Join the Manufacturing Army in Washington June 10–11

Manufacturers of all sizes from across the United States will converge in Washington, D.C., for the NAM’s 2014 Manufacturing Summit June 10–11. NAM members will have the opportunity to meet with members of Congress and Administration officials, talk with congressional leaders and network with their colleagues during this annual two-day, action-packed fly-in event. It’s not too late to get involved! To register for the full Summit or individual events, click here. “Manufacturing is making a comeback, but imagine how much stronger this comeback could be if Washington removed impediments to growth and focused on policies that will help us compete, innovate and strengthen our communities,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Manufacturers are engaged in the policy battles that will determine the future path of our country.” Your advocacy can push lawmakers across the finish line on policies critical to manufacturers’ competitiveness. According to a survey of congressional staff conducted by the Congressional Management Foundation, “in-person visits by constituents” is the best strategy to influence an undecided lawmaker.

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Administration touts unsupported doom and gloom estimate of taxpayer protection bills…again

The Nixon administration has been hard at work contacting various constituencies to let them know they believe the taxpayer protection bills passed by the legislature will cost the state and local government enormous amounts of money. Sound familiar?  It should. After the legislature passed House Bill 253 last year, a responsible tax cut measure that included some items requested by the administration, the Nixon administration took to podium and announced the bill would decimate state revenues, costing the state $1.2 billion in a single year.  They vowed to protect the state budget and withheld money from education as a protective measure, in case the legislature overrode the governor’s veto.  Why education?  Good question, but back to the story. The legislature tried but failed to override the governor’s veto, mainly because of pressure from local school officials. The legislature then passed Senate Bill 509, another responsible tax cut bill.  This time, the bill was simply a tax cut bill with safeguards

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NAM leads industry coalition in response to administration’s greenhouse gas regulations

An article written by Politico Pro highlights the NAM’s efforts to advocate for a more balanced approach from the EPA that doesn’t hurt manufacturers’ competitiveness. The article quotes the Partnership for a Better Energy Future, a coalition of over 150 organizations co-founded by the NAM in response to the Administration’s greenhouse gas regulatory agenda as saying, “The Partnership has engaged EPA constructively in this process” and has begun planning for future activities “to make our concerns heard loud and clear.” Should NAM members want to read the full article for free, they may contact National Association of Manufacturers Account Manager Molly Fluet Bloomberg (5/30, Dorning) reports that the message from NAM vice president Ross Eisenberg is that the EPA’s new rules are a real threat to jobs in the US. Lower energy costs give business “an extraordinary advantage,” said Eisenberg. “Manufacturers are on the verge of a comeback here,” he added. “Don’t mess that up.” Eisenberg explained that the National

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The governor speaks out against tax cuts

Governor Nixon this week came out in no uncertain terms against tax cutting legislation passed by the General Assembly in bills such as SB 584. In appearances in St. Louis and Kansas City, the governor said the cuts will “make it harder for local governments to provide the services Missourians count on”. Read a full account of the tax cuts the governor is talking about and some rebuttal from AIM president Ray McCarty in this analysis piece by David Lieb of the  Associated Press.

For Missouri businesses, better fee disclosure means better business

Many business members of Associated Industries of Missouri rely upon secure credit card transactions as an integral part of everyday business transactions.  But business owners may not know upfront what fees are charged. MasterCard plans to provide more transparency in the process and we support that transparency. Today, electronic transactions are the norm and are good for businesses of all sizes. The technology that makes these transactions possible uses a network to process and transmit payments.  Businesses receive the payment from the cardholder’s bank immediately and the fraud protection embedded in the technology makes sure the transactions are secure. However, understanding payment processing fees and negotiating rates can be daunting, especially for small to mid-sized businesses.  Confusion regarding fees and rates causes problems and can be eliminated through better education of the business regarding the fees. The key is to understand the exact fees that are charged and how they are structured so the business may compare rates of different

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AIM and House Research prepare Annual Summaries of TAFP Bills

Associated Industries of Missouri and the Missouri General Assembly staff have produced their annual summaries of legislation that was Truly Agreed and Finally Passed (TAFP) by the General Assembly during the recently completed legislative session. AIM’s list includes bill that were most important from a business perspective. You can read our wrap up here.  The House Research report includes all 190 bills passed by the General Assembly this past session. You may access the document at this link.

NAM urges lawmakers to approve water infrastructure bill

The Hill (5/20, Laing) reports that NAM is “urging lawmakers” to approve the passage of a conference report that would fund water infrastructure at ports and waterways to the tune of $8.2 billion. Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse wrote in a letter to members of the House on Monday that NAM, “urges you to support the conference report Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014.” The letter continued, saying, “Our nation needs investments and a modern infrastructure that keep us globally competitive and manufacturers will continue to champion investments and improvements to our nation’s infrastructure that help manufacturers’ compete and create jobs.” The bill is expected to come up for a vote as early as this week, and includes measures to deepen ports in Jacksonville, Florida, Savannah, Georgia, and Boston. Newhouse Sends Letter Urging Passage Of WRRDA. Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse sent a letter to members of Congress urging support for the Water

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Other AIM victories during the past session of the legislature

AIM lobbyists worked for and won more than just tax cuts and Department of Revenue changes this past session. Here are the rest of the many victories for AIM and Missouri business. Economic Development When you hear these words in the State Capitol, unfortunately you often hear “tax credits” in nearly the same breath. Again, the divisive issue of what to do about tax credits came and went without any progress, and so victories here were fairly few and far between. One tax credit that did make it across the finish line of the legislative session was SB 729 which creates tax credits for donations to Innovation Campuses around Missouri, establishes rural regional development grants and reauthorizes tax credit programs for wood energy and alternative fuel refueling properties (subject to appropriation). SB 723, a long time project of veteran House member Rep. Chris Kelly (D-Columbia) allows for the selling of bonds for state owned building capital improvements.  The bill increases

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AIM wins many tax battles

While the broad-based tax cuts in SB 509 and the battle to override the governor’s veto drew the most attention during the session, there were a myriad of smaller bills that will do many things to help the business climate in the state of Missouri. The watershed bill for tax issues was Senate Bill 584. In an exercise not unlike herding cats, State Reps. Eric Burlison (R-Springfield) and Andrew Koenig (R-St. Louis), and Senate sponsor Sen. Bob Dixon (R-Springfield), somehow listened to many voices and came up with one piece of legislation with many brilliant ideas. SB584 includes: Clean-up language to ensure the Department of Revenue charges sales tax on admissions to entrainment, not businesses that offer athletic training, or dance lessons, or other services; Apportionment language that allows service industries an additional choice of formulas used to determine Missouri income for tax purposes; The Associated Industries version of concise data center sales tax exemption language; Language that shifts the

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House speaker highlights AIM initiatives in end of session press conference

Historic, broad-based tax cutting legislation, data center incentives, mandating the EPA work with DNR on air quality issues in Missouri…just a few of the AIM drafted and supported issues mentioned by Speaker of the House Tim Jones in his end of the legislative session news conference. “So many more good paying jobs are ahead because Missouri has finally put out the sign on our doorstep that ‘We are wide-open for business,’” said Jones. “And we are going to compete for every job with all of our very competitive bordering states.” Watch the entire press conference here.