representaive caleb rowden

Caleb Rowden
File Photo / KBIA

A Missouri Republican wants to ban local laws that raise the minimum wage, require employers to offer paid sick leave or other benefits or prohibit employers from asking about criminal convictions early in the job application process.

Rep. Caleb Rowden, of Columbia, introduced a bill Thursday that he said will ensure businesses don't have to deal with confusing and complex regulations that vary across the state.

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Of the numerous items Missouri legislators will consider during this veto session, Senate Bill 841 has state health advocates paying attention. The bill's main purpose was to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. But these good intentions may have led lawmakers astray.

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The mayors of Hallsville and Centralia, along with one Missouri legislator, have reached out to gun and ammunition manufacturers in an effort to attract those businesses as other states tighten gun restrictions.

State Representative Caleb Rowden said the decision to reach out to gun businesses is about improving the economy.

“This is a matter of jobs,” Rowden said. “If this was a different industry where it was so public that it made national news that these companies need relieving, I would have sent the same letter with some different bullet points.”