Early this morning, the Missouri Senate passed legislation that would fix the state's ailing Second Injury Fund.
The fund is designed to help disabled workers who suffer a second work-related injury. It began running out of money after lawmakers eight years ago capped the surcharge businesses have to pay into it. Senate Bill 1, sponsored by State Senator Scott Rupp (R, Wentzville), would temporarily increase the surcharge.
The top lawmaker in the Missouri Senate says there will be no vote this year on a revision of the state's criminal laws or a $1.2 billion bonding program. Both measures already passed the House. But Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey says they are too complex to bring up with just a few days remaining before Friday's mandatory adjournment for the 2013 session.
It appears that Democrats in the Missouri Senate have successfully stopped legislation that would have redefined what constitutes a maintenance project and exempted those being done on public property from the state's prevailing wage requirement.
The Missouri House has passed a $1.2 billion bonding initiative that would finance construction and repairs at public buildings across the state.
The House's 136-23 vote sends the measure to the Senate. But with only one week remaining in the legislative session, the proposed constitutional amendment appears unlikely to win final approval. If it did, the measure would go before voters in 2014.
Supporters cite a backlog of building needs at state facilities and note that low interest rates make this a good time to borrow money.
The Missouri Senate has passed legislation phasing in a potential $700 million income tax cut for businesses and individuals.
The legislation approved 24-9 Wednesday by the Republican-led Senate is intended to counteract a large income tax cut that took effect this year in Kansas. The bill now goes to the House.
It would gradually cut the individual income tax by one-half of a percentage point and the corporate income tax by three percentage points over a decade. But each incremental cut would take effect only if annual revenues rise by at least $100 million.