Greitens aside, gop lawmakers mark victories in 2018 session the kansas city star gas jockey


Their hopes were nearly dashed by a flawed analysis that failed to recognize a $60 million impact in a corporate tax cut bill. Lawmakers caught the error and passed a smaller cut that would lower corporate tax rates to 4 percent from 6.25 percent. The bill changes the way businesses’ tax liabilities are calculated to make up for the loss in state revenue.

Overcoming years of GOP-led opposition to any and all tax increases, lawmakers on Friday voted to send a 10-cent hike in the gas tax to voters for their approval. If Missourians sign off, the increase is estimated to generate at least $288 million annually for the Highway Patrol and $123 million annually to local governments for road construction.

One bill reworks the state’s prevailing wage law, which sets a minimum wage for workers on public construction projects, like roads, schools, jails and other government projects. Governments would have to pay only the prevailing wage on projects worth more than $75,000, and the bill would weight the average wage and create an alternative wage for counties that don’t have many projects.

The GOP also pushed through a “paycheck protection” bill that requires public unions to get annual permission from their members to withhold dues and spend money for political purposes. It also mandates more public disclosures for public unions and requires union members to vote every three years to retain their representation.

A bill capping funds for historic preservation tax credits cleared both the House and Senate on Friday. The same day, the House Budget Committee also announced it would decline to fund a low-income housing tax credit program and credits for wine and grapes, beef, innovation campuses or historic structures.

Changes to the state’s regulatory framework that utility companies have pushed for years were approved this week. Utilities say it will spark billions in infrastructure investment. Consumer groups say it will only result in higher rates for individuals and businesses.

The Kansas City Star found that Missouri is the easiest place in the country for a 15-year-old to get married, in part because the state has no set minimum age. That could soon change as lawmakers voted to set 16 as the minimum age and prohibit minors from marrying anyone 21 years and older.

Lawmakers spiked a proposal that would have allowed Missourians with terminal illnesses to access medical marijuana in a smokeless form. Numerous efforts to revamp the state’s legal system, particularly in regards to consumer protection law, stalled in the Senate.

A proposed constitutional amendment requiring that only U.S. citizens be counted in the redistricting process died in the Senate at the 6 p.m. deadline. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Dean Plocher, R-St. Louis, drew criticism as being “racist,” but Plocher said the “one person, one vote” principle of redistricting was being diluted by non-citizens.

They have until June 17 to sort out whether Greitens should be impeached for a host of accusations, ranging from campaign finance violations dating to his 2016 run for governor to accusations of coercive and violent sexual misconduct from a woman with whom Greitens had an affair in 2015.

“I trust the process,” said Rep. Jean Evans, R-St. Louis County. “Our leadership has laid things out. They’ve gotten input from members who are all over the map in terms of how they feel about the governor. Everyone wants a thorough, transparent process and I feel very confident that that’s what we will have.”

Greitens has begun trying to rally his allies in the House in the hopes of staving off any impeachment proceedings. His attorneys have proposed a process that would look more like a trial, with both sides calling and questioning witnesses, offering evidence and making arguments.

The House committee that’s been investigating the governor appeared to resist the governor’s proposed process. Most presume the committee will hold a hearing, after which any articles of impeachment would move through the process like any other piece of legislation.

“I think that the bungled legal proceedings are weighing heavily on a lot of people because it gives the public perception that things aren’t entirely above board, when in fact, from the committee level, the legislative proceedings are completely above board,” Fitzpatrick said.