Despite high tensions and dysfunction by the end of session, the Missouri Legislature passed a number of measures beneficial to small businesses this year.
Here’s a sampling:
- Senate Bill 19—Made Missouri a Right to Work State
- House Bills 1194 and 1193—Prohibit municipalities from having a higher minimum wage than that set by the state
- Senate Bill 16—Prohibits the Department of Revenue from collecting sales tax on deliveries.
- House Bill 153—Improved the expert witness standard so that testimony must be based on sufficient facts and reliable principles, given by qualified individuals, in order to be admitted.
- Senate Bill 31—Modifies the collateral source rule so that parties introduce evidence of the actual cost of medical expenses, rather than the value, preventing plaintiffs from recovering expenses they never paid or owed.
- Senate Bill 43—Requires that workers bringing forward discrimination claims in wrongful termination lawsuits prove that bias was the explicit reason they were fired, rather than a contributing factor.
- Senate Bill 66—Modifies workers’ compensation laws
However, lawmakers aren’t done yet. Gov. Greitens called them back for a special session to discuss a legislative proposal that would make it easier to open a new steel plant as well as reopen an aluminum smelter. The measure would allow the Missouri Public Service Commission to charge lower electric rates with longer contracts to big industrial users in the Bootheel region. These rates could be lower than the cost of service. It was discussed during the final days of the regular session, but failed to pass because of concerns that it would result in higher electricity costs for residential and business customers.