Sen. Elaine Gannon’s Capitol Report for Oct. 6, 2022

Senator Elaine Gannon’s Capitol Report for Oct. 6, 2022

Mission Accomplished to Cut Taxes and Help Farmers

With the drop of the gavel on Oct. 4, the General Assembly concluded its work on the extra legislative session by passing both policies requested by the governor in his late August call. All told, Missouri taxpayers are poised to save nearly $1 billion by the time the tax cut legislation is fully implemented, and our hardworking farmers will reap the benefits of $40 million worth of annual incentives and tax credit extensions. Now, that’s what I call a mission accomplished!

On Sept. 21, the Senate sent two proposals to the House for its consideration, and the lower chamber took up and passed what has been heralded as the largest income tax cut in state history. Beginning in 2023, the top income tax rate will be reduced from 5.3% to 4.95%, with more reductions to follow if general revenue collections meet certain criteria. This legislation also eliminates our state’s lowest income tax bracket. These substantial savings come at a time when Missourians need them the most as they navigate record inflation and higher prices on literally everything.

This past week, the Senate took up a proposal put forth by the House to extend several agriculture tax credits and create more incentives for urban farms and alternative fuels. Many of the components of House Bill 3 were included in a bill passed during the regular session, House Bill 1720, but the governor vetoed that bill, citing the need to extend agricultural tax credits through 2028, instead of the two-year extensions outlined in the original bill. House Bill 3 includes my legislation to designate the second full week of March as Pet Breeders Week and creates new incentives for ethanol retailers, biodiesel programs and urban farming operations. The bill also updates weight and distance limits for local log trucks and tractors, modifies what qualifies as a family farm and doubles the amount family farmers can borrow for livestock. Agriculture, forestry and related industries contributed $93.7 billion to our state’s economy and generated 456,618 jobs in 2021, so I am thankful my colleagues were able to come to a consensus and give our hardworking farmers, ranchers and loggers a helping hand.

Preparing for the 102nd General Assembly

Now that the extra session has concluded, legislators will turn their focus to the coming session and decide which issues they will try to address during the 102nd General Assembly. Policymakers may start to pre-file bills after Dec. 1, and I plan to file proposals to make diagnostic breast cancer screenings available to more women, update the way Missouri handles offenders on probation or parole from other states and convey a tract of land in Iron County from DNR to the State Highways and Transportation Commission. If you have an idea for legislation, please reach out!

Pink Ribbon Season

As you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so please try to persuade all the women in your family to perform monthly self-examinations and schedule annual mammograms to catch the disease in its early stages when it can more easily and successfully be treated. Breast cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer diagnosed in Missouri women after skin cancer, so please be proactive. The Show Me Healthy Women program offers free breast exams to women who meet age and income requirements, and you can learn more about preventing breast cancer on the Department of Health’s website.