More on Missouri’s 2011 Legislative Agenda

Last Friday, I posted an agenda of bullet items for this coming legislative session.  That list was published on the St. Louis Today website. Yesterday I received more information about the agenda for the upcoming session from my local state representative, Chris Molendorp (MO-123).  Chris Molendorp sent an e-mail to his constituents reporting comments by Speaker of the House Dr. Steven Tilley at the opening session of the legislature.

From Representative Molendorp’s e-mail… 

A SET OF SOLUTIONS

One of the things I heard loud and clear while campaigning last year was a desire to see solutions to our most pressing problems.  Folks may identify themselves as politically conservative or liberal, moderate or libertarian, but everyone seemed to tell me loud and clear that some things just need to get fixed. 
Speaker of the House Dr. Steven Tilley, delivered an interesting address last week when the Session opened.  And it was with great interest as I listened to his proposal called, “Show Me Solutions”.
He outlined several priority-items that seem obvious to most people.  Yet things that continue to remain unsolved.  These are his guiding principles for his two year reign as House Speaker and I thought I would share them with you.
1.  TAXES & SPENDING
Hold the line on taxes & live within our means. Simply put, we will oppose unnecessary tax increases, balance our budget and keep spending under control so Missouri doesn’t become like Washington, DC and accumulate outrageous debt.
2.  JOB CREATION
Reduce regulations on small business and taxes.  Review and reduce job killing regulations on small businesses and work to phase-in full deductibility of federal income taxes from state taxes.
Small business owner tort reform. Significantly improves the workplace environment in Missouri by strengthening the legal requirements to file a suit and capping damage awards that have gotten out of hand from activist judges.
Immigration. Protect Missouri workers by adopting an immigration bill similar to the law passed in Arizona, but expand it to include human trafficking and cross referencing the sexual predator list.
Nuisance Laws. Stop repeat lawsuits from out of control trial attorneys on small businesses and family farms.
3.  GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY
Follow-up Oversight & Federal Regulations. Institute legislative power to investigate how state funds are spent after they’ve been appropriated and what the cost to the state is for all these federal regulations.
Department Cost Containment Plans. Require state departments to submit cost containment plans during the budget process with their funding requests.
County & School District Debt Disclosure.  Require county governments and school districts to post their balance sheets on an online accountability portal.
Federal Repealer Amendment. Give states the ability to repeal federal laws or regulations.
4.  EDUCATION
Social Promotion. Make sure children meet the appropriate reading level before sending them to the next grade instead of passing them on because of their age.
Tenure Reform. Provide administrators and school boards more flexibility and control over promoting and retaining quality teachers.
5.  HEALTHCARE
Drug Testing Welfare Recipients. Ensure that taxpayer dollars are going towards helping people get back on track and not on bad habits.
Healthcare Cost Transparency. Require hospitals and healthcare providers to disclose their costs to the state and patients.

These five areas of state government are going to be the focus of the “Show Me Solutions” proposal.  This blueprint will now begin to appear as actual House Bills that will soon come to the floor for House debate.  In fact, I expect drug testing of welfare recipients to be the first up on our Calendar.

That last paragraph is interesting.  Today, there are few jobs that don’t require some form of drug testing.  Welfare recipients receive payments from the state. Why should they not meet the same requirements that anyone with a job who’s not on the public dole.  Don’t like it? Then go somewhere where they will support your shiftless butt and have easier welfare requirements. 

Molendorp invites your comments. His contact information is below.

201 West Capitol Avenue, Room 206C
Jefferson City, MO  65101
Phone:  573-751-2175

Missouri 2011 State Legislative Agenda

In case you don’t see this in our liberal media and news outlets, the new Republican controlled legislature has an agenda for this coming year. Their purpose is to encourage economic growth and by doing that to increase jobs and state revenue.

Here’s a partial list:
  • Cap the franchise tax on business assets.
  • Restrict lawsuits against business.
  • Make Missouri a Right-to-Work state. 
  • Freeze small-business fees.
  • Cut more government budgets, starting with the Legislature’s own staff budget.
  • Discuss replacing the state income tax by increasing the state sales tax.
This is an aggressive agenda aimed at improving the business climate in Missouri and to attract businesses fleeing those tax-heavy states like California, New York, the Northeast and the Rust Belt. The unions and trial lawyers will be out in force against them. Fortunately, I believe the legislature has the votes of over-ride the Governor’s veto. 
                                

As far as our state goes, it’s going to be an interesting year.