The Missouri Legislature returned to Jefferson City last week to hold it's veto override session. Twenty nine House bills were up for a possible override of the veto they had originally been given by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.
But the top two bills where an override was most anticipated did not get enough votes. The number one priority for Missouri House Republicans was HB253. This bill would have given Show Me State taxpayers a one half percentage drop in the top personal income tax rate to 5.5%, and a drop in the corporate tax rate by 3 percentage points, taking it down to 3.25%. These cuts would be phased in over a ten year period.
Proponents of HB253 pushed for the measure saying that Missourians keeping more of their own money would mean more economic growth for Missouri, keeping it competitive with it's neighbors, many of whom are Right To Work states, or have done away with a state income tax. However, Governor Nixon argued that such a cut would destroy funding for education, and raise the price of some prescription drugs that would impact Seniors. The bill went down to defeat 94-67, with seventeen Republicans voting down the tax cut. Many GOP supporters are saying those "no" votes could make the primary season a busy one in 2014.
The other highly sought after bill was HB436. Under this law, the state of Missouri would not recognize any federal gun laws that in any way, "infringe on the people's right to keep and bear arms." It would have also charged any federal official with a misdemeanor for attempting to enforce any such federal laws. This bill passed in the House, but failed in the Senate by just one vote 22-12. Attorney General Chris Koster called the bill "flawed public policy", and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence said it was prepared to file a lawsuit if the override had passed.
Among some of the other veto overrides that did pass, a bill that would cap any lawsuit payouts against the Doe Run Lead Mining Company at $2.5 million dollars. Also, a bill that would prevent foreign laws being applied in Missouri, and a bill that would block any Agenda 21-type sustainable development being enacted.
John Diehl R-Town and Country, was named next Missouri Speaker of the House. Should Republicans retain control of the House, Diehl will begin his tenure, replacing current Speaker Tim Jones R-Eureka, after the 2014 Legislative session ends.