✔ Budget is balanced, as required by the Constitution
✔ Restored proposed cuts to K-12 transportation ($36 million).
✔ K-12 foundation formula is fully funded for the first time since 2005, an increase of $48 million.
✔ $6 million to expand broadband to rural schools
✔ $250k to revamp Amber Alert (adds silver and blue alert to the system)
✔ Allocated $42 million (all federal money) to implement the excellence in mental health program
✔ $2 million more in funding for alternatives to abortion
✔ $200 million was set aside in a supplemental fund to pay for unexpected expenses
House Session Highlights
✔ Passed ethics reform
✔ Passed labor reform
✔ Passed statewide framework for TNC’s
✔ Passed education reform
✔ Passed tort reform
✔ Balanced the budget during a tough budget year
The 2017 legislative session will go down as one of the most productive for the GOP. In last November’s election, Missourians made it clear that the status quo was no longer working. As a result, House Republicans made it their top priority to roll back government regulations, enact meaningful reforms, and bring Missouri’s economy into the 21st century. Following through on their promises, our legislators have pushed the state in a direction that will foster economic growth and create better-paying jobs for Missourians.
Balanced Budget – This year the state faced a large shortfall in the budget. Despite this difficult budget year, the House GOP managed to create a budget that managed to cut wasteful government spending, protect our state’s most vulnerable, and fully fund the K-12 foundation formula for the first time. By making those three things a priority, the House Republicans were able to craft the best budget for all Missourians.
Ethics – Following through on their promises, the House GOP passed the first ever ban on lobbyist gifts at the state and local level. In doing so, our legislators have confirmed that they are committed to working for their constituents and not for special interests. For too long Missourians have felt that their elected officials were working for special interest groups and not those that elected them. A lobbyist gift ban is essential to rebuilding the trust between voters and their elected officials.
Economic Development – Last month, Governor Greitens signed House Bill 130 into law. This legislation creates a statewide framework for transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. By welcoming innovative businesses instead of punishing them, Missouri is bringing its economy into the 21st Century. With the passage of HB 130, the Show-Me-State can expect up to 10,000 new jobs and tens of millions of dollars in revenue for our local economies.
Tort Reform – In our state, it has become all too common for trial attorneys to exploit our state’s judicial system. For too long, St. Louis City has been the preferred venue for aggressive trial attorneys throughout the country. House Republicans are confronting this “Judicial Hellhole” reputation head-on with common-sense tort reforms. By ensuring that frivolous lawsuits stay out of our courtrooms, the GOP is protecting taxpayer money while also making the state more attractive to businesses. Additionally, Governor Greitens has signed a bill that will adopt the Daubert Standard in Missouri court cases. The Daubert Standard eliminates what is commonly known as “junk science” in the courtroom and ensures that expert witnesses are actually experts in their respective field.
Labor Reform – This session has also seen the passage of major labor reforms, helping Missouri become a great place to do business. This year Missouri became the 28th state to adopt right to work legislation. With the implementation of this measure promoting worker freedom, the House GOP has given employees the right to choose whether or not they want to join a union. Additionally, House Republicans were able to pass other labor reforms such as paycheck protection, prevailing wage, and the elimination of project labor agreements. By giving workers more freedom, we are making Missouri a better place to do business and pointing our state in the right direction.
Special Session – Last week the House came back for a special session to focus on an economic development measure that would create hundreds of good paying jobs in our state. Passage of HB 1 allows the closed down Noranda aluminum smelter to reopen, creating 450 good paying jobs. We are continuing to work hard every day to bring more jobs to our state. This is the only way we can get Missouri back on track and create a better state to live, work, and raise a family.