Missouri Senate
97th General Assembly
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Bob Dixon

Serving the People of the
30th Senatorial District

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Constituent LinE:


Senator Bob Dixon
Missouri Senate
State Capitol, Room 332
201 W. Capitol Avenue
Jefferson City, MO 65101



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Swift Senate Action on Priority Legislation

It seems somewhat ironic that this last week — a very productive one in the Missouri Senate — would end with the traditional celebrations for Groundhog Day. In the movie "Groundhog Day," the plot revolves around the lead character repeating the same day, over and over again. At times, the legislative process might seem to resemble the plot of the movie, but this last week, a spirit of cooperation and productivity was on full display.

Organizing quickly, the Senate hit the ground running this year, with bills being referred to committees and public hearings held in short order. What is particularly encouraging is that this swift action has resulted in passage of priority legislation for our area, a bill that also benefits Missourians throughout the state.

Benevolent Tax Credit Bill Advances

On Thursday (1-31), the Senate voted unanimously to give final approval to Senate Bills 20, 15 and 19, which extend or renew several benevolent tax credit programs, including:

I sponsored this bill to set right the unfortunate outcome of last session, when legislative progress on renewal or extension of these benevolent tax credits was stalled by unrelated issues. Allowing these tax credits to expire did not save taxpayers one dime in the long run, and it dealt a heavy blow to the work of local organizations, such as Isabel's House, the Child Advocacy Center, and CASA of Southwest Missouri. These tax credits allow individual, private donors to personally direct their charitable dollars to programs they know are doing the most good, efficiently and effectively. They encourage a fiscally responsible approach to meeting these needs, easing future burdens on the state budget and avoiding the bureaucracy and red tape of government programs. It allows neighbors to help neighbors directly, knowing their donations will have an impact locally.


With swift action and little fanfare, the Senate demonstrated its strong support for an ounce of prevention, in the form of these benevolent tax credits. As it receives SBs 20, 15 and 19, I trust the House will act with the same speed.


During the Coming Week

The week ahead looks to be equally busy.  

On the floor, the Senate will begin work on SB 1.  This bill seeks to address a very pressing issue — the state of the Second Injury Fund (SIF).  The Second Injury Fund was originally created in 1943 to encourage the employment of previously injured or disabled individuals without exposing employers to liability for previous disabilities.  The employer would only be liable for the compensation resulting from the second injury, with the fund covering anything beyond the second injury.  However, the fund is currently insolvent, with insufficient means to pay current or future claims.  This is an issue with which the General Assembly has grappled for a number of years, seeking a workable solution.  We also plan to take up SB 7, relating to school accreditation for failing school districts.  You can utilize Upcoming on the Senate Floor, a new feature which is also available in the upper righthand corner of the main Senate webpage, to learn what legislation is scheduled for floor debate. 

The Judiciary Committee has been hard at work, holding public hearings each week to consider the bills referred to committee.  At this point, nearly one-seventh of the total bills filed in the Senate have been referred to the Judiciary Committee for consideration.  On Monday night (2-4), the Judiciary Committee will conduct hearings on two bills relating to another important issue:  statutory caps on non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits.  In a recent decision on a case originating in Springfield, a narrowly divided Missouri Supreme Court (4-3) overturned the current cap, a key element of legislation passed in 2005.  Now, more than ever, when access to affordable health care for Missourians remains a pressing issue, the potential negative impact on the cost of health care is a matter of concern.  One of the two bills we will be considering is a bill I filed, SB 64, which would require anyone seeking non-economic damages in a medical malpractice case to meet a higher standard of proof.  

Let Me Know Your Thoughts

A complete, current list of the bills filed is always available online at the Senate and House websites, and my sponsored bills are available under the Legislation tab on my webpage.  Those bills assigned to the Judiciary Committee are also listed online, on the Standing Committees webpage, by using the Assigned Bills link next to the Judiciary Committee link.  If you read about a particular bill in a 

Dialogue or find a bill in one of those lists that interests you, please feel free to call (573-751-2583) or e-mail me