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Showing posts from March, 2008

Senate Advances Supplemental Funding Bill

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Senate today passed a supplemental budget bill that will now move back to the House. Each session the Legislature considers funding needs that arise during the middle of the budget year and makes adjustments accordingly through an all-encompassing supplemental budget bill. House Bill 2014 allocates additional funding to various state departments, agencies and programs for fiscal year 2008. One program scheduled to receive funding through HB 2014 is the Foundation Formula. This formula appropriates funding divided among schools based on student need, not property value, and ensures that schools receive adequate financial support for their students. Public schools in Missouri received a $132.6 million increase in FY2008 for this phased-in formula and HB 2014 assigns an additional $29.2 million to the program.Additional funding of $1.5 million for the Sheltered Workshop program is also part of the supplemental budget bill. The workshops provide employment wi…

Mid-Session Report: Senate Sends 50+ Bills to the House

JEFFERSON CITY — As of this week’s mid-session recess, the Missouri Senate has given final approval to 54 bills that have now moved to the House for similar consideration. Six others have received preliminary approval and will be sent to the House pending a second vote by the Senate.Of the 578 Senate bills introduced this legislative session, 149 have been passed by their respective Senate committees and still await discussion by the full body. Bills of note passed by the Senate so far this session include:* Senate Bill 711 (Sen. Michael Gibbons, R-Kirkwood):Protects Missouri taxpayers from property tax increases caused by reassessment. The bill closes tax increase loopholes, requires earlier notice and more information regarding reassessment be sent to taxpayers, and expands tax credit eligibility for seniors and the disabled.
* Senate Bill 720 (Sen. Maida Coleman, R-St. Louis): Creates a hot-weather rule by prohibiting electric or natural gas companies from shutting off service to pa…

Omnibus Agriculture Bill Receives First-Round Approval from Senate

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Senate today gave first-round approval to an omnibus ag bill designed to further promote and expand the state’s largest industry. A second Senate vote moves the bill to the House for similar consideration.Senate Bill 898, sponsored by Sen. Dan Clemens (R-Marshfield), covers a wide-range of topics, including:* Creation of a tax credit for farming operations participating in odor reduction
activities. * A tax credit for the costs of constructing alternative fuel vehicle refueling centers. * A tax deduction for buyers of hybrid vehicles and a tax credit on E-85 gasoline
and biodiesel purchases. * A sales tax exemption for the purchase of fuel and fencing materials for agricultural purposes.* Expanding an ethanol production grant to include producers using biomass.* Exempting farm machinery used in conjunction with forestry from state and local sales tax. * Lowering the cost of certain dairy-related loans and enacting dairy planning grants.* Crea…

Copper Theft Prevention Bill Receives Initial Approval by Senate

JEFFERSON CITY — Today the Missouri Senate gave first-round approval to a bill that would help curb valuable metal theft in Missouri. Sen. Rob Mayer (R-Dexter) sponsored the legislation, which requires more detailed record-keeping by scrap metal dealers as well as makes it a felony to steal or unlawfully sell copper or aluminum. A second vote moves the measure to the House for similar consideration. Senate Bill 1034 addresses a fast-growing theft problem that is affecting many Missourians, from consumers and farmers to business owners and utilities. With certain metal prices at all-time highs, the idea of fast cash proves too enticing for thieves who are stealing items such as telephone cable, copper piping and farming equipment — and creating a significant public safety risk. The legislation requires scrap dealers to obtain driver’s license and vehicle information from the people who sell them copper. Records would include date, time and place of transaction and must be kept for two …