6 and 6-and-a-half percent. That would equate to 14 weeks of jobless benefits. Supporters believe the measure could help the state pay back the money it borrowed from the federal government during the months when

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Missouri Senate passes sales tax for transportation ballot issue

The Missouri Senate has given its approval to a proposed ballot issue that would ask Missouri voters to raise the state sales tax by three-quarters of a percent for a ten-year period to fund transportation projects in Missouri. House Joint Resolution 68 sought a one percent sales tax increase, but a Senate Substitute introduced by Sen. Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City), lowered the sales tax amount to three-quarters percent. The resolution passed the Senate by a 22-10 vote. The sales tax would be used to raise about $4.5 billion for projects that the Missouri Department of Transportation says it will not have the funds to complete otherwise. Because the resolution passed by the Senate was a substitute, the resolution now goes back to the House which will have the final say on the legislation. If the House agrees to the Senate Substitute, then the resolution goes to the statewide ballot this coming November.

House gives final passage to unemployment change

The Missouri House of Representatives has given final passage to a bill that will allow employers to manage their businesses and workforces as necessary. By a 107-45 margin, the House Tuesday sent Senate Bill 510 to Governor Nixon’s desk. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit) redefines “misconduct” and “good cause” for the purposes of disqualification from unemployment benefits. The bill passed the Senate easily earlier this session, but AIM and several other groups and legislators waited to see if the definitions included in the bill passed muster with the U.S. Department of Labor. If not, and the legislature passed the bill, Missouri businesses could have lost their unemployment tax credits. Earlier this month, the Department of Labor signed off on the bill’s language and the legislation moved forward. “This bill has been a long time coming,” said Associated Industries of Missouri president Ray McCarty. “Currently, the balance between workers and employers in unemployment appeals is out of

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NAM: George Allen calls on congress to pass reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank

A Washington Examiner (4/25) op-ed by George Allen, former Republican Governor and Senator from Virginia, says that reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank is a “no-brainer.” Allen calls on fellow Republicans to support the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank because it “spurs American business and jobs, while helping to reduce the federal deficit at no cost to taxpayers,” historically Republican ideals. Allen then gives examples of how the Export-Import Bank has helped small companies export to places like China and Australia, act as the “lender of last resort” when private lenders can’t or won’t lend to businesses, and help repay the national debt through the fees it charges for its services. Allen concludes that reauthorization is a decision that should be easy for people on both sides of the aisle and that the Export-Import Bank is an organization to be “cherished.” Manufacturers Continue To Push For Reauthorization Of Export-Import Bank. Reuters (4/24, Hughes) reports that the president of the Ex-Im Bank, Fred Hochberg, urged members of

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AIM Board of Directors meets, stands with legislative leaders in support of tax cut

Members of the Board of Directors of Associated Industries of Missouri gathered for their semi-annual meeting Thursday, taking time out to support Senate Bill 509 during a news conference at the State Capitol. The business leaders made for a powerful group that stood behind Speaker of the House Rep. Tim Jones (R-Eureka), Majority Floor Leader Rep. John Diehl (R-Town and Country), Speaker Pro Tem Rep. Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg), and House Budget Chair Rep. Rick Stream (R-Kirkwood). During their remarks, both Jones and Diehl pointed out that the tax cut in Senate Bill is a measured and responsible tool to help businesses and individuals keep more of their money to invest in the future. “We have put a good, fair, reasonable tax cut on the governor’s desk, and we continue to urge him, despite his comments, to approve that legislation and to work with the legislature and the people of the state of Missouri who want this relief rather than against

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House Ways and Means committee hears several pieces of important legislation

When state legislators arrived back in the State Capitol following their Easter break Tuesday evening, members of the House’s Ways and Means Committee went right to work on several pieces of legislation supported and/or drafted by Associated Industries of Missouri. The committee held a hearing on Senate Bill 584, legislation that specifies how sales taxes are collected in places of amusement, entertainment, recreation, games, and athletic events. The bill is one of several designed to reign in the Department of Revenue as it broadens its reach to collect sales taxes from entities that are unaware of their tax collection responsibility. AIM and TRIM support the legislation. “The bill would clarify when sales tax should be collected in places of amusement, recreation and entertainment,” AIM president Ray McCarty told committee members. “The Department of Revenue often changes their interpretations and this will help clarify the legislative intent.” The committee heard House Bill 2218, AIM/TRIM legislation that changes the laws regarding sales

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Senate Ways and Means Committee had busy week too

The Missouri Senate’s Ways and Means Committee this week took up some important pieces of legislation. On Tuesday, the committee approved a piece of legislation sponsored by Rep. Eric Burlison (R-Springfield) that, among other things, shifts the burden of proof in tax disputes for all businesses to the Director of the Department of Revenue. The legislation makes sure taxpayers are considered innocent until proven guilty by the DOR when the DOR alleges additional taxes are due. House Bill 1179 now moves on to the Senate floor for additional debate. The Senate Ways and Means Committee also approved House Bill 1296, sponsored by Rep. Andrew Koenig (R-St. Louis). The original bill allows vendors to advertise that the required state sales tax has been absorbed into the price of property sold or service rendered. A Senate Substitute of the bill added apportionment language for non tangible personal property taxpayers. House Bill 1296 now moves on to the Senate floor for further debate.

Ray McCarty appears on KWOS’ Open Air program

AIM president Ray McCarty made his second appearance in the last month on the Jefferson City radio station’s morning news talk show on Friday April 18. Ray was there to talk about the Main Street Growth and Opportunity Coalition, which he did, but this was the day after the Missouri House gave final passage to Senate Bill 509 which was already drawing fire from Governor Nixon, so there was a lot of discussion on that as well. Listen by clicking on the icon below.

Shared Work Program moves forward in House and Senate

Wednesday was a good day for backers of legislation that makes necessary changes to the Missouri Shared Work Program. Senate Bill 844 was Third Read and Passed in the State Senate by a 30-0 margin. Meanwhile, House Bill 1713, an identical bill to SB 844, passed a first round voice vote in the House of Representatives. Associated Industries of Missouri has made passage of the legislation a priority and had issued a legislative alert to State Senators in support of the legislation. In addition, voices of Missouri employers obviously helped as the legislation on this important issue has gone from stalled, to on-the-move in a very short time. SB 844 and HB 1713 make changes to the Missouri Shared Work Unemployment Compensation Program that are necessary to comply with federally mandated changes to that program. Without these necessary changes, Missouri employers will no longer be able to participate in the Shared Work Program. The Shared Work Program allows Missouri employers

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Senate sends tax exemption for aircraft parts to Governor

Moving to support airplane repair operations at Kansas City International Airport, and elsewhere, the Missouri Senate this week voted to remove an expiration date from the state’s sales and use tax exemption on airplane replacement parts. The extension of the exemption clears the way for Aviation Technical Services to lease a portion of the KCI  Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Base at Kansas City International Airport. The operation, which at full capacity will provide ATS with 607,000 square feet of operating space, will create more than 500 new jobs over the next three to five years with potential for 1,000 employees over time. The Everett Washington-based ATS hopes to have its operation fully in place within three years. House Bill 2029  was given unanimous support in the State Senate on Wednesday. The bill is now on the governor’s desk  awaiting his signature.