Happy new year! Over the past month I have prefiled 16 bills or resolutions for the 2014 session. In the Senate, prefiling bills is important because bills are referred in order. To get an early hearing date on a bill, it is best to get the bill filed as soon as possible. Some of these priorities carry over from last year and that is not unusual. It often takes several years to get a bill to become law. Here is a quick synopsis of this year’s bills I have prefiled:
SB 509 – Tax Reform – The base bill for this year’s tax reform discussion. It currently contains tax rate cuts for personal income, and deductions for small businesses and individuals making less than $20,000.
SB 510 – Unemployment Insurance Reform – Changes the definition of “misconduct” for purposes of unemployment insurance.
SB 511 – Voter Photo Identification – Sets up the process to require a government-issued photo ID for voting. It excludes those born before 1941, provides for a free, state-issued photo ID for those who cannot afford one, and provides for filing a provisional ballot. This would not take effect until a constitutional change.
SJR 31 - Voter Photo Identification (Constitutional Amendment) – Would place an amendment on the ballot in 2014 to change the constitution, allowing the state legislature to require a photo ID for voting.
SB 577 – Tax Credit Reform – Reduces the size, eliminates or sunsets some of Missouri’s more than 60 tax credit programs.
SB 578 – Jackson County Party Committee Changes – Bases the number of party committee positions in Jackson County on representative districts rather than wards and precincts.
SB 580 – Candidate Filing Procedures for Deployed Military and Disabled –Allows anyone deployed in the military or any disabled person to send a representative to file for them for any elective office. As I had to take leave to return from serving in Iraq to file to run as a state representative, this hits close to home.
SB 586 – Single License Plate – Removes the requirement to have two plates on most Missouri vehicles.
SB 587 – Automated Traffic Enforcement – Sends any fines collected by automatic traffic enforcement (red light cameras, speed cameras, school bus cameras) to the local school district.
SB 588 – Registration Waiver for Private Sale Auto Transactions – Allows someone purchasing a vehicle in a private sale 15 days to have the car registered.
SB 599 – Automatic License Plate Reader Data Restrictions – Requires jurisdictions that collect data using an automatic license plate reader to delete that data after 30 days.
SB 629 – Ethics, Campaign Finance and Lobbying Reforms – Puts caps on contributions for political campaigns and lobbyists gifts to legislators and tightens restrictions on various campaign and fundraising activities.
SB 655 – Landlord / Tenant Revision – Defines who is the lessee, tenant or occupant and clarifies eviction procedures.
SB 656 – Concealed Carry Weapons – Reduces the training requirement to having to load and fire either a revolver or semi-automatic, not both.
SB 657 – Special Education Due Process – Extends bans on certain persons participating in due process hearings and directs federal funds.
SB 662 – Taxation – Requires the Department of Revenue to notify resellers of changes in sales tax law that affect them.
Future Capitol Reports will likely cover many of these bills in greater detail as they move through the process. In the meantime, please feel free to reply or call with any questions. I urge you to visit my website at www.senate.mo.gov/kraus to read the summary of each of these bills. Often times, opposing parties and organizations report inaccurately on legislation.
State Senator Will Kraus-R serves District Eight and is a resident of Lees Summit.