It’s hard to believe how quickly time has flown since the start of January, but the Missouri General Assembly has already reached the halfway point of the 2021 legislative session. With that in mind, I thought I would provide an update on some of my sponsored bills and where they stand in the legislative process.
One of my top priorities for this legislative session is Senate Bill 36. This legislation creates the Capitol Complex Tax Credit Program and allows qualified donors to receive a tax credit for supporting key rehabilitation and renovation projects throughout downtown Jefferson City. Our community is blessed with several impressive and historic buildings, like the State Capitol, the Governor’s Mansion and the Supreme Court Building, but all these buildings need care and attention if we expect them to be enjoyed for generations to come. I believe this legislation is an effective way to encourage private donations to preserve these historic structures, all while reducing costs to the state. Senate Bill 36 has reached the Senate floor, and I look forward to discussing this bill with the full Senate in the near future.
Another one of my bills also expected to be debated soon is Senate Bill 301. This bill establishes the Prescribed Burning Act, and I believe it will encourage safe and responsible fire management by licensed prescribed burn professionals.
Hoping to head to the Senate floor soon is Senate Bill 490, which was recently heard in the Senate’s Ag Committee. This bill deals with the family farm breeding livestock loan program, which provides financial support to Missouri’s small farmers. Senate Bill 490 increases the annual amount of gross agricultural product sales a farmer can have in order to participate in the program from $250,000 to $500,000. The bill also increases the maximum loan amount farmers can access through the program and allows them to access multiple livestock loans at a time. I believe this legislation will provide our state’s small farmers the flexibility and access to vital resources they need to stay competitive in today’s economy.
Meanwhile, Senate Bill 37, which streamlines the regulation and monitoring of anhydrous ammonia, and Senate Bill 38, relating to electric bikes, have both been sent to the Missouri House of Representatives. These bills will now go through a similar process as they do in the Senate. They will be heard in House committees, before hopefully being sent to the House floor and ultimately, to the governor to be signed into law.
I’m proud of the work we’ve been able to accomplish so far this session, but more work remains to be done before session ends in May. Legislative activity is sure to pick up even more in the coming weeks, and I hope to finish strong and help move our state forward.
As always, it is an honor to serve the 6th Senatorial District. If my office can be service to you, please feel free to contact us at (573) 751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Bernskoetter.