Sen. Bill White’s Capitol Report for Oct. 6, 2022

Senator Bill White’s Capitol Report for Oct. 6, 2022

Extra Session Yields Changes to Income Tax Rate and Ag Incentives

The Missouri Senate completed the governor’s call for an extra legislative session this week when my colleagues and I truly agreed to and finally passed a comprehensive agriculture bill. This proposal extends the Meat Processing Facility Investment Tax Credit and others through 2028; establishes incentives for ethanol and biodiesel producers and retailers; and creates several economic opportunities for urban and family farm operations. Agriculture is one of the top economic drivers in our state, so these substantial extensions and new credit incentives will assist our hardworking farmers and ranchers as they combat the rising costs of supplies and equipment.

Last week the House passed the extra session income tax cut measure, Senate Bill 3, the other piece of legislation sought by the governor in his late August call. Beginning next year, our state’s top income tax rate will be reduced from 5.3% to 4.95%, allowing taxpayers to keep more of their hard-earned money. The legislation includes a fiscally responsible blueprint to ultimately reduce income tax rates to 4.5% in the coming years, with income threshold triggers built in to safeguard our economy from fluctuations in general revenue. Both of these extra legislative proposals were signed into law by the governor on Oct. 5.

National 4-H Week Celebrates Opportunities4All

October 2-8 is National 4-H Week in Missouri, and local chapters have launched an “Opportunity4All” campaign to celebrate the organization’s numerous opportunities for youth development. Over 47,000 Missouri teens have benefited from clearer thinking, larger service, greater loyalty and better living through their involvement in 4-H this year.

Buy Missouri Week Begins Oct. 8

The Buy Missouri program, spearheaded by the lieutenant governor, is an economic development initiative established in 2017 to promote products that are grown, manufactured, processed or made in Missouri. Several local businesses from our community are members of this program, including the commercial lighting manufacturer in Carthage, H.E. Williams, Joplin’s Watered Gardens Ministries’ Worth Shop, Bekemeier’s Honey House, Marco Group, Indian Springs Brewing Company and Myrtle’s Distilled Spirits, just to name a few. Be sure to patronize these homegrown businesses and others next week and all year long!

Supporting Independent Living

On Oct. 3, I was honored to be named the 2021-2022 Missouri Centers for Independent Living (MOCIL) Legislative Champion for my advocacy, support and legislation to uplift the disabled and help them live as independently as possible. During the event, Bri Conley praised my chief of staff, Mike Kelley, thanking him for his strong support of their efforts in our community. Protecting vulnerable people has been my mission in the Legislature since day one, so I’m proud and humbled to receive this esteemed recognition.

Bri Conley presents a certificate to Sen. White for being named the 2021-22 Legislative Champion at the annual MOCIL awards banquet in Jefferson City.

Local Educator Named Regional Teacher of the Year

Each year, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) selects exceptional educators from around the state as Regional Teachers of the Year. Congratulations to our community’s finalist, Julie Pagán, a K-5 special education teacher at Soaring Heights Elementary School in Joplin, for receiving this prestigious honor. She will be honored at DESE’s Teacher of the Year recognition banquet on Oct. 17 in Jefferson City.

Honoring Pillars of our Community

Congratulations are in order for two pillars in our community, Rev. Dustin Ledford and the Carthage Nazarene Church. Mr. Ledford was named the 2022 Citizen of the Year by the Carthage Chamber of Commerce during a Lunch & Laugh event at his church, Carthage Nazarene Church. I was happy to present resolutions to Rev. Ledford to honor his outstanding citizenry and the 100th anniversary of his church.

Senator White presents resolutions to Dustin Ledford to recognize his Citizen of the Year award and church’s anniversary.

Craft Fair Helps Spread Christmas Cheer

Join the Central United Methodist Church in Webb City for their annual craft fair on Oct. 29 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Route 66 Event Center. Proceeds from the fair will help spread holiday cheer in our community and provide Christmas baskets of food, toys and clothing to deserving families. For more information, leave a message for the event coordinators at 417-437-6390.

Remember, Honor and Teach

The Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery in Webb City, in conjunction with the national nonprofit, Wreaths Across America, will host a wreath-laying ceremony on Dec. 17 at 11:00 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Wall to remember the fallen, honor those who serve and teach our children the value of freedom. Please consider volunteering for the event or sponsoring a wreath before the Nov. 28 cutoff to adorn a hero’s final resting place during the Christmas season. Their tagline says it all, “We don’t know them all, but we owe them all.”

Check Out the Downtown Black History and Performing Arts Mural!

In my last report, I mentioned participating in the unveiling of the Langston Hughes Cultural Society’s new mural honoring the vast accomplishments of African Americans in Joplin. Below is a photo of the completed masterpiece for those of you who are unable to visit the mural in person. Our community is blessed to have this and many other homages to those who contributed to our history and shaped our culture.

Plan a Fall Road Trip

Moderate temperatures and changing foliage mean one thing, it’s time to plan a road trip!  There are so many historical, natural and artistic sights to explore, right here in the Show-Me State. If you are looking for ideas, please read my column, MO: The Places You Can Go.