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01 September 2011

Denison: Other Issues For Discussion In Special Session, Disaster Funding Not One Of Them

“Success in life is a matter not so much of talent or opportunity as of concentration and perseverance.” – C.W. Wendte

Other Issues To Be Addressed During Special Session

While the jobs bill is the most important issue we will address during the special session, it is not the only item we will discuss. Also on the agenda for the legislature is a plan to increase the efficiency of the collections operations of the Missouri Department of Revenue. In addition, we will discuss the creation of a tax amnesty period that would allow Missourians to pay delinquent taxes without owing penalties or interest. By offering a clean slate to taxpayers who have fallen behind, we believe we can generate in excess of $70 million in tax revenue.

Also on the agenda is a piece of legislation that would move the presidential primary to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March of each presidential election year. For the 2012 presidential primary the change would move the date from February 7 to March 6. The change is necessary to comply with the rules of both the national Republican and Democratic parties. During the regular session, we approved Senate Bill 282 to make the change but the governor vetoed the bill because of other provisions contained in the legislation. Now during special session we will take up this issue again with the intent of passing legislation to make this important change.

Another issue that will be addressed in the coming weeks deals with control of the St. Louis Police Department. Currently the department is under the control of the state through a board of police commissioners appointed by the governor. The legislation we will consider would move control of the department to the City of St. Louis.

Disaster Relief Funding Not Included In Governor’s Call

One issue that won’t be discussed during the special session is how to pay for the billions of dollars in damages that were caused by the severe weather that has ravaged the state this year. While it was originally part of the governor’s plan to include this important topic, the fact that we still don’t know the full extent of the damage makes it extremely difficult to determine the best way to fund our recovery obligations. The chairman of the House Disaster Recovery Committee agreed with the governor’s decision and said it makes sense to slow the process down until we have more detailed cost figures. We hope to have those soon and when we do we will take quick action to help out all those in need – the families in Joplin who are recovering from the tornado that destroyed much of the city in May as well as those who were impacted by tornadoes in Sedalia and St. Louis County and the many Missourians in Northwest and Southeast Missouri who have suffered heavy losses due to flooding. We stand ready to honor our commitment to the communities of Missouri who need our assistance to recover and rebuild.

Interim Office Hours

Interim office hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Normal schedule will resume December 1, 2011. If you need to call me at home, my number is 417-887-3353.

I look forward to hearing from you. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office. Best wishes.

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