Senator Rusty Black's Legislative Column for the Week of Feb. 26, 2024

Friday, March 1, 2024

March 1, 2024



This week was the most productive week for the Missouri Senate so far, as we perfected six bills, ranging in topics of public safety to speed limits for agricultural trailers. One of the first bills we perfected was Senate Bill 754, which is an omnibus public safety bill that includes “Blair’s Law.” This specifies a person commits the offense of unlawful discharge of a firearm if he or she recklessly discharges a firearm within or into the limits of a municipality. This legislation also includes “Max’s Law,” which enhances the offense of assault on a law enforcement animal.


Senate Bill 736 would assist small businesses and farmers by increasing the total amount the state treasurer is permitted to invest in the linked deposits program called “MO BUCK$.” This program allows small businesses and farmers to receive a reduced interest loan from participating banking institutions who partner with the treasurer’s office.


Senate Bill 802 would establish the “Missouri Rural Access to Capital Act,” offering a tax credit for investments in rural businesses. Investors in a rural fund may receive a tax credit over six years, starting with 0 percent for two years and rising to 15 percent for the following four. The Department of Economic Development would oversee applications and monitor compliance with investment requirements, with provisions for recapturing tax credits if criteria aren’t met.


Senate Joint Resolution 71, a resolution that I filed, and that I’m sure you’ve heard me speak about at some point or another, is a fix to the Missouri Sheriff’s Retirement Fund. If it is approved, this would go on a future ballot for Missourians to decide.


Senate Bill 1039 would establish the Missouri Geospatial Advisory Council to assist and advise the state in ensuring the availability, implementation and enhancement of statewide geospatial data infrastructure.


Lastly, Senate Bill 1298 would increase the 40 mph limit on cotton trailers to 65 mph.


Despite increased activity on the floor of the Missouri Senate, committees still held regular hearings throughout the week. The Senate Appropriations Committee heard testimony from the Department of Public Safety, Department of Social Services, the state treasurer and the lieutenant governor regarding their Fiscal Year 2025 budget requests. The Senate General Laws Committee; Veteran’s, Military Affairs and Pensions Committee; and Government Accountability Committee heard and voted on bills relating to their areas of expertise after input from the public.


As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is 573-751-1415, my email is and my mailing address is
 201 W. Capitol Ave., Room 331, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.