Under the leadership and guidance of House and Senate leadership, the Missouri legislature delivered one of the most successful legislative sessions in recent memory. The Missouri legislature was undistracted by the scandal engulfing the state capitol and focused on the job they were elected to do.
For their stewardship of free market public policy that will benefit Missourians for many years to come, we specifically want to point out the leadership of Speaker Todd Richardson, Sen. Ron Richard, Rep. Elijah Haahr, Sen. Mike Kehoe, and Rep. Rob Vescovo.
House and Senate leadership set the example this session, and that example of statesmanship and hard work achieved big results with the passage of several key public policy reforms.
The legislature passed key public sector union reforms. Legislation to reform government unions to benefit workers was the most significant labor reform to clear the legislature this year. HB 1413 increases transparency and accountability standards for government unions. In addition to requiring annual authorization for paycheck deductions, government unions will now be required to hold regular recertification elections, issue important financial reports, and ensure all labor agreements have clear term limits. Sen. Bob Onder, Rep. John Wiemann, and Rep. Jered Taylor deserve great credit for their leadership in advancing these reforms.
State government’s goal should be to ensure a business climate that creates opportunities for Missouri to be competitive nationally, and even globally. The tax reform measures passed by the legislature provide meaningful tax relief in a fiscally responsible manner. SB 884 reduces the corporate income tax rate and gives Missouri the second lowest corporate tax rate in the nation. Missouri taxpayers will also see their paychecks increase thanks to a cut in the individual income tax rate, passed in HB 2540. We will continue to support efforts to rein in corporate welfare and use the savings to provide Missourians with additional tax relief.
Missouri students were also big winners this session with passage of SB 603. This legislation establishes a Missouri Course Access Program allowing Missouri students to take online courses as part of their regular course load, with tuition paid for by the school district. With this significant education reform, students living in rural areas and those in smaller districts will have the opportunity to take advanced or AP courses that may not be offered at their current school.
These free market initiatives will provide important and lasting reforms for Missourians. We encourage Missourians to check out the links to these bills and see how their representatives in the Missouri House and Senate voted on these important policies to improve the quality of life for current and future generations of Missourians.