Ameren filed a proposal with the Missouri Public Service Commission on Monday to give its largest customers the opportunity to participate in the Renewable Choice Program. This program would provide them with energy from wind power. The program is completely optional for the customer. Ameren Missouri currently generates 100 megawatts of its electricity supply from wind. In September, it announced plans to add 700 more megawatts of wind to its portfolio. If plans are approved by state regulators, Ameren hopes to make the program available by 2020. Ameren is negotiating with potential contractors about building a wind generation facility. The company has not indicated where it would be built yet. READ MORE HERE
Congressman Sam Graves spoke about Trump’s tax plan, saying it would be a big win for the entire country. “The president laid out very clearly just how important the tax cut and tax reform package is and how many people it’s going to help, particularly the middle class,” Graves said. Graves said the current tax code “has failed Americans” and that Missouri has suffered under an out-of-date tax system. He stated that the Trump tax plan would mean more jobs and bigger paychecks for middle-class Americans. READ MORE HERE
President of the United States Donald Trump made a second Missouri appearance in support of his tax cut plan for businesses and individuals. This time, the president appeared to an overflowing and supportive crowd in St. Charles, MO. The president was upbeat during his remarks, emphasizing his successes, including a historic reduction of regulations, declaring that the tax cut package would be a great “Christmas gift” to hardworking Americans, and took time to directly mention a few of St. Charles’ business-people who would benefit. He stressed the positive impact the tax cut package could have on the economy. “The current tax code is a self-inflicted economic wound,” said President Trump. He explained the current U.S. corporation income tax rate is “…one of the least competitive tax rates on planet Earth… 60 percent higher than the average in the developed world.” “We cannot sit idly by and watch ourselves losing in competition to other countries as they continue to take away
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered remarks regarding the Trump tax cuts on the Senate floor on November 29, 2017. He discussed the need for tax reform and expressed support for Trump’s plan. “During the last decade, hardworking American families have tried to get ahead. But they too often faced insurmountable barriers. The economy was sluggish. Paychecks were stagnant. And jobs and opportunities seemed out of reach. The people we represent deserve better. And we must deliver. It’s time to take our foot off the brake and get our economy going again and growing again. We can do that through tax reform.” McConnell said. McConnell discussed how the cuts would be a boon to small businesses and the economy. “The Finance Committee’s tax reform proposal also provides substantial relief to small businesses. We want to make it easier for them to grow, invest, and hire. The bill will also remove incentives for corporations to ship jobs and investments overseas.”
Today U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO6.) announced in a press release he will be joining President Donald Trump, in St. Charles, Missouri on Wednesday, November 23, to meet with local small businesses and to highlight the importance of tax reform. In the announcement, he expressed support for the tax reform bill, as well as an interest in gaining Sen. McCaskill’s support for the reforms. Grave’s announcement also brought up how Missouri has suffered under the current outdated system and how Trump’s reforms will be a boon to working families and small businesses.
Missouri driver’s licenses will continue to be counted as “real IDs” for federal security checkpoints until October 2018. This extension is a relief to Missouri travelers, who can continue to use their driver’s licenses to get through airport security. Missouri licenses are expected to be compliant with REAL ID guidelines by March 2019, until then people should renew their licenses and IDs as needed. Associated Industries of Missouri supported a bill in the 2017 Legislative Session that provided a REAL ID compliant choice of drivers license, but implementation of the bill is taking time. “We are pleased the federal government has seen we are serious about complying with the federal requirements and that they have granted this extension to eliminate impact on travel by Missourians,” said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri.
President Donald Trump and the Republican Congress have worked together to unravel regulations of the previous administration that affect broad swaths of the American economy. Half of Missouri’s Congressional delegation has a seat at the table for that deregulation. Republican Reps. Ann Wagner and Blaine Luetkemeyer, and Democratic Reps. William Lacy Clay and Emanuel Cleaver all serve on the House Financial Services Committee, an epicenter of Trump-era regulatory rollbacks. Republicans say these rollbacks are a necessary move away from the excessive Obama-era regulations that harm businesses. “We saw under the Obama administration, really, just an explosion in government overreach, and an explosion of red tape that, at the end of the day, was really hurting American families,” said Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin. READ MORE HERE
This weekend, shoppers paid special attention to local retailers as merchants put out their welcome mats for Small Business Saturday. Small business owners made efforts to attract customers to spend money to support local retailers. Shoppers were treated to substantial discounts, refreshments, demonstrations, giveaways and free gift wrapping at some locations. Last year an estimated 112 million shoppers spent money at small businesses around the country on Small Business Saturday, according to a survey released by American Express and the National Federation for Independent Business. The survey also found 90 percent of consumers aware of the shopping holiday said it had a positive impact in their community. READ MORE HERE
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft announced that he has certified a ballot measure for Missourians to vote on whether to keep the new right-to-work legislation. This measure is expected to be voted on in November 2018, unless lawmakers choose to assign it to a different date. Right-to-work legislation successfully passed earlier this year, only to be suspended by union efforts. “Many people probably signed the petition without really understanding the issue,” said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri, a supporter of the Right to Work law. “Under the Right to Work law, union workers would be free to either join a union or not. The law would require unions to actually earn their membership dues from their union members, much like our association earns our dues from our member businesses. Union workers should like the Right to Work law. Union leadership likes the current system that forces all union members to pay dues whether the union
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of the Army (the agencies) are proposing to amend the effective date of the 2015 rule defining “waters of the United States.” The agencies are proposing that the 2015 rule not go into effect until two years after the amendment is finalized and published in the Federal Register, allowing agencies time to reconsider the definition of “waters of the United States.” “Today’s proposal shows our commitment to our state and tribal partners and to providing regulatory certainty to our nation’s farmers, ranchers and businesses,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “This step will allow us to minimize confusion as we continue to receive input from across the country on how we should revise the definition of the ‘waters of the United States.’” This action follows the February 28, 2017, Presidential Executive Order on “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule.” The February Order