Preserving the Second Amendment
I will be voting to override Governor Nixon’s veto of HB436, the Second Amendment Preservation Act. That being said, HB 436 could have been better drafted and parts of it will have a difficult time when challenged in court on issues of federal supremacy and nullification. There are other sections, such as those involving school safety officers, that are excellent and probably will not even be challenged. I am planning on filing a more specific bill this upcoming session to protect Missourians’ 2nd amendment rights. One of its components will be a strict ban on any future form of registry for firearms, ammunition, reloading supplies and equipment, and firearm parts by any governmental entity. The exception is for current federal registration of such things as fully automatic weapons and silencers to avoid the constitutional problems of nullification. It will also contain a ban on the further restriction of components specifications on firearms in the state such as magazine capacity, bayonet lugs, flash suppressors, night scopes, etc. It will also prohibit any special taxes or fees that single out the manufacture, ownership, or use of firearms, ammunition, etc. I welcome suggestions on what to include in this protective legislation.
Helping Missouri’s Workers and Small Businesses
Unfortunately HB 253 has become politicized and its opponents have embarked on a campaign of fear mongering and disinformation about the bill and its effect. The Governor has heightened this, in many’s opinion unconstitutionally, by creating an immediate negative fiscal impact on his targeted audience by withholding $400 million in funds allocated by the legislature to education, healthcare, seniors, and many other programs, when there is in actuality about a $400 million surplus in state revenue.
The idea that the Missouri Legislature is anti-education, anti-healthcare, and anti about everything or that we are acting in a haphazard way is ludicrous. For example the $66 million that the Governor is withholding from K-12 education is $66 million that we added to K-12’s appropriation above that requested by the Governor as is at least $25 million of the $33 million withheld from higher education. The income tax reduction for individuals and corporations has safe guards that will require the state’s tax revenue to $100 million before each step of the 10 part reduction can be implemented. The tax reduction for small businesses (S corporations, LLCs, partnerships and other pass through taxed entities) will reduce their taxes by 50% over 5 years. Small business is the backbone of our economy employing over 80% of our work force and covering all segments of our economy from farms and retail sales to service companies and manufacturing. This reduction will fund job growth, business growth, and fuel business and personal spending in our Missouri economy there by growing it. There are many other parts to this bill, including prepartions for implementing streamline sales tax, collection of taxes for internet sales, withholding tax revisions, revisions to sales and use tax statutes, and other items that make our tax system more fair and efficient.
There are a few drafting issues in the bill that will be addressed in the next session of the legislature before any of the relevant sections are implemented. One involves tax on prescription drugs, which was language, provided by the Governor’s people that inadvertently dropped prescription drugs from the tax exempt list on sales tax. Another involves the clarification of a section some interpret to authorize retroactivity of some of the tax reductions to prior years. Again, these are simple changes that will be enacted long before they are scheduled to become operative.
I believe our workers and businesses should be able to keep more of their hard earned money. They know better how to spend that hard earned money and in so doing will grow our economy in a sustainable fashion throughout all of the Missouri unlike the system of tax credits administered by the Department of Economic Development that pick a few winners and losers. Apparently the opposition to this bill, including the Governor, does not agree with me.
Similar to a bus system, the Sunshine Trolley has stops all around Joplin. It costs $1 every time you board, or $30 for a monthly pass, which allows a rider unlimited rides throughout that calendar month. Those sixty or older, have Medicare, or have a diagnosed disability receive half price fares. For more information call 417-626-8607.
A pre-scheduled, curb-to-curb bus service, the MAPS routes will pick you up from one destination and drop you off at another. MAPS costs $4 one way and are available to the general public. Buses run Monday-Friday, 6:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 8:40 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Those sixty or older, have Medicare, or have a diagnosed disability receive half price fares. It’s best to schedule appointments a week in advance, and trips are scheduled first come, first serve. For further information, call 417-626-8609.
City Hall offers a cab coupon discount program to anyone who is elderly, low income, and/or disabled (Joplin residents only). Once a month, individuals can visit the Finance department at City Hall and purchase a booklet of coupons at a 60% discount. To apply or for more information, contact the Finance department at Joplin City Hall by calling 417-624-8820.