Legislative Update from Jefferson City

Date: April 06, 2016

Several NFIB-backed bills have advanced; Gov. Nixon vetoed paycheck protection.

Legislative Update from Jefferson City

The end of session on May 13 is approaching quickly, just a little over a month away. The Legislature returned from a much-needed spring break last week, and there are a variety of bills on the docket in the Senate that could be land mines for potential filibusters. If that happens, some of the good measures NFIB/Missouri is supporting could die on the vine.

Here’s a look at the status of some of the key NFIB-backed bills in the current session.

Expert Witness Bill (SB 591)

The House Civil and Criminal Committee recently passed SB 591, and NFIB played a key role in convincing the committee members that the bill was good for small business and the judicial system. SB 591 would institute the Daubert standard in Missouri’s judicial system, ensuring that expert testimony must be deemed relevant, reliable and provided by qualified individuals. The Daubert standard is already required in federal courts and 40 other states. The bill now awaits debate on the House floor.

Annual Withholding (HB 1582)

The House passed HB 1582, and it has been referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee. The legislation would allow approximately 8,000 small businesses to file their employee tax withholding payments annually, rather than quarterly, which would reduce time and red tape for business owners, as well as less paperwork for the Department of Revenue.

Big Government Get Off My Back Act Extension (HB 1870)

This bill would extend the Big Government Get Off My Back Act—which provides a tax deduction for small businesses that hire new employees—for an additional five years. So far, more than 200 businesses have taken advantage of the incentive, meaning more than 250 jobs have been added in Missouri. The House passed HB 1870, as did the Senate Ways and Means Committee, and now the bill awaits debate on the Senate floor.

Paycheck Protection (HB 1891)

In an unsurprising move, Gov. Nixon vetoed the paycheck protection bill. HB 1891 would have allowed public employee union members to opt out of paying union dues, which are used for political purposes. A showdown is expected when the House and the Senate will vote to override the governor’s veto.

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