What the End of Session Means for Missouri Small Business Owners

Date: May 13, 2023

JEFFERSON CITY (May 13, 2023) – The General Assembly concluded its legislative session for 2023. Unfortunately, lawmakers left good legislation on the table – bills that would’ve helped our local job creators by providing tax, tort, and regulatory relief. Although more positive developments would have been welcome, legislation to bolster the workforce will soon be headed to the Governor’s desk.

Upon the General Assembly’s adjournment, NFIB State Director Brad Jones said:

“Overall, this session began with a lot of promise. There seemed to be a new attitude about actually getting things accomplished. Unfortunately, the last week of session has looked a lot like the chaos of the last couple of years. Consequently, some good legislation died on the vine – not because of their merits, but because of personalities and ego.”

A quick summary of the victories and opportunities for the General Assembly to act are below:


HB 417 – Upskill Bill
Sponsored by: Rep. Mike Henderson & Sen. Karla Eslinger
Status: Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed
Summary: This act creates new provisions of law which creates incentives for the purpose of encouraging employees to better themselves through enhanced training or education.

With a recent NFIB survey signaling that labor quality is the top concern for small business owners, Jones applauded the General Assembly for making it easier for Main Street to retain and attract more talent:

“NFIB was very pleased to see this bill go to the Governor. In this fast-paced world of innovation and change, this bill will help small businesses keep up with technology and enhance the knowledge of their workforce. This is a great piece of legislation for both the business owners and their employees.”


HB 268 – Regulatory Sandbox Act
Sponsored by: Rep. Alex Riley & Sen. Denny Hoskins
Status: Left on the table
Summary: This act would have provided regulatory relief for those start-up businesses that may need a particular rule suspended or modified until the company was up and running. It also would create the Regulatory Relief Office and the Office of Entrepreneurship.

Noting that Missouri small business owners were disappointed to see regulatory relief held up this session, Jones said:

“It is very unfortunate that this bill did not make it over the finish line. Small business owners deal with a myriad of rules and regulations every day. This bill would have allowed small business owners to voice their concerns about regulations that are particularly troublesome. The bill will also establish a one-stop shop for small businesses who have a question or problem with Missouri state government.”

SB 117 & HB 272Lawsuit Reform
Sponsored by: Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer & Rep. Alex Riley
Status: Left on the table
Summary: This act would have brought Missouri in line with all its surrounding states by dropping the statute of limitations for bodily injury from five to two years.

Missouri’s legal climate leaves small business owners vulnerable to frivolous litigation, Jones warned:

“Waiting five years to bring a lawsuit is just too long. A small business would have a difficult time defending itself if it had to reproduce important evidence that was years old. It is disappointing that certain Senators are more interested in feathering the nest of their trial lawyer buddies than taking care of their small business owners.”

HB 816 & 660Tax Relief
Sponsored by: Rep. Dirk Deaton & Sen. Andrew Koenig
Status: Left on the table
Summary: This bill would lower the top income tax rate from 4.95% to 4.50%. It would also lower the corporate tax rate from 4% to 2%. The fiscal note for this bill is roughly $1.3 billion.

Expressing the disappointment Missouri job creators feel about the General Assembly’s failure to advance tax reform, Jones said:

“With the state being flush with revenue, it seems like it would be a good time to lower the tax rate for our job creators. At a time when small business owners are dealing with inflation, supply issues, and an impossible labor market, it only seems fitting that some relief come their way. Unfortunately, small businesses didn’t win the popularity contest when it came to the state budget.”

Related Content: Small Business News | Missouri

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