Governor signs AIM-supported healthcare bills

Governor Nixon has signed two bills supported by Associated Industries of Missouri that will make a difference in the healthcare market place. On Wednesday, the governor signed Senate Bill 875 into law. This is a bill that was the subject of a letter of support from AIM president Ray McCarty to the governor. The legislation allows pharmacists to fill prescriptions for brand name biological products with interchangeable biological products. “Consumers may benefit when the interchangeable biological product costs less than the prescribed biological product, very similar to the substitution of generic drugs for prescribed name-brand drugs,” wrote McCarty. “The controls included in the bill follow model controls implemented in several other states and we support the bill.” Senate Bill 875 was sponsored by Sen. Kurt Schaefer. Rep. Tila Hubrecht handled the legislation in the House. The bill was identical to House Bills 1366 and 1878, sponsored by Rep. Hubrecht. Those bills did not make it across the finish line in

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U.S. Senate unanimously approves update to Toxic Substances Control Act

From the National Association of Manufacturers’ Manufacturing Economy Daily blog. NOTE: Associated Industries of Missouri is the sole official designated partner of the National Association of Manufacturers in Missouri. The Washington Post (6/7, Eilperin) reports the Senate on Tuesday evening, through a voice vote, “unanimously” passed legislation updating the 40-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act, or TSCA, clearing the way for President Obama’s signature. The bipartisan bill to “overhaul the way the federal government regulates every chemical sold on the market” in the US will provide chemical producers “greater certainty” while giving the Environmental Protection Agency “the ability to obtain more information about a chemical before approving its use,” the Post says. Manufacturers have pushed Congress to update the 1976 statute “because several states have begun to impose their own curbs on toxic chemicals out of concern that the federal government was not doing enough,” the article explains. NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons is quoted as saying, “The regulations on these

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Governor signs unemployment compensation fraud penalty bill

The governor has begun the laborious task of signing the hundreds of pieces of legislation sent to him by the General Assembly during the just-completed 2016 session. On Monday, the governor’s office announced that among seven bills signed was AIM-supported House Bill 1530, legislation that enhances recovery of fraudulent unemployment compensation payments. Currently, when an individual or employer repays the state for overpayment of unemployment compensation benefits, payments made toward the penalty amount due are credited to the Special Employment Security Fund. This bill requires 15% of the total amount of benefits fraudulently obtained to be deposited into the Unemployment Compensation Fund and the remaining penalty amount must be credited to the Special Employment Security Fund. In a letter of support for HB 1530 written to Governor Jay Nixon, AIM president Ray McCarty said the Missouri Department of Labor contacted AIM several sessions ago regarding these provisions. AIM has supported them in previous years and remains supportive of this bill.

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Barge traffic makes a resurgence on the Missouri River

From the Associated Press The Missouri River is slowly resuming its role as a transportation corridor for commodities such as grain, scrap metal and fertilizer, but proponents of the barge industry acknowledge they’re still swimming upstream against a perception that the river is not reliable enough to be profitable. Some small, private barge companies never stopped using the river but public ports along the nearly 760-mile span from Sioux City, Iowa, to St. Louis, Missouri, disappeared in the late 1990s and early 2000s after a combination of drought, economic recession, low commodity prices and politic infighting led shippers to turn to rail and trucks. As prices stabilized and droughts eased, attention turned to reopening some public ports, with the Woodswether terminal port in Kansas City last August being the first since 2007. About an hour north, the St. Joseph Regional Port Authority is improving its infrastructure and plans to attract barge traffic within the year. Other county or regional port

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Kansas City Business Journal Cover Story: The Cerner Way

We at Associated Industries of Missouri are extremely proud of our association with our Chairman’s Council member Cerner. The company is the topic of what’s looks to be a very flattering cover story in the print version of the Kansas City Business Journal, out Friday June 3. Unfortunately, that’s a subscription-only publication, so we will publish what the KCBJ has put out on its internet web site. It will then be up to you if you want to go ahead and subscribe to the print version of the publication. From the Kansas City Business Journal What started over a picnic table in Loose Park has grown into the behemoth that is Cerner Corp. But if you think the health IT company’s influence is limited to its 11,500 (eventually to be 27,500) area employees or its six (soon to be seven) campuses, think again. Cerner ex-pats have flowed out into the broader business world, carrying with them what’s called the “Cerner

