As requested by the Governor, the Missouri Department of Transportation has prepared a report on the tolling of I-70. Earlier this month, the governor requested a report on the possibility of collecting tolls on I-70 as a means to its rebuilding and continued maintenance. The full report is available here.
Bills would require the state to notify businesses of tax law changes JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Speaker Pro Tem Denny Hoskins filed legislation this week that would protect Missouri businesses from unannounced changes in Missouri tax policy. Hoskins pre-filed HB 299 to require the Department of Revenue (DOR) to notify businesses that will be impacted when tax laws or policies change. Senate Bill 18 was also filed by Senator Will Kraus on the same subject. “It is time to end the bad practice of notification by audit,” said Speaker Pro Tem Hoskins. “When tax law changes either by legislation, court ruling or administrative policy, the businesses affected should be notified. I want to see that all Missouri taxpayers are treated fairly and I want to see an end to bureaucrats making tax laws for our state.” Similar language passed with overwhelming support in the General Assembly during the 2014 Regular Session, but was vetoed by the governor who Hoskins said
The AP (12/18) reports the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia announced Thursday that its regional factory activity index fell to 24.5 this month. The figure, where anything above zero indicates expansion, was at 40.8 in November and was the highest reading in more than 20 years. The data shows that despite the drop in the index, “regional manufacturing is still growing at a healthy clip” and is driving economic expansion. The survey also shows factories are hiring at a slower pace and that new orders and shipments fell. Manufacturers surveyed also said they expect to modestly boost wages due to an expected increase in healthcare costs.
Associated Industries of Missouri Board Member Jerry Hunter of Bryan Cave tells us the National Labor Relations Board made a decision in a case regarding the use of an employer’s email system. In the decision, the NLRB upholds the right of employees to use an employer’s email system for purposes such as union organizing. Read the alert linked here.
In a front-page article in the Washington Times (12/17, Sands), NAM president and CEO Jay Timmons discusses the impact of federal regulations on job creation and economic growth. Timmons says that manufacturers are longing to invest and create jobs, but are being hindered by regulations and their costs as well as uncertainty from leaders in Washington. In his remarks to the Times, Timmons highlighted that, “There’s a feeling in this country right now that nobody really knows where we’re headed on tax policy and regulation in particular, and so that tends to dampen the enthusiasm to invest,” noting that there’s billions of dollars available for investment in job-creating activities, but “creators are just kind of afraid to see what’s next.” Highlighting that with the right policies in place for the long term, the US economic engine could be “purring,” Timmons then expressed that his “hope is that [Congress] will begin to lay out an agenda for growth and opportunity that
The Environmental Protection Agency has taken the first steps to increasing the regulation of ozone by publishing the new proposed rule in the Federal Register today. Click here for the actual 179 page document. Comments on the rule, that would lower the allowable ozone threshold to 65-70 ppb and is estimated to result in all but three counties in Missouri becoming nonattainment areas, are due to the EPA by March 17, 2015. We will be giving you further instructions on how to comment on these onerous regulations so stay tuned. If this regulation is implemented and nearly every county in Missouri is designated a nonattainment area, future manufacturing and industrial growth requiring air permits would be nearly impossible. A business seeking a permit to emit a certain amount of pollution would be denied without a corresponding loss of an equivalent amount of pollution from another business. In other words, no overall growth in the manufacturing and industrial sector of the economy would be allowed
Facility to support 777X work and future opportunities (From Boeing corporate communications) ST. LOUIS, Dec. 16, 2014– Boeing [NYSE: BA] today began construction here of a new 367,000-square-foot facility in which it will build parts for the newest member of its 777 commercial airplanes family, the 777X. About 700 new jobs will be created for the 777X work. Construction should be complete in 2016, with work on 777X wing and empennage parts starting in 2017. The facility is an expansion of Boeing’s current tooling center at the site and will contain six autoclaves. “As we move forward with construction of our new center, we will significantly enhance our aerospace composite capability in St. Louis, positioning us for today’s opportunities, and tomorrow’s,” said Bob Ciesla, vice president, Boeing Military Aircraft Cross-Enterprise Design/Build. “This is a tremendous opportunity for Boeing St. Louis and the entire region, which enables us to bridge to the future as a site with both commercial and defense
Before leaving for the Christmas break…Congress gave Missouri Senator Roy Blunt and Missouri manufacturers an unexpected present. This story comes from the Springfield News Leader Washington correspondent Deirdre Shesgreen. WASHINGTON – The $1.1 trillion spending bill that Congress approved last week sparked heated debate and fractured votes, with some lawmakers furious over 11th-hour provisions tucked into the 1,603-page package. But at least one surprise provision included in the sweeping bill attracted little attention and bipartisan support: a measure to boost American manufacturing, pushed by Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. Blunt said Missouri’s manufacturing industry could benefit from the proposal, which will provide federal money for manufacturing “hubs” — public-private partnerships between universities, businesses and federal agencies and aimed at fostering the development and production of next-generation manufacturing products. The spending bill sets aside $300 million over 10 years to establish 15 of these advanced manufacturing hubs. Blunt and Brown initially sought $600 million for the initiative, but the
The Missouri Department of Insurance is recommending a 4.4 percent decrease in workers’ compensation insurance loss costs for 2015. The key driver of the decrease is the favorable loss experience in 2012. “A decrease in large losses during 2012, a decrease in the overall medical claims cost associated with worker’ compensation claims, and the downward trend in lost-time frequency are the three key factors behind the recommended decrease in workers’ compensation rates,” said Department of Insurance Director John M. Huff. “We will continue to monitor these trends in the coming year. Missouri benefits from a highly competitive market, with more than 300 companies actively writing workers’ compensation policies. Huff said competitive premiums are largely attributable to continued improvements in workplace safety, resulting in fewer workers’ compensation claims. Prospective loss costs are intended to cover indemnity and medical payments for injured workers and some of the expenses associated with providing these benefits. Insurers use loss costs to set their workers’ comp
Northwest Missouri Congressman Sam Graves has a new committee assignment. During the upcoming session of congress, Graves will join mid Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler on the House Armed Services Committee. Graves had served the last several years as chairman of the House Small Business Committee, but was term limited in that position. Graves said the new committee assignment will be important to his district with the Missouri Air National Guard 139th Airlift Wing headquartered at Rosecrans Air Field near St. Joseph. Graves will remain on the House Transportation Committee.