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Legislative session in final hours

The 2014 session of the Missouri General Assembly is now in its final hours.

The legislative session will adjourn Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. as mandated by the state constitution.

AIM has already had success with the override of the governor’s veto of the broad-based tax cut bill, SB 509. As always, AIM’s team of experienced lobbyists is keeping a keen eye on other pieces of legislation that include changes to statutes important to the association and its members.

As many of you know, this is a very exciting, and at the same time, a very dangerous time of year. Even in these final hours, no piece of legislation is ever truly dead until the gavel falls at 6:00 p.m. Friday evening.

Currently we are keeping a sharp eye on some bills that include very important pieces of legislation of interest to our members. Included in that is Senate Bill 584. We are referring to this bill as the taxation omnibus bill, because it includes just about everything left on the agendas for those interested in tax issues.

The bill includes language that shifts the burden of proof in all tax cases to the Department of Revenue. SB 584 also includes a reduction in withholding tax filing frequency, clarification on amusement taxes, a used manufactured homes tax exemption, AIM language on tax exemptions for cancer treatment devices and drugs, AIM/TRIM’s language on a sales tax exemption for transmitting and distributing electricity, and AIM’s tax refund clarification language. SB584 is currently in the House and needs a positive vote in the House, before it goes back to the Senate for final approval.

Our hopes remain high for SB 844, the “Shared Work” federal mandate approval. It only has to clear one more vote in the Missouri House for the Shared Work program to continue to exist. But if the bill takes on any changes and goes back to the Senate, the bill may not pass before the session ends tomorrow. See our article about the Shared Work program.

One bill kind of flying below the radar, so-to-speak, appears to be HB 1468. It includes language that reads that if a worker is doing work for a business or organization on a purely volunteer basis, then that person is not covered by the Workers’ Compensation Law. The Senate has now added “exclusive causation” language for workers’ compensation retaliation cases. That bill is headed back to the House. If the House makes no more changes to the bill, then it can be passed on to the governor with just one vote in the House.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture would be required to publish rules on the expansion of the sale of E-15 fuel under HB 1326. And House Bill 2141includes a compromise on language on compressed and liquefied natural gas placards and conversion to a “per gallon equivalent” tax system for the fuels.

As mentioned before, these bills are all still “in play” at the time of this writing on Thursday afternoon. We will keep you informed on important pieces of legislation as they move through the process. Keep checking our blog at http://www.aimo.com and go to the “Latest News” tab. But keep in mind, things can change in minutes on either the House or Senate floor.

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