Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin’s Column for the Week of May 6

JEFFERSON CITY — As we wind down to the final week of the 2019 legislative session, I am enthusiastic about what lies ahead for our economy across northeast Missouri.

This year, Missouri has experienced record employment and strong economic growth. As a result of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and Missouri’s largest income tax cut ever, Missouri’s unemployment has dropped to 3.3 percent, which is the lowest it has been in almost 20 years. In addition, more than half of all taxpayers have seen a decrease in tax rates, 64 percent of Missourians have received an increase in their take-home pay and 2.9 million jobs have been filled.

I believe the numbers are proof that that low taxes play a potential role in a strong economy. These low tax rates allow businesses to hire more workers and that results in additional revenue for our state.

While these numbers indicate that our economy is improving, I believe there is still work to be done in order to move the state forward. As policymakers, we must continue to reform our state’s regulatory environment in order to reduce as many obstacles to employment as possible.

In effort to decrease those obstacles, I support House Bill 470. Known as the Expanded Workforce Access Act of 2019, this bill authorizes licensing authorities to establish a system that limits restrictions to apprenticeship and non-apprenticeship licenses. Missouri employers want less government so they can grow jobs with people who want to work with their hands. Employers know that this is what kind of people we have in Missouri which is why manufacturers like GM are looking at bringing more jobs to our state.

I look forward to gathering valuable feedback from the colleges in my district so that our legislative efforts align with what is best for our students who plan to enter the industrial workforce. As the Senate handler of this legislation, I look forward to working with my colleagues to this bill across the finish line. By passing this legislation, I believe we can improve our state’s workforce and make our state a better place to work and raise a family.

Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-7985. You may also email me at