Tuesday, Feb. 19 2013 5:29PM
Legislative priorities move forward
By Will Kraus
This week was heavily focused on legislation, both with bills I have sponsored and with bills that are Senate priorities. The Senate is moving at an unusually quick pace for this time of year, meeting in both morning and afternoon session in addition to our full committee hearing schedule.
Two bills I sponsored were heard on the floor and are now on the way to the House.
Senate Bill 117 provides immediate in-state or in-district residency for separating military members who have served at least one year in Missouri. This allows veterans to more easily choose Missouri’s colleges, universities and community colleges. Missouri will benefit as these veterans and their families move here and become productive residents or potential business owners. The bill passed the Senate unanimously.
Senate Bill 28 changes the definition of “misconduct” as it relates to receiving unemployment insurance benefits. Missouri courts had been liberally interpreting what was “misconduct,” and, as a result, more and more people were receiving benefits. Not only is this not fair to those who really deserve them, it is also a huge financial burden on businesses and the state itself. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce estimates that passing SB 28 will save over $500 million to our unemployment insurance fund. After a solid and friendly amendment that was supported by two senators on the other side of the aisle, the bill passed with a solid bi-partisan vote, 32-2.
The Senate also was able to get two big priorities fixed, with changes passing in the same bill. Senate Bill 1 addressed workers’ compensation issues and provided a long-term fix for the state’s Second Injury Fund. Reforms to both programs have been discussed since the first day I took office. This solution was brokered over weeks with representatives from all interested parties, including the governor’s office, working together. After several amendments were passed on the floor, the bill passed 32-2. Senate Bill 1 is another great testament to the Senate’s ability to compromise.
Please feel free to contact the 8th Senatorial District’s Capitol office with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and trying to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at 573-751-1464, or e-mail at email@example.com.