First Bill of 2022 Passes
The first bill passed during the 2022 session was signed by the governor. This week, the Senate approved House Bill 3014, which authorizes supplemental appropriations for the 2022 fiscal year budget. We pass at least one supplemental budget bill each year to make necessary adjustments based on actual revenues and expenses. This year’s supplemental was much more involved because it contained billions of dollars of federal money that came to Missouri through stimulus and COVID relief legislation passed by Congress.
Personally, I wish the federal government would stop spending so much of our taxpayer money, but once the money was here it had to be appropriated before a certain date. Included in HB 3014 is nearly $2 billion for K-12 and early education programs. There’s also federal dollars for public safety, money to improve access to telehealth in rural areas, housing and low-income energy assistance for those affected by COVID and a variety of other programs.
This week, the Senate also approved Senate Joint Resolution 33, which would cap state income taxes in the Missouri Constitution if approved by voters in November. We also passed a renewal of the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant program. This program provides financial assistance to adults who go back to school for technical and career-focused training. The original legislation, which was passed during my first year in the Senate, was set to expire later this year. Senate Bill 672 extends the sunset through 2029 and expands eligibility to include more apprenticeship programs. I was glad to see Fast Track renewed, as I believe it is a good investment and helps ensure Missouri has a ready and trained workforce for the jobs of tomorrow.
Finally this week, I introduced legislation to help law enforcement agencies attract new recruits and retain good police officers. Senate Bill 1181 would phase-in a state income tax deduction for members of law enforcement. Beginning in 2023, local peace officers, members of the State Highway Patrol and federal law enforcement officers in Missouri would be allowed to deduct 25% of their salary from their adjusted gross income when calculating their state income taxes. The deduction would increase by 25% each year until 2026, when a police officer’s entire salary would be exempt from state income tax. My bill would provide an additional incentive for officers to stay on the job, and also help attract new individuals to a career in law enforcement.
It is my great honor to represent the citizens of Platte and Buchanan counties in the Missouri Senate. Please contact my office at (573) 751-2183, or visit www.senate.mo.gov/mem34.