McCaskill to oppose Gorsuch nomination

The Hill reports Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) announced today she will vote to support a filibuster of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. The announcement makes it significantly harder for Gorsuch to muster the 60 votes he needs to overcome a filibuster and advance to a final confirmation vote. Click here to read the full story.  

NAM: Manufacturers’ survey shows optimism

From the National Association of Manufacturers: Americans appear to be more optimistic about growth in recent months, and manufacturers are no exception. New results from the NAM Manufacturers’ Outlook survey show manufacturers’ optimism rose to a new all-time high in the survey’s nearly 20-year history. In this latest NAM Manufacturers’ Outlook survey, 93.3 percent of manufacturers are either somewhat or very positive about their own company’s outlook, up from 56.6 percent one year ago and 77.8 percent in December (Figure 1). As a result, the NAM Manufacturers’ Outlook Index also soared to a new high, up from 53.1 in December to 63.7 in this report (Figure 2). It was the second straight quarter where the outlook exceeded its historic average – which would equate to 50 in the index – and there were strong gains in confidence for all firm sizes. Click here for the full survey report and see more on the NAM website here.  Associated Industries of Missouri

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Governor Greitens names new labor chief

Governor Eric Greitens announced that Anna Hui, Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Labor, will become the new Director of the Missouri Department of Labor. Hui also previously served as the Chief of Staff to Elaine Chao, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and current U.S. Secretary of Transportation, during the Secretary’s tenure at the Heritage Foundation. Governor Greitens released the following statement, “Anna Hui has proven herself to be a fearless change agent at the state and federal level. We are honored to have her join us to shake up Jefferson City and bring some much needed reforms to the Missouri Department of Labor.” Anna Hui released the following statement, “I share Governor Greitens’ vision of reform to better serve workers, businesses, and taxpayers. I thank him for this significant opportunity to lead the Department of Labor and look forward to working hard to promote the wellbeing of employees in Missouri.” Anna Hui currently serves as the Acting Director

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REAL ID compliant optional drivers license bill passed by Missouri House

Rep. Kevin Corlew’s HB 151 that allows the Missouri Department of Revenue to issue REAL ID compliant drivers license if requested by an applicant, was passed by the Missouri House today on a 99-40 vote.   REAL ID was listed as a priority for leadership in both the House and Senate and providing Missourians with the choice of obtaining the optional ID as provided in the legislation has been supported by Associated Industries of Missouri.   During the lengthy debate, it was noted that the lack of a REAL ID compliant drivers license, passport, passport card, or similar document will prevent Missouri citizens from boarding flights beginning in January 2018. Currently, military bases do not recognize Missouri drivers licenses as sufficient ID for admittance. The bill now moves to the Missouri Senate for further consideration. A similar bill in the Senate was met with resistance from some Senators over privacy concerns.  

House gives first round approval to PDMP

The Missouri House today “perfected” HCS HB 90 & 68, a bill that would allow Missouri to finally be the last state to implement a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Holly Rehder, is supported by Associated Industries of Missouri. The bill faces one more vote before advancing to the Senate. The Senate has passed another version of the PDMP legislation.

Boeing lands NASA computing contract

The St. Louis Business Journal reports The Boeing Company’s Defense, Space and Security unit, which is based in Hazelwood, has been selected by NASA to develop a prototype High Performance Spaceflight Computing Processor. The contract, which runs from March 27 through December 2020, is valued at $26.6 million. Boeing is a Chairman’s Council member of Associated Industries of Missouri and is the largest manufacturer in Missouri. Click here for full story.

Governor Greitens signs Corlew’s expert witness bill

Governor Eric Greitens has signed HB 153, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Corlew, that will allow Missouri to join most other states and federal courts in the way they evaluate whether a person testifying in court is an expert or not. The governor signed the bill earlier today at Midland Transport in Jefferson City, MO. Similar legislation was passed last year and vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon. This bill is different because it will not apply in work comp cases or other cases that do not involve a jury. In reality, the new standard really would have little or no impact in these cases anyway because the judge decides whether the testimony is credible under existing law and the new law expected to be signed today. Associated Industries of Missouri has long supported correcting the standard in Missouri. “Missouri’s low standard of evaluating experts in state court is why plaintiffs’ attorneys try to move cases into Missouri state courts,” said Ray McCarty,

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House Committee hears Senate collateral source bill

SB 31 (Emery) was heard in the House Committee on Special Litigation Reform yesterday. Associated Industries of Missouri supports the bill. The bill would allow the amount that has actually been paid to be introduced to a judge and jury in the cost recovery part of the trial. Today, the higher amounts that may be billed by a healthcare provider but never paid by anyone are the amounts disclosed to the jury. This may result in the court allowing “recovery” of imaginary costs that have never been paid by anyone. The bill fixes this situation by allowing the introduction of the lower amount that was actually paid to the healthcare provider. The bill now moves to another committee for consideration before advancing to the House floor.

House Rules Committee advances arbitration agreement fix

The House Rules – Legislative Oversight Committee has approved SB 45 (Romine), a bill that would restore arbitration agreements between at-will employees and their employers. Associated Industries of Missouri supports the legislation. The bill will now be placed on a calendar for a final vote in the House of Representatives.

President Trump to sign order rolling back Obama’s Clean (Out Your Wallet) Power Plan

The USA Today reports President Trump is expected to sign an executive order Tuesday to roll back the Clean Power Plan rule, keeping a campaign vow to undo the Obama administration’s aggressive attempts to reduce carbon emissions. Associated Industries of Missouri has been an outspoken opponent of the Clean Power Plan since its introduction and applauded the action. “Missouri employers, including nearly all manufacturers, depend upon a reliable and affordable supply of electricity,” said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri. “Missouri gets 82% of our electricity from coal fired generating plants that were threatened to be shuttered prematurely simply because of these federal regulations President Trump is repealing with his action today. We wholeheartedly support the repeal of this job-killing regulation,” said McCarty. Trump frequently promised last year to undo the rule, which the Supreme Court blocked from implementation last year while legal challenges are heard. Click here for the full story from USA Today.