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Rowland Report 4.26.2012

Greetings from your State Capitol.  We were excited this week to learn that Rockaway Beach placed second in the “Great American Water Taste Test”.  This test was to determine the best tasting water in Missouri.  Congratulations to Mayor Cline and Mr. Terry King for providing the area with quality water.

Also had a visit from the granddaughter of Melvin and Karen Dunn and grand-niece of Dean and Sophina Dunn of Cedarcreek.  She was with the Strafford, Missouri school group.

It has been a very busy week in the House with several bills being passed.  They included:

HB 1342 changes the laws regarding the recovery of costs and attorney fees by the prevailing party in a civil action.

HB 1359 prohibits any state employee in a decision-making position for a state contract from taking employment with the business, company, or other entity with which the employee was in a decision making position for that contract for at least two years from the date when the contract was initiated to provide a more ethical standard for state contracts.

HB 1717 changes the quarterly aggregate amount required to cause an employer to file a withholding return from $20 to $100 in each of the four preceding quarters.  This bill is not a tax credit and does not provide a tax break; it just eases a regulatory paperwork burden on small businesses by allowing annual filing instead of quarterly filing.

HB 1661 clarifies that a “small business” formed as a sole proprietorship, partnership, S-corporation, C-corporation, limited liability company or partnership, or other business entity can qualify for the income tax deduction for job creation by a small business.

HB 1860 changes the laws regarding grain dealers and agricultural crime.  It will protect agricultural production facilities from those who knowingly gain access to a facility for wrong doing by applying for employment.

HB 1637 establishes the Missouri Sound Money Act of 2012 which changes the laws regarding legal tender allowing gold and silver coins to be accepted in Missouri.

HB 1534 is an effort to declare the federal health care reform law as unconstitutional and protect Missouri citizens from such a law.  The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act has already been declared unconstitutional by several lower federal courts as exceeding the powers granted to Congress under the United States Constitution and a final decision is now pending before the US Supreme Court.  This bill will enact into Missouri law that no public officer or employee of this state has any authority to enforce or attempt to enforce any aspect of the act and is simply another constitutional way to protect our sovereign State from such a massive federal overreach.

HB 1476 is essential to developing the St. Louis air cargo business.  It establishes the Freight Forwarders Incentive Act to encourage foreign trade through the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

HB 1521 allows an exception from the penalties and interest for the late payment of property taxes because of a computer problem or other delay in getting property tax bills sent out.  This is a taxpayer protection issue.

It doesn’t seem possible that we are down to only four weeks left in this session.  Bills are going at a pretty fast pace.  The Senate continues to struggle on getting a budget bill approved.  Stay tuned because things will get interesting before the last day, May 18th.

As always it is a privilege to represent you in State Government.