Final day of 2021 Legislative Session produces wins for Missouri businesses
May 14, 2021 - The Missouri Legislature concluded the 2021 Legislative Session today, but not before passing some business priorities advocated for by Associated Industries of Missouri.
"I would like to thank the members of the Missouri House and Senate for passing what we believe are necessary protections for businesses, educational institutions, and not-for-profits, especially in what has been a very tough environment for each of these institutions that have worked to survive," said Jerry M. Hunter, Chairman of the Board of Associated Industries of Missouri and partner, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.
"Although the Senate did not pass any bills on the final day and adjourned nearly four hours before the constitutional deadline, the 2021 Legislative Session was productive for Missouri businesses and we thank leadership of both bodies and the sponsors of these bills for their very hard work on behalf of Missouri businesses and the people of Missouri over the last four and half months," said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM).
While Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo made a motion to adjourn the Senate early, the Missouri House of Representatives, led by Speaker Rob Vescovo and Majority Floor Leader Dean Plocher, showed real leadership as they stayed and continued to work on legislative priorities throughout the final day. The Senate practice of adjourning early was nearly unheard of until several years ago, but has become much more common in recent years as the process grinds to a halt near the end of each legislative session.
To get full details of legislation that passed and failed, you will want to attend our AIM session recap webinar May 18, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. You may register by clicking HERE.
In the meantime, here are a few highlights of bills that were passed today and sent to Governor Parson:
Our top priority, legislation providing limited protection from COVID-19 lawsuits against health care providers, all employers, product manufacturers, retailers and others that operate in a responsible manner to protect their employees, customers and patients from COVID-19 was passed in SB 51 & 42, sponsored by Senator Tony Luetkemeyer and handled in the House by Speaker Pro Tem John Wiemann;
Wayfair legislation allowing the state and local governments to collect state and local use taxes (similar to sales taxes) on internet sales from out-of-state internet sellers, revisions to video service right-of-way fees, changes to tax increment financing and community improvement districts, individual income tax cuts, Missouri Works program changes, a state level earned income tax credit as a percentage of the federal earned income tax credit, and exemption of local sales taxes on manufacturing machinery, equipment, utilities and other inputs are all included in SB 153, sponsored by Senator Andrew Koenig and handled in the House by Representative J. Eggleston;
Legislation increasing motor fuel taxes and some registration fees to provide funding for transportation improvements in SB 262, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz and handled in the House by Representative Becky Ruth;
Establishment of a statewide prescription drug monitoring program in SB 63, sponsored by Senator Holly Rehder and handled in the House by Representative Travis Smith;
Legislation reducing the maximum workers' compensation premium surcharge for the Second Injury Fund from 3% to 2.5% and expiring the fee in two years, HB 604, sponsored by Representative Kurtis Gregory and handled in the Senate by Senator Sandy Crawford;
Clarification that brain cancer treatment devices are exempt from sales and use taxes, sales tax filing frequency changes, property tax rebates for businesses closed during COVID shutdowns, exemptions for spoiled, stolen and damaged goods, and several other tax changes contained in SB 226, sponsored by Senator Andrew Koenig and handled in the House by Rep. Phil Christofanelli with significant assistance from Rep. Dan Shaul and Rep. Lisa Thomas; and,
Tort reform legislation to close a loophole that currently is used by clever plaintiffs' attorneys to block insurance companies from participating in lawsuits and arbitration proceedings when the plaintiff and the defendant work together against the defendant's insurance company in HB 345, sponsored by Rep. Bruce DeGroot and handled in the Senate by Senator Tony Luetkemeyer.