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17 January 2012

Mayer: Senate Gets to Work on Jobs Bills

In my opening day address, I outlined how the Senate’s plan to help put Missourians back to work starts with three measures. These ideas are not what you call “headline grabbing,” but when we talk with small business owners they says its changes like these that will allow them to invest more in growing their businesses and hiring new employees. I am proud to report the Senate has already held public hearings on all three of these priority measures.

The first idea, Senate Bill 469, moves Missouri business owners a step close to greater freedom from excessive and burdensome state rules and regulations. Few things can bring private sector growth to a halt more quickly than overly contrived red tape. That is why this bill would require state agencies to review and reconsider regulations on a regular basis. The bill would give each regulation a limited shelf life of ten years, increase agency accountability, and improve legislative oversight.

The second idea, Senate Bill 592, would change state laws to mirror federal employment laws when it comes to discrimination. We want Missouri employees to be protected from employers who break the law. We can best do this by raising our standards to meet the provisions set out in the historic Civil Rights Act giving employers and workers better certainty across the board when it comes to their day in court. Bringing certainty to these laws means businesses can spend less money on expansive legal fees and instead invest those dollars towards expanding their businesses.

The third idea, Senate Bill 572, would restore protections for co-employees from personal lawsuits for their role in honest accidents at work, return Workers’ Compensation as the exclusive remedy for workplace accidents and address Missouri’s insolvent Second Injury Fund. This bill presents real solutions to problems facing our state’s workforce and their employers. Ending lawsuit abuses, relieving the need for additional insurance to cover honest accidents at work, and protecting injured workers while keeping costs reasonable for employers are all important to making sure Missouri businesses can grow and hire more employees.

I appreciate the swift work by our sponsoring senators and the members of the committees who considered these bills. It is important we act timely on these priorities to help put Missourians back to work in good paying jobs with benefits. I look forward to the full Senate considering these important bills in the coming weeks.

You may have also heard about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) decision to close 259 offices and labs across the country. This closure of offices includes several here in Missouri and one in our backyard – the Natural Resource Conservation Service Office (NRCS) in Dexter. The USDA says staff will keep their jobs, but work from other area offices that will stay open. These closures may impact my fellow farmers and ranchers and I encourage you to share any concerns you may have with your local USDA officials.

Please feel free to contact me throughout the year with any comments, questions, or issues at the contact information listed below and on my website at

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