Legislative Column for April 29, 2014

Park the Plane

Since the Senate passed Senate Bill 509, the biggest story in state politics has been the governor’s almost immediate decision and announcement to veto the legislation just as he did with last year’s tax cut bill. However, this year’s legislation is much different from last year’s bill, but his reasons for a possible veto are largely the same.  

He has made consistently false statements in the media and to countless citizens of this great state. It is unprofessional and deceptive to prey on the public when they’ve received limited information. And as a former attorney general, it is unlikely that the governor is confused about either the legislative intent or the language in Senate Bill 509.

The governor has said, among other things, that this legislation will eliminate income taxes for some Missourians who fall within certain tax brackets. Senate Bill 509 does not do this. The governor’s interpretation of this law is wrong and it draws me to question if he is sincere in his concerns or if this is just politics.

Former Missouri Supreme Court Justice Judge Ray Price was asked for an opinion on the governor's claims, and he found them baseless. Nevertheless, the governor insists on flying around the state in his newest airplane purchased without legislative approval or oversight and misinforming the public.

With only two weeks of this legislative session left, there is a glaring void of input from the governor’s office on important issues like the massive overhaul to the criminal code, Common Core, student transfers out of failing school districts, and not to mention balancing the budget. He is also facing three impeachment charges in the House that started as public hearings last week. These items surely demand the attention of the highest office holder in our state.

At the same time, the governor is railing against the approximately $620 million to stay in taxpayers’ pockets rather than be redistributed to non-taxpayers, he wants the legislation to raise the sales taxes for both givers and takers by $700-$800 million to pay for the roads that cannot be repaired with a proposed $26 billion state budget.

It may be time to give politics a rest and focus on state policies that limit government and empower productive citizens; the fight for political power should be abandoned in favor of good public policy. “We the people” need to demand a government that protects individuals’ opportunity and liberty. We still have the ballot box, as we can protect its integrity and employ its power. Let us insist that the governor park the plane and fulfill his oath of office at the ground level.

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.