Senator Rusty Black's Legislative Column for the Week of March 11, 2024

Monday, March 18, 2024

March 18, 2024



As we reach the halfway point in the legislative session, there is still a lot of work to be done. Senate Joint Resolution 74, if approved by voters, would require all proposed constitutional amendments to receive a majority of the votes cast statewide, as well as a majority of the votes cast in at least a majority of the state’s congressional districts. This resolution has passed out of the Senate and had its first hearing in the House Committee on Local Government and Elections. I was proud to support this legislation when it passed out of the Senate and am hopeful that the Missouri House of Representatives can send SJR 74 forward to a vote of the people. This resolution will make sure that rural districts, like the 12th Senatorial District, will have a voice when there is a proposed change to the Missouri Constitution. Groups attempting to change the constitution will have to get support outside of the Kansas City and St. Louis area.


Another priority that will be making its way to the Missouri Senate are the budget bills, House Bills 3001-3020, which appropriate money for Missouri’s Fiscal Year 2025. I expect them to be passed by the Missouri House and sent to the Missouri Senate towards the end of March or in early April so the Senate Appropriations Committee can start making changes. The constitutional deadline to pass the Missouri budget is May 10.


This week, the Missouri Senate sent to the Missouri House for consideration Senate Bill 727, which may be referred to as an omnibus education bill. There were many pieces to this bill, including:

  • Increases the amount of tax credits for the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program from $50 million to $75 million. However, any increase in these tax credits are tied to increases in the transportation formula.  
  • Allows for a charter school to be located in Boone County.
  • Adds a $15 million increase to the Small Schools Grant.
  • Does not allow for a change in the school start date.
  • Increases the minimum teacher salary from $25,000 to $40,000 and increases the minimum salary for teachers with a master’s degree to $48,000 by the 2027-2028 school year.


Currently, the Missouri Senate has passed 11 bills and joint resolutions. Below is a brief summary of each bill:

  • SB 727 creates and modifies provisions relating to elementary and secondary education. 
  • SB 736 would allow the state treasurer to increase the amount in linked deposits from $800 million to $1.2 billion.
  • SB 754 is an omnibus public safety bill.
  • SB 756 is a modification to the property tax credit that was created in Senate Bill 190, which was signed into law in 2023.
  • SB 802 establishes the “Missouri Rural Access to Capital Act,” which provides a tax credit for certain investments made in businesses located in rural areas in the state.
  • SB 895 modifies provisions relating to landlord-tenant actions, including moratoriums on eviction proceedings and filings for transfers of title of real property with outstanding collectible judgements.
  • SB 1039 creates the Missouri Geospatial Advisory Council within the Office of Administration, which would be in charge of assisting and advising the state in ensuring the availability, implementation and enhancement of statewide geospatial data infrastructure.
  • SB 1298 increases the maximum speed at which cotton trailers may travel from 40 mph to 65 mph.
  • SB 1363 amends laws previously declared unconstitutional due to the title being too broad by adjusting compensation for county coroners, allowing the coroner to receive the sheriff’s salary if acting as sheriff and enabling third-class county salary adjustments. It also grants county auditors access to audit claims and modifies provisions for St. Louis City and Boone County sheriffs. Additionally, it permits electronic auctions for delinquent property taxes and revises salary determinations for county public administrators.


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.