Senator Hoskins Supports Legislation that Promotes Growth and Reform Across the State
The State of Missouri has the potential to supply a strong, competitive workforce for every business and job creator looking to grow their operation in the Show-Me State. Through legislation geared at reform and economic growth, I intend to work alongside my fellow senators to achieve this goal.
This week, Senate Bill 608, The Business Premise Safety Act was presented in the Small Business and Industry Committee where several business leaders from the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, insurance, grocery, retail and banking industries went on record in support of the bill. Senate Bill 608 is intended to give the landowner a solid defense from people who are committing crimes or under the influence of drugs or alcohol on their property.
During the hearing, industry leaders acknowledged how the legislation strengthens and further defines the No Duty Rule under Missouri’s law. I would also add that this legislation improves our state’s legal climate by giving business owners and farmers peace of mind that the law is on their side against frivolous lawsuits because of the criminal acts of others.
Higher education institutions are another major contributor to the success of our state’s economy. During the governor’s budget address, he proposed a $68 million cut to higher education for this upcoming fiscal year. This significant cut puts our institutions at risk and I do not agree with the proposed appropriation. At this point, I have already had discussions with the Missouri Senate’s Appropriation Chairman, Missouri’s House of Representatives Budget Chairman, and the Senate’s President Pro Tem about this matter.
As a legislature, we must realize the budget process is a marathon and not a sprint. I want you to know my colleagues and I are working hard to ensure the sustainability of higher education institutions across the state.
In addition to ensuring a level of certainty for our colleges and universities, my colleagues and I are also working towards finding a funding solution to last year’s budget cuts to those who receive in-home and nursing home care. These budget cuts devastated a number of people in our community. On Tuesday, senators began debating and discussing Senate Bill 567. This legislation reforms the state’s Senior Citizen Property Tax Credit in order to restore a portion of the governor’s cuts. I support my colleague’s efforts to correct the governor’s actions and I assure you we are working to address the needs of our state’s most vulnerable citizens.
When it comes to labor reform, communities around Missouri are seeking ways to do more with less. With the support of my constituents in the 21st Senatorial District, Senate Bill 609 - a repeal of Missouri’s prevailing wage laws - was discussed before the General Laws Committee, where there was considerable support for this legislative proposal.
It is time for local school districts and municipalities to be able to afford to pay for jobs only skilled construction workers and contractors are qualified to perform. When contractor wages in urban areas like Jackson County are used as the starting rate for public construction projects needed in rural Missouri, this increases the overall cost of the project. We are still working with industry leaders and Senate leadership to strengthen this proposal.
I believe SB 609 plays a vital role in improving Missouri’s rural communities. Through this legislation, we can make government construction more cost-effective, thereby saving taxpayer resources, while also making it easier for municipal governments to get more bang for their buck on local infrastructure projects.
Agriculture is our state’s number one industry, and I believe it is essential our state continues to identify new areas where we can grow in this industry. Many of us live in rural areas and view agriculture and farming as more than a job, it’s a way of life.
One area where we are looking to expand the state’s agricultural industry is by allowing farmers to grow and sell hemp for industrial purposes. Under Senate Bill 547, farmers who grow and harvest hemp would not be subject to the existing laws under the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. Currently, hemp is classified along with drugs such as cannabis, despite the fact it has less than three percent of THC in it versus its counterpart. I believe this proposal could potentially open up new sources of revenue for our state’s farmers.
The Missouri Senate’s Agricultural, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee approved the proposal, the bill now heads to the floor of the Missouri Senate for consideration.
As always, I appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-4302. You may also email me at email@example.com.