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Home » Opinion » Senate Passes Pro-military, Pro-business...

Senate Passes Pro-military, Pro-business Legislation

Senate Passes Pro-military, Pro-business Legislation

April 8, 2017

Here in Missouri, weíre truly fortunate to have such a robust military presence. From our brave men and women in uniform at Whiteman Air Force Base and Ft. Leonard Wood to all those serving in the Missouri National Guard, our military personnel and military families are an essential part of who we are as a state. As both a lawmaker and veteran, creating policies that assist our military community has been a personal priority since my first day in office. I am therefore pleased to report that the Senate has approved legislation Iím sponsoring to make it easier for members of Missouriís military community to start their own businesses. 

New deployment orders generally mean itís moving time for military families. For military spouses who happen to own their own businesses, moving often means closing their businessesí doors. They face other challenges as well. For example, the unemployment rate for married military spouses is roughly triple that of married civilian spouses, and they tend to make significantly less than their civilian counterparts. Employers can also be reluctant to hire military spouses due to their frequent moves. Clearly, anything we can do to ease the process of starting over will be a tremendous help for our highly mobile military families.

Senate Bill 18 waives the secretary of stateís business startup filing fees for military spouses and veterans. It is an expansion of a 2014 measure (Senate Bill 600) that exempted members of the Missouri National Guard and any other active duty military from the same fees.

Military-friendly legislation is not only important in how it creates a more inclusive, welcoming environment for military members and their families, itís also central to demonstrating Missouriís commitment to keeping our military bases open and operating at full capacity. When it comes time to complete a round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) takes into consideration all the various efforts each state has made to support its military.

Consider this: DOD spending supports approximately 275,000 direct and indirect jobs throughout Missouri, with its total economic impact to our state calculated at nearly $40 billion annually. So should we ever lose a base or see a major reduction in our military population, our economy would take a substantial hit. Measures like SB 18 are a huge plus in Missouriís column and can make all the difference in determining whether one of our bases will be included in the next round of closures.  
Over the years, itís been my honor to sponsor several successful policies aimed at helping our military. Senate Bill 18 is another means by which we can show our appreciation for our military communityís service and sacrifice while promoting job growth and economic development in the Show-Me State. 

Join the conversation and follow me on Twitter @SenWillKraus. Pease feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and will try to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at (573) 751-1464, or email at Will.Kraus@Senate.Mo.Gov. Senator Will Kraus serves Eastern Jackson County in the 8th State Senatorial District.



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Comments

  1. John Marquardt says:
    April 13th, 2017 at 13:03
    The Missouri Senate and House have refused to help businesses in Missouri. The roads and bridges of Missouri are rapidly deteriorating. Drive several 'lettered' highways in the state and you'll see what is happening. The state has given up taking care of those highways. Many have turned into partial-gravel roads and are dangerous to drive at the posted speed limit.
    One of the most important things a state does is provide a safe and reliable road system. Senator Kraus and the rest of the Missouri Senate have turned their backs on providing that safe and reliable road and bridge system.
    If the state does not act soon the roads and bridges will require even more money to bring them back to driveable conditions. I, like most people don't like to pay taxes but taxes are there for a reason.
    If I was looking at Missouri to start a manufacturing business one of the most important things would be the ability to get raw products to my plant and the ability to move my finished goods to the market place -- I would walk away from Missouri because of the roads.
    It's time Mr. Kraus to write and pass a new fuel tax to provide Missourians with the roads and bridges we deserve -- pass a simple fuel tax just for roads and bridges -- no airports, no public transportation, no trains, no fancy buildings --just roads and bridges. Farmers use our roads, it's time to tax their fuel. Electric cars use our roads, it's time to tax them too.
    Without a new fuel tax just for roads and bridges you are failing as a State Senator to protect and promote the interests of Missourians.
    Please join me in writing Sen. Kraus and other Missouri Senators and Representatives to let them know we want good roads and bridges in Missouri.

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