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Economist: overtime pay rule could cause some Missouri businesses to close

From the MissouriNet A federal rule taking effect in December will have a negative impact on Missouri’s economy, according to Creighton University economist Ernie Goss. It will extend overtime pay to those making up to $47,000 and working more than 40 hours a week. Currently that cutoff is $24,000. “That’s likely to have some unintended consequences and not all of those unintended consequences are going to be good,” says Goss. “I think Washington is regulating a lot of businesses out of business.” Goss says the federal government must be careful with its approach when requiring significant labor changes. “You’re likely to see a cut in benefits, for example. You’re likely to see hours worked cut back so that you’ll have two workers doing what was done previously,” said Goss. “So you could have more jobs added but each worker then will be making less. Of course, that’s not helpful for the overall economy in my judgement.” Supporters, though, say the rule

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UPDATE: It’s official: NGA will build $1.7 billion headquarters in St. Louis

Associated Industries of Missouri is very pleased that this decision was reached in St. Louis’ favor. From the St. Louis Business Journal The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency on Thursday finalized its decision to build its new $1.7 billion western headquarters in north St. Louis. The agency announced in March that it favored a 100-acre site in north St. Louis for the new headquarters. St. Clair County in Illinois had offered a 182-acre greenfield site adjacent to Scott Air Force Base. The choice was a major win for the city of St. Louis, which has made the effort to retain the federal spy agency — and its 3,100 jobs — its No. 1 economic development priority. After another billion-dollar project, the Mississippi riverfront stadium, fell through, the city was also desperate for a catalyst on the north side, which has been in economic distress for decades. The NGA will move from a facility in Soulard in 2021. Illinois officials had urged the

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From NAM: Q1 GDP revised upward to 0.8% gain; incomes grew faster than initial estimate

Associated Industries of Missouri is the sole official designated partner of the National Association of Manufacturers in Missouri. The Commerce Department announced Friday an upward revision of its previous estimate of first-quarter GDP, to an 0.8% annualized rate, Bloomberg News  reported, calling it “the smallest gain in a year.” The department initially estimated 0.5% growth in the January-March period. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast a 0.9% economic gain. The story said Friday’s data did “little to alter views” of an economy that has had a “sluggish start” for three consecutive years, and the numbers “could portend a tougher slog in the second quarter as businesses work to continue to pare stockpiles.” The data also included revisions to personal income in last year’s fourth quarter, now showing that “pay accelerated even more than previously estimated.” Wages and salaries rose $125.5 billion, the biggest quarterly gain in nearly two years and up from the $81.7 billion increase originally estimated. The New York

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June 9 AIM webinar to explore Obama overtime regulations

Thursday, June 2, would usually have been a date for the June Monthly Human Resources Webinar. But, in order to make an expert on the new overtime hours regulation coming from Washington D.C. available to you, we at AIM have decided to host the Human Resources Webinar on Thursday, June 9. This month, we talk to Amanda Wood, National Association of Manufacturers. She is NAM’s “go to” person on the new Obama Overtime guidelines. Find out what this will mean for your company. Ask questions on how to best handle this latest administration overreach without damaging your bottom line. Join us for this very important discussion. Look for the invitation in your email today, sign up, and join us for “The Obama Overtime Overreach and what you need to know”. Associated Industries of Missouri is the sole official designated partner of the National Association of Manufacturers in Missouri.  

Final NGA decision coming next week as bi-state fight continues

Associated Industries of Missouri supports the location of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency at the site chosen in north St. Louis. From the St. Louis Post Dispatch The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is set to finalize next week its decision over where it will build its $1.75 billion western campus while Illinois and Missouri officials continue to battle for it. The agency, which handles mapping and satellite support for the Defense Department, preliminarily chose a site in north St. Louis as its preferred location. After two months and an extended public comment period, NGA will announce a final decision on June 3. Illinois officials, many of whom are facing re-election battles this fall, have continued to fight to lure the facility, which is currently south of downtown St. Louis, across the river to land near Scott Air Force Base. NGA Director Robert Cardillo announced St. Louis as his preferred location in late March. Illinois officials swiftly mounted a spirited attack against the

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