Sen. Denny Hoskins Legislative Column for The Week of Feb. 19, 2018

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This week, the Missouri Senate heard multiple bills geared towards reforming the state’s legal system as well as legislation addressing one of Missouri’s most popular tax credit programs.

Senate Bill 608, known as the Business Premises Safety Act received approval from the Missouri Senate. I’m excited to see this bill pass through the legislature with minimum dissent as we work toward improving our state’s civil justice system. This legislation would protect businesses against frivolous lawsuits stemming from third-party criminal activity that occurs on their property without their knowledge.

Only in the case where repetitive offenses occur in a designated amount of time would the business be more apt to be held accountable for those criminal acts. The burden of violent crimes should be on criminals, not law-abiding business owners.

The Missouri Senate also discussed Senate Bill 590, which modifies the existing Historic Preservation Tax Credit program by lowering the program’s cap to $70 million while also creating two additional tax credit programs intended to help preserve the Capitol Complex and other public buildings. Currently, the cap sits at $140 million, making it one of the state’s most expensive tax credit programs.

As lawmakers, we must decide if the proposed reforms to the Historic Preservation Tax Credit would still provide the appropriate level of support to the cities and towns who utilize the credit. It is important we recognize the value this program brings to our communities across the state. This program provides incentives to developers looking to restore some of our state’s historic treasures while also promoting economic growth in our communities.

In Lexington, there is a cannon ball embedded in the courthouse that was salvaged from the Battle of Lexington of 1861. This artifact is a significant piece of Missouri’s military history. I would like to see this program reformed to where small towns are able to take advantage of the tax credit to revitalize their historic town squares and downtowns within their communities. I look forward to continuing the discussion on this topic as session continues.

On Wednesday, I filed Senate Bill 1013 which legalizes sports gambling in Missouri. The time has come to stop pretending a problem doesn’t exist, and bring this activity to light. This bill would create some oversight, while bringing in new revenue to the state as well as jobs and economic activity at our casinos. But we have to do this the right way, and that means strict, anti-fraud requirements and tight coordination with sports leagues to ensure Missourians can remain confident that games are being played with integrity.

Under this bill, consumer protections and safeguards would ensure that any sports betting operator is licensed, and the legislation requires the Gaming Commission to designate a specific law enforcement entity to oversee any behavior that violates the integrity of the sporting event.

The legislation also allows a sport’s governing body to limit or restrict betting on their own sports and it requires that betting operators retain all information regarding bets for three years. I look forward to discussing this issue with my colleagues and I firmly believe now is the time to legalize sports gambling in Missouri.

As always, I appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-4302. You may also email me at