Senator Mike Cunningham’s Legislative Column for Nov. 16, 2017

Cunningham Updated Banner March 2017

In the coming weeks, the State Capitol will become a busy place as lawmakers gear up for the start of the 2018 legislative session. Beginning Dec. 1, lawmakers can pre-file legislation they wish to advance during the upcoming session. I have pre-filed several measures for the 2018 legislative session.

The first bill I filed reforms the Missouri Property Tax Credit commonly known as the ‘circuit breaker’. This legislation caps income for program participants at 100 percent of the federal poverty level. The plan also caps the maximum available credits at $750 per household for home owners and $450 for renters; and reduces the percentage of rent that constitutes property tax to 8 percent.

I also pre-filed legislation attempting to provide an avenue for our sheriffs and our county commissioners to receive a pay increase. The bill allows a county’s salary commission, with majority approval, to increase the salary of their county commissioners. The legislation also allows our county sheriffs to petition their county’s salary commission for a pay raise.

One of my priorities this session is helping protect trust companies from being held liable when another party makes investment decisions regarding the trust. The way the law is currently written,  the trust company is wholly liable for any loss resulting from an investment decision, even in circumstances where a third party is handling the financial investments of the trust. Nine other states, including Oklahoma and Tennessee have already passed similar laws that protect the trustees. This legislation will protect the trustee from being held responsible for any financial losses, specifically when they have no direct role in the investment of funds from the trust.

Each year, the state treasurer’s office works diligently to return millions of dollars of unclaimed property to Missouri citizens. In an effort to guarantee unclaimed property is being returned to its rightful owners or their heirs, I have pre-filed legislation that makes it a crime for any person who is not registered with the treasurer’s office to charge a fee for their help in claiming the property.

Lawmakers return to the State Capitol on Jan.  3 at noon for the start of the 2018 legislative session.

As always, I appreciate it when groups from around Missouri and from our community back home come to visit me at the Capitol. If you would like to arrange a time to come and visit me in Jefferson City, or if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact my Capitol office at (573) 751-1882.