In the Capitol
House Continues Efforts to Negotiate with Senate on Jobs PackageJust days after the Missouri Senate declared it was no longer willing to negotiate on a vital jobs package, the Missouri House overwhelmingly approved a motion to continue efforts to reach a compromise. House members approved a motion to send the economic development bill (Senate Bill 8) to conference where selected members from both sides would work together to find common ground. Just weeks ago the Senate indicated they wanted to send the bill to conference but then changed course this week by refusing to approve a motion similar to the one approved in the House. They have now given us a take it or leave it ultimatum to adopt their version of the bill. While we have concerns about some of the provisions in the Senate version that prevent us from passing the bill, we are willing to sit down together with our Senate colleagues to iron out our differences. Our hope is that the Missouri Senate will come to its senses and decide to do what is right for the people of Missouri by saving the thousands of good-paying jobs that are on the line.
House Approves Constitutional Amendment to Authorize Tax Credit Review ProcessThe House also approved a constitutional amendment (House Joint Resolution 1) that would create a tax credit review process if approved by voters. The Senate has asked for each of our tax credit programs to have sunset clauses – something that would set them to expire unless a vote of the legislature extends the sunset. While we in the House believe in the idea of reviewing our tax credit programs on a regular basis, we are far less excited by the prospect of one senator having the ability to filibuster a vote to preserve a tax credit the majority of legislators overwhelmingly support. That is why the House approved HJR 1, which would require an up or down vote on our various tax credit programs every four years. The key difference between this and traditional sunsets is that the amendment we passed would require a vote be taken by the 50th legislative day every four years. This would prevent a filibuster by a particular senator and ensure the will of the majority ultimately determines the fate of each tax credit. It’s something we believe is good public policy and we hope our colleagues in the Senate will support an idea they should have no reason to oppose.
House Members Urge Congress to Continue Support for F/A-18 Fighter JetAlso this week, we took time to approve a resolution (House Resolution 4672) to urge Congress to recognize the importance of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet program to our state. The plane is made by Boeing, which is one of the biggest employers in our state with more than 15,000 employees. More than 5,000 employees are directly associated with production of the F/A-18. For the year 2010 alone, Boeing contributed significantly to our economy by purchasing more than $764 million of materials from 969 Missouri suppliers. The company’s impact on our economy cannot be overstated and the importance of the F/A-18 Super Hornet to our nation’s security cannot be denied.
In the District
On Monday, October 17th, I was honored to speak about the legislative process and transportation issues at the Annual Missouri Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association Convention that was held in Branson.
Following is the work being accomplished this week on two of the road construction projects in Springfield. The information is from MoDOT:
Route 60/65 Interchange Reconstruction, Springfield
- Demolish and remove westbound U.S. 60 bridge over Lake Springfield
- Install taller bridge columns for southbound U.S. 65 bridge over U.S. 60
- Installing girders for new westbound U.S. 60 bridge over railroad tracks west of U.S. 65
Route 65 Sound Wall Project, Springfield
- Building shoulders and installing guardrail along Ingram Mill Road north of Sunshine Street
- Building footings and clearing areas on the east side of Route 65 between Sunshine Street and Chestnut Expressway
- Installing columns and panels for sound wall near Route 60
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.