Protecting Our Streets and Homeowners
This week, I focused on moving my legislative priorities forward. I presented my bills to committees this week.
In Monday’s Judiciary Committee hearing, I presented Senate Bill 766, a public safety measure that would allow prosecutors more time to bring charges against persons accused of dangerous felonies or crimes involving the use of a deadly weapon. My legislation would extend the current 24-hour charging window to 48 hours. The committee heard testimony in support of my legislation from the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, the Kansas City Police Department and the KCPD Board of Commissioners. Too often murder suspects and other dangerous offenders are taken off the streets, only to be released because law enforcement and prosecutors do not have the time to obtain a warrant to hold the dangerous individual within one day. My legislation will stop the catch-and-release of dangerous felons.
My legislation to curtail runaway property tax assessments also received a hearing this week. On Thursday, the Senate Ways and Means Committee heard testimony on Senate Bill 680, as well as a companion measure, Senate Joint Resolution 39. My Senate bill would cap assessment hikes to no more than 5% or a rate equal to the rise in the consumer price index, a common measure of inflation. The companion resolution puts a constitutional amendment before voters, and grants the legislature the authority to enact the assessment caps. Missouri property owners are subject to increases in property assessment – and therefore their taxes – every two years. That’s scheduled to take place in 2022, so it’s important that we get this legislation passed. As many property owners discovered in 2020, some of these increases can be staggering. For seniors and others living on fixed incomes, an excessive property assessment can threaten their ability to keep their home. This is unacceptable, and I am committed to doing what I can to prevent this happening.
Finally this week, I also presented Senate Joint Resolution 40 to the Seniors, Families, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. My legislation would exempt veterans with a total service-connected disability from paying personal property taxes in Missouri. This legislation extends that small measure of our appreciation to all service men and women who experienced a total disability. Because this measure enacts a constitutional change, it must be approved by voters before it takes effect.
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.