It’s your money, not the governments. The government will never spend your money as carefully as you and to take it away from you to eventually mismanage and/or give to another is wrong. This means, we, as Missourians, need to reshape state government to rid it of waste and ensure your tax dollars are used effectively and efficiently.
I have introduced several bills to protect your taxpayer dollars:
Senate Bill 169 would create a program to drug test applicants and recipients of welfare benefits. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is a federal program administered by the state that provides cash assistance to families while they are transitioning between unemployment and employment. As of November 2010, Department of Social Services reported that there are nearly 43,000 families utilizing temporary assistance.
Under the legislation, DSS would have the ability to test anyone they have reasonable cause to believe is using drugs. If an applicant or recipient tests positive, they would lose their benefits for three years. You should not as a taxpayer be forced to support another’s drug abuse.
Senate Bill 198 would repeal Missouri’s Estate Tax, a tax on money and possessions left after a death. In 2001, actions from Congress essentially repealed the tax, but it was not permanent.
Senate Bill 171 would allow circuit courts to use private probation services for those who have committed Class C or D felonies. Current law allows courts to use private probation services for misdemeanor offenses.
Senate Bill 172 would prohibit the State Legal Expense Fund from paying criminal conduct claims against state officers or employees who have already plead guilty or have been found guilty; as is currently the case. Your money should not be spent defending state employees who have committed crimes while on the job.
Senate Bill 139 would require state tax credits to be approved like every other state expenditure of your tax dollars; through the appropriations process. Since 1998, Missouri’s tax credits have grown by 407 percent to 521.5 million dollars in 2010 without representation for how taxpayers would like this money spent. The appropriations process is where Missourians, through their elected representatives, have the ability to decide their priorities and then fund them. By treating tax credits just like every other state expenditure, the General Assembly could weigh the benefit of a tax dollar spent on a credit against other state services such as education.
Senate Bill 140 would eliminate the redistribution of wealth in the form of the Circuit Breaker Tax Credit Program. Last year, the state gave away $57 million of your tax dollars on the Circuit Breaker Tax Credit Program in property tax relief for those who rent and do not even pay property tax. You cannot give tax relief to those who do not pay taxes.
Like Missouri families all across our state, I am looking toward the future and I am concerned about Missouri’s long-term financial well being. I will continue to push for action that protects your hard-earned tax dollars. Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think.
Thursday, February 03, 2011
Crowell: Reshaping government to be effective and efficient
The latest report from Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, reviews legislation he has sponsored this session: