3 Legislative Issues Missourians Should Keep an Eye Out For

Date: January 12, 2015

As the 2015 legislative session begins, Missouri small business owners are following these bills.

3 Issues Missourians Should Keep an Eye Out For

Minimum Wage. There is a proposal that would increase the minimum wage from the current $7.50 to $10.00 per hour, and this increase would hurt small businesses, says Brad Jones, NFIB state director. “Our NFIB members are having enough trouble paying their health insurance premiums and dealing with government regulations. They certainly don’t need an arbitrary increase in their labor costs,” Jones says.

Office of Taxpayer Advocate. This bill would create the Office of Taxpayer Advocate, which would provide independent assistance to taxpayers. The office would be administered by a taxpayer advocate, who would be appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate. The office would have the authority to communicate with taxpayers regarding issues, to communicate with the department of revenue regarding a taxpayer’s issues and have access to any records held by any department or agency regarding a taxpayer’s issues. Read the bill here.

Tort Reform. A bill proposes to change the “joint and several” standard to only “joint,” which means that small business would only be liable for the percentage that they were at fault. Currently under the law, businesses can be held liable for 100 percent of the damage award in a lawsuit even if they are only 51 percent at fault. Businesses can also be held liable for an entire damage award even if multiple defendants, or a third party who is not in the litigation, are at fault. “Missouri is going to be seeing higher liability insurance premiums if we don’t get a handle on our civil justice system and specifically our Supreme Court,” Jones says.  

How would these issues affect your small business and what other issues do you expect to affect your business this legislative session? Tell us in the comments section below.

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