Supporting Veteran-Owned Businesses (HB 1503)
A piece of legislation that has already been signed into law by the governor is meant to encourage and assist veterans to start and grow their own businesses. The bill would allow veteran-owned small businesses to participate in the Missouri Linked Deposit Program.
Supporters of the bill note that, after World War II, 49 percent of returning veterans started their own businesses because a federal loan guarantee was available. Currently, only 6 percent of returning veterans start their own businesses. Supporters believe the legislation passed this year can provide veterans with an opportunity to start their own business and contribute to the state’s economy.
The state’s linked deposit program partners with lending institutions to provide low-interest loans to help grow and expand economic opportunity across Missouri. The bill allows eligible veteran-owned small businesses to participate in the program. Eligible businesses are defined as any business owned by an honorably discharged veteran and Missouri resident who has agreed to locate his or her business in the state for at least three years and employs less than 100 employees, a majority of whom are Missouri residents. The bill also states that lending institutions must give preference to businesses owned by veterans when considering which small businesses should receive reduced-rate loans through the program.
Veterans who receive a loan through the program must also complete a boots-to-business program approved by the Department of Economic Development and be assigned a mentor for 365 days following the loan approval date. The owner and his or her mentor must meet at least once every 90 days.
Expanding the Rights of the Descendants of Missouri-Born Adoptees (HB 1713)
The descendants of Missouri-born adoptees would be able to more easily learn about their heritage under legislation given final approval by the Missouri General Assembly.
The legislation would allow lineal descendants of a Missouri-born adoptee to obtain a copy of the adoptee’s original birth certificate if the adoptee is deceased. Such individuals would also be able to obtain any accompanying contact preference form and medical history form in accordance with existing statutory provisions relating to birth parent contact preferences and medical histories.
The sponsor of the bill said it is important for the descendants of adoptees to be able to learn about their family members and heritage. He said, “This is a simple but important change that will allow folks to be able to obtain that information so that it isn’t lost forever when a parent or a grandparent who was adopted passes away.”
The bill now requires the signature of the governor to become law.
Reducing the Regulatory Burden on Missourians (HB 1719 and SB 840)
During the 2018 legislative session, lawmakers gave final approval to legislation that would encourage entrepreneurial growth and fuel employment by reducing regulatory burden. The legislature approved two bills meant to free the business environment from stifling restrictions.
Senate Bill 840 allows for reciprocity of professional licenses with other states. Under the bill, Missouri will recognize professional licenses and certifications from other states that have substantially similar training and educational requirements. With the changes in place, supporters say burdensome restrictions requiring repetitive or duplicative education will be eliminated. As the bill’s sponsor said, “This is a change that will make Missouri a more desirable place for business and attract skilled workers by recognizing their existing training and professionalism.”
House Bill 1719 will discontinue any age restriction for individuals over the age of 18 for most Missouri professional licenses. The bill’s sponsor explained, “With this much-needed change, Missouri government will no longer tell a soldier returning from war, that while the military may have trusted them to maintain an aircraft carrier, Missouri does not trust them to move a toilet because they are not old enough.” The bill also includes provisions to ease the regulatory burden on hair braiders, and to ensure government engages in the licensing and regulation of occupations and professions only when it is necessary to protect the welfare of the public.
Both bills have already been signed into law by the governor.
Preventing Misrepresentation of Meat Products (SB 627)
This session, the General Assembly gave final approval to legislation that would ensure products marketed as meat actually come from harvested livestock. With the passage of the bill, Missouri becomes the first state to approve legislation to deal with the misrepresentation of lab-grown meat products or meat substitutes as meat.
The bill addresses an issue that is national in scope and supporters say other states may now look to Missouri as an example of how to deal with this growing problem. The legislation that has already been signed into law by the governor will update Missouri statutes to prohibit “misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry.”
As the sponsor of the bill said, “There is no question about what is or isn’t meat, but that hasn’t stopped some plant-based foods from labeling their products as meat. The legislation we approved will make it clear once and for all that a product can only be labeled as meat if it comes from harvested production livestock or poultry. This is an important step to take to protect consumers and to support our farm and ranch families who work day in and day out to produce the meat products we put on our table.”
Assisting Disabled Missourians (SB 881)
Legislation that has been approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor would make the placard renewal process simpler for disabled Missourians.
The legislation increases the renewal period for the disabled Missourians license plate placard from four to eight years. The goal of the legislation is to make life easier for many of the state’s disabled citizens. This legislation was put together by many groups to save disabled Missourians the added hassle of frequently renewing their disabled license plate placard.
As the sponsor of the bill said, “With this we can make life a little easier for disabled Missourians by requiring their placards to be renewed less frequently.”
I want to make sure that you know that my door is always open to you if you have any questions, concerns or comments. You are always welcome to visit, call or email me. My office telephone number is 573-751-1456 or you can email me at Rebecca.Roeber@house.mo.gov. My office address is MO House of Representatives 201 West Capitol Avenue Room 201 CA. To sign up for my capitol report please email me.