The Missouri House has backed a tax credit overhaul that is sharply different from a Senate version. A bill given initial approval 120-31 Wednesday night would set much higher caps than the Senate on the amount of tax credits that can be approved annually for the renovation of historic buildings and development of low-income housing.
Unlike a bill passed previously by the Senate, the House version would combine several existing business incentives into a new program with greater flexibility for state economic development officials to award tax credits.
The Missouri House has preliminarily approved sweeping measures that would expand gun rights in the state and allow certain school officials to carry concealed weapons in school buildings.
The bill would allow appointed "protection officers" to carry concealed weapons as long as they have a valid permit and register with the state Department of Public Safety. The officers would also be required to complete a training course established by the peace officer training commission.
The Missouri Senate has passed legislation that would ensure that pharmacies could refuse to stock certain prescription drugs, such as emergency contraception.
The legislation passed the Senate by a 24-9 vote Thursday and now heads to the House.
Sponsoring Sen. David Sater is a Republican pharmacist from southwest Missouri who describes the legislation a business freedom issue. Sater says some states have mandated that birth control or emergency contraception be stocked by pharmacies. But he says a pharmacy — like a clothing store — should be free to sell what it chooses.
The Missouri House has endorsed the creation of several new tax breaks intended to lure high-tech businesses and foreign trade to the state.
House members gave initial approval Wednesday to a bill authorizing $60 million of tax credits for international exporters over the next eight years. They also gave initial approval to bills creating tax credits for investors in high-tech startup businesses and authorizing state and local sales tax breaks for computer data centers.
The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a measure that supporters say will help protect farmers. The proposed state constitutional amendment would prohibit laws that limit what it calls modern farming and ranching practices unless they're passed by the Legislature. The measure would add that the right to engage in modern farming and ranching practices are "forever guaranteed."
House members endorsed the measure Wednesday. It needs another vote before moving to the state Senate. If it passes the Legislature, the amendment would go to a statewide vote.