Starting the Second Half of Session
The Missouri General Assembly was back in full swing, as we enter the second half of this year’s legislative session. Between now and the end of session in mid-May, legislative action is sure to pick up the pace as lawmakers strive to send their priorities to the governor’s desk.
One bill I’m hopeful to pass this year is Senate Bill 665, which we discussed on the Senate floor on March 21. This legislation would tie the duration of state jobless benefits to the state’s unemployment rate. Right now, eligible individuals can receive unemployment benefits for up to 20 weeks, regardless of how many jobs are available. By creating a sliding scale ranging from 8 weeks when jobs are plentiful to 20 weeks when the economy falters, I believe SB 665 will help the state support struggling Missourians during difficult times, while also incentivizing individuals to find jobs when they’re available.
Meanwhile, I’m also working on passing some important pieces of agriculture legislation. Senate Bill 750, which I sponsored, and House Bill 1720 were recently approved by the Senate’s Ag Committee. Both of these bills renew and extend a number of effective ag tax credit programs. The bills also change the family farm breeding livestock loan program to make it more workable for our state’s small farmers. Senate Bill 750 and HB 1720 also streamlines the regulation and monitoring of anhydrous ammonia, among other provisions. Both of these pieces of legislation will now head to the Senate floor for the consideration of the full Senate.
Lastly, I’m sure all of us have seen the heartbreaking news and footage coming out of Ukraine following Russia’s invasion over the past month. In light of these events, I presented Senate Resolution 594 to the Senate’s Rules Committee on March 22. This resolution states that the Missouri Senate proudly stands alongside Ukraine and its people during this horrific and unnecessary war and further condemns Russia’s violent attack on a sovereign nation. I believe this resolution will send a strong message that we support the Ukrainian people during this difficult time and that assaults on liberty and freedom should not be tolerated.
As always, I am honored to serve the citizens of the 6th Senatorial District. Please feel free to contact my office 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.