We are very busy here in the Capitol with the public hearing portion of various committees underway. The committee I chair has heard over six hours of testimony from the public on the services and programs we cover. As we move forward with the legislative session, please don’t hesitate to let us know about the issues you’re passionate about.
Local Public Hearings:
A Public Service Commission public hearing will take place in Webster Hall at Missouri Southern State University on March 22, 2011. The topic of discussion will be an electric rate case filed by the Empire District Electric Company.
An informative first hearing and question and answer will begin at 11:30 a.m. A second local public hearing will begin at 5:30 p.m. I encourage any and all concerned with the case filed by Empire to attend and voice opinions.
Missouri State Capitol Commission (HCR4):
From a bird’s eye view, our capitol building is a source of pride – an architectural gem. If you look a little closer, however, there are many needed repairs. In an effort to expediate efforts to restore the Capitol, I have offered a resolution to establish the Missouri State Capitol Centennial Commission.
Under this resolution, restoration and renovation will be carried out in dilapidated portions of the Capitol. The Commission will be responsible in seeking out sources of funding - a feature that previous commissions were unable to do. I am hopeful we can help restore our Capitol’s grandeur with no increase in state spending.
Missouri Tax Amnesty Program (HB 116):
the state budget in a pinch, I've filed a tax amnesty bill to help increase state revenue. Under the provisions of this bill, delinquent tax payers can avoid penalties and interest while settling their debt with the state.
In tough economic times, cutting errant taxpayers a break is a quick way to put a dent in the budget deficit. Attracted by the absence of penalties and interest, those formerly avoiding tax payment will generate new revenues when they pay their back taxes. Many of these folks have long wanted to settle their bill, but were overwhelmed with penalties and interest. Current estimates from the Department of Revenue project revenue increases to be upwards of $70 million.
Air and Water Pollution (HB 96):
Another piece of legislation I've proposed focuses on companies that recycle animal parts into petroleum. The bill enforces penalties for exceeding limitations in air and water pollution. Penalties for violating the proposed standards will result in a fine of no less than ten thousand dollars and no more than thirty thousand dollars for each day the violation continues to occur. Companies in persistent violation will forfeit any permits issued by the Department of Natural Resources.
As you can see, much work has been done and much has been set into motion.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Flanagan offers update on pending legislation
In his latest report. Rep. Tom Flanagan, R-Carthage, offers an update on pending legislation: