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11 January 2012

Rupp: Committee Focuses on Job Creation in Missouri

Committee work was in full swing this week as a wide range of 2012 Senate bills were considered. One very important piece of legislation heard in the Senate Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee, of which I am chair, would restore protections for co-employees from personal lawsuits for their role in honest accidents at work and return Workers’ Compensation as the exclusive remedy for workplace accidents.

The measure (SB 572) is designed to allow employers to use their funds to hire more employees, instead of paying for frivolous lawsuits. Currently, more than 250,000 Missourians are out of work, and that is certainly not acceptable. We need to focus our time on getting people back to work — not on ridiculous lawsuits. In the Legislature, job creation is our top priority. I will do everything in my ability to endorse common-sense measures, such as this, which would allow businesses to stop spending money on insurance policies and lawsuit abuses that the Workers’ Compensation System was meant to cover, and instead, invest those dollars in creating new jobs for Missourians.

Another priority for the Legislature is passing a balanced budget, without raising taxes on Missourians. Next week, on Tuesday, Jan. 17, the governor is scheduled to give his State of the State Address. My colleagues and I are hoping he will present his budget plan for Fiscal Year 2013. I know that we will, yet again, be required to make difficult decisions regarding our state budget. However, I’m optimistic that the Legislature can work together to make Missouri and even better place to live, work, and raise a family. (Please click here to listen to my interview regarding my priorities for the 2012 legislative session.)

Thank you for reading this legislative column. As always, please feel free to call or visit my Capitol office if I can assist you in any way. Thank you and God Bless.

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