Sen. Caleb Rowden’s Legislative Column for the Week of Jan. 25, 2021

This week was particularly exciting in the Missouri Senate. As we closed out the first month of the legislative session, we passed our first bill on Thursday, Jan. 28. Senate Bill 2 expands the Missouri Works Program to include part-time National Guard duty and civilian support jobs.

Currently, part-time positions are not eligible to be included in the payroll calculations used to determine the workforce development incentives provided through the Missouri Works Program. Without SB 2, Missouri military bases would continue to miss out on the opportunity to receive tax credits for projects that fall under the program’s guidelines.

For example, the 139th Airlift Wing at the Rosecrans Air National Guard Base in Saint Joseph is competing to host an aeromedical squadron, which would bring 106 jobs to the base. A handful of these positions are full-time, and the rest are part-time. By passing this bill, we are making St. Joseph an attractive option to land this new squadron, and we are also demonstrating our state’s commitment to keeping military jobs and bases in Missouri.

I believe SB 2 helps further establish Missouri as a state that will continuously fight to ensure the men and women of our military are a priority. Additionally, providing more workforce development incentives through the Missouri Works Program makes our state more attractive in the eyes of the military, especially as they select bases for new programs and units.

Senate Bill 2 has been sent to the Missouri House of Representatives for their consideration. With the bipartisan support this legislation received, I am optimistic that SB 2 will cross the legislative finish line and be sent to the governor’s desk for his signature before the end of the legislative session.