From: Dan Mehan [publications@mochamber.com]
Sent: Monday, April 14, 2014 7:05 AM
To: Ms. Fran Kopsky
Subject: Missouri Chamber Direct April 14, 2014 - From Dan Mehan


Watch now: Missouri Chamber Direct video update

Get all the news about business legislation in the Missouri Legislature in this quick video update. This week, we report on Right to Work legislation, transportation funding and the Department of Revenue's tax audit that is harming small businesses. Viewing time is 3:12

 
Coming up this week at the Missouri Capitol

Hearings will be held on legislation to prohibit patent trolling, legislation to rein in EPA attacks on existing energy plants, and legislation that would clarify workers classifications. Several important employer issues are poised for debate.
 
 
Major transportation shortfall looming, House seeks to send tax to Missouri voters

Without action soon, Missouri's Department of Transportation will be left with insufficient resources to maintain and improve Missouri's broad network of roads, bridges, railways and other critical means of moving people and goods.The transportation department currently operates on a $685 million budget. Already, the department has had to stop adding new projects to its five year building plan. In less than three years, the situation could become much worse.

Missouri House secures compromise legislation that will allow Common Core standards to remain intact until 2016

Common Core standards will remain intact while a commission studies the impact of the standards on student performance in Missouri. The Missouri House reached a compromise today on legislation that originally sought to ban Common Core standards in Missouri. Instead, House Bill 1490 was amended to appoint a commission to study the standards and make a recommendation in 2016 on whether to continue with the national standards or implement Missouri's own set of standards.

Missouri House votes to give employees a choice to join a union, but additional votes needed for final approval

Legislation to give employees the right to choose whether or not they want to be part of a labor union was given first-round approval on April 9 by the Missouri House of Representatives after heated debate.  The bill, HB 1770, sponsored by Rep. Eric Burlison, specifies that no person can be required to pay dues or fees to a union as a condition of work.  The bill was perfected on a vote of 78-68.


House bill proposes to alleviate tax burden on Missourians

In an effort to adjust Missouri's income tax brackets to align with inflation, Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Pacific, has proposed a bill, House Bill 1268, that would alleviate the tax burden many lower and middle-class Missourian's are paying. Currently, the highest Missouri income tax bracket is set at $9,000, meaning an individual making $9,000 or more a year would incur the state's highest tax rate of six percent.
More progress on proposal to halt tax court double standard


Legislation to end an unfair double standard in Missouri's tax courts made progress in a Senate committee. The Senate's Ways and Means Committee heard testimony on Rep. Denny Hoskins' House Bill 1455, which would ensure all taxpayers are treated as innocent until proven guilty in the state's tax courts. Currently, businesses with a net worth greater than $7 million come into tax disputes with assumed guilt.
Small business owner says surprise audit could put him out of business, lawmakers take action

For more than 20 years, hundreds of young people have visited Xtreme Gymnastics in Lee's Summit Missouri to learn and improve their skills. But one visit by a tax auditor from the Missouri Department of Revenue could close the small business' doors. Following an audit in 2012, Xtreme Gymnastics owner, T.J. Rehak, was told he owed four years of back sales taxes on services he never knew were taxable.
 
Bill reining in unemployment fraud heard in the Missouri House


The House Workforce Development and Workplace Safety Committee brought Missouri one step closer to stamping out fraud in the unemployment system during a public hearing on Senate Bill 510, sponsored by Sen. Will Kraus (R-Lee's Summit.) For several years, Missouri has worked to repay millions of dollars borrowed from the federal government to cover unemployment insurance claims, when the unemployment insurance fund became insolvent.

2014 sponsorship opportunity for youth leadership program

The Missouri Chamber Education Foundation's 18th annual Leadership in Practice sponsorship opportunities are now available for this summer's 2014 statewide leadership camp.  This June 22 - 25, 2014, we will once again bring together some of Missouri's best rising sophomore students from across the state for three days of intensive leadership training.
 
Join the Missouri Chamber to discuss changes to Workers' Compensation

In 2013, Missouri saw significant changes in several areas impacting the Workers' Compensation system. New legislation on Second Injury Fund Cases and  Occupational Diseases became effective in August.  Changes in the way minor injuries should be handled have also been implemented.  Several court cases are poised to change the landscape as well.   Each of these changes could impact your work comp costs.

 
Check out the latest issue of Missouri Business Magazine

Be watching for the next edition of Missouri Business Magazine, featuring Missouri's health care industry.  One in five Missouri jobs are linked to health care, and this issue will tell the stories of the people and organizations that keep Missouri healthy.  To learn more about Missouri Business magazine and the opportunity to reach 10,000 of Missouri's business decision makers in each edition, click here.
 
 
Take part in "This Week in the Missouri Legislature" calls

Stay on top of the legislation impacting Missouri employers by participating in a bi-weekly discussion on the latest happenings in our state capitol. Join us for "This Week in the Missouri Legislature," our member-only conference call.