Bills effective today
August 28, 2020 - Topping the list of accomplishments in the 2020 session was the passage of SB 591, a bill reforming the way punitive damages are sought in civil cases and reforming the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act to prevent abuse by clever attorneys. That bill becomes effective today.
“"We applaud the work of the Missouri legislature in passing SB 591," said Jerry M. Hunter, partner in Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Associated Industries of Missouri. "The threat of punitive damages, when such damages have no merit, often drives up the cost of cases without any benefit to the community at large, which is supposed to be the reason for such damages."
"The process for determining punitive damages, those awarded above and beyond actual damages, has warranted revision for a very long time," said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri. "Punitive damages are not proper in every case and should be reserved for cases in which the defendant has intentionally caused harm. At the very least, punitive damages should not be alleged in every case. The revisions in SB 591 will allow those damages to be assessed when a judge and/or jury decides they are proper and can have a positive effect in changing behavior, which is the purpose of punitive damages," he said.
A bill allowing gas companies to replace deficient pipes before they present an explosion hazard, HB 2120, is also effective today. That bill was also supported by the business community. “Obviously, it is better to replace pipes on a schedule rather than waiting until they become an explosion hazard and we support this legislation,” said McCarty.
SB 676, a bill that clarifies how additional amounts due following an IRS audit of partnerships flow through to partners for state tax purposes, becomes law today. AIM lobbyist Chuck Pierce worked hard on this legislation and we are happy to see it become law after a couple of years of hard work.
"We were proud to support all these bills and we applaud Governor Parson for signing them into law," said McCarty.
Associated Industries of Missouri has served as the “Voice of Missouri Business” ® for more than 100 years. AIM is the oldest general business trade association representing Missouri employers and was influential in writing the state’s first workers’ compensation, unemployment, environmental and tax laws and continues in that role today.