Sen. Wieland’s Measure to Support Missouri’s Port System, Among Others, Sent to Governor

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JEFFERSON CITY—The General Assembly has given final approval to legislation sponsored by Sen. Paul Wieland, R-Imperial, that started as port improvement legislation and grew into a larger economic development bill.

“This bill is maybe the largest economic development bill to pass the Missouri General Assembly in years,” said Senator Wieland. “It contains provisions including Public Private Partnerships, the Bring Jobs Home Act and much needed aid for the redevelopment of the old Chrysler plant in Fenton Missouri.”

The underlying bill, Senate Bill 861, would allow ports to create advanced industrial manufacturing zones for the purpose of establishing a dedicated funding source for port improvement and development. Additionally, the bill creates tax incentives for entities that utilize Missouri port authorities. The deductions would be administered by the Department of Economic Development.

“We have a unique opportunity to become a national leader in shipping goods by waterway,” said Sen. Wieland. “This legislation would create a dedicated funding source and encourage more businesses to ship their goods by port. It’s a carefully crafted measure designed to give our ports the support they need to continue creating jobs and set us up to take advantage of a rapidly changing 21st Century marketplace.”

SB 861 also included language that Authorizes Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). PPPs gradually allows state owned enterprises and government to increasing levels of private sector participation. PPPs help deliver private sector capabilities, including their innovation and cost efficiencies, to public sector projects.  “We were looking for ways to encourage the private sector to grow and help the public sector accomplish projects in a more effective way.”

Additional changes this bill made included a change to the brownfield tax credit to aid in the clean-up and redevelopment of the old Chrysler plant in Fenton Missouri. The last addition was the “Bring Jobs Home Act” which encourages businesses that have left Missouri to move their business back to the State of Missouri. “I find it symbolic that we coupled together language that would help clean up the abandoned Chrysler plant, and the Bring Jobs Home Act” said Senator Wieland. “We have a property in Fenton that was abandoned when a company moved its jobs out of our state and were able to pass legislation to rejuvenate that area while creating incentives for companies to move jobs back to Missouri.”

In addition to sponsoring Senate Bill 861, Senator Wieland fought to see Missouri’s port authorities receive more than $12 million in funding for Fiscal Year 2017, a historic amount, and a tacit acknowledgement of how important ports are to business owners in Missouri. Of that $12 million, $1.4 million is going to Jefferson County for improvements in Kimmswick for the Delta Queen project.

Additionally, Senator Wieland carried House Bill 2150, which is identical to his sponsored legislation Senate Bill 863. The legislation requires life insurance companies to compare policies, annuities, and accounts against a death master file for potential matches and to pay beneficiaries. “Sometimes family members do not know if someone that had died had a life insurance policy, and this bill ensures that those individuals get paid as opposed to that money going to the unclaimed property in the state treasurer’s office” said Senator Wieland.

Finally, Senator Wieland was successful in getting his proposal regarding towing company regulations sent to the governor. “For decades, members of the General Assembly have tried and failed to pass meaningful towing regulation” said Senator Wieland. This bill prevents wreck chasing, requires businesses to be available for individuals to pick up their car, requires companies to post the rates they charge, notify car owners of the location of their car, among other changes.  For more information on Sen. Wieland’s sponsored legislation, visit his official Missouri Senate website at