The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry called the recently completed legislative session “one of the most productive” for employers in the state.
In a report outlining the legislative session, which ended Friday, chamber officials pointed to business successes accomplished by lawmakers. Goals set by the chamber four years ago in its Missouri 2030 plan came to fruition this session, according to a news release.
“People are taking notice of the progress happening in Missouri. Under Gov. Mike Parson and with Missouri 2030, business and government are on the same page and working toward the same goals,” chamber President and CEO Daniel Mehan said in the release. “We are trending in the right direction in the economic rankings and leading in small-business wage growth.”
Highlights of chamber-approved legislative measures include:
• Fast Track, Parson’s initiative to provide financial aid for adult nontraditional students seeking careers in high-demand fields;
• full funding for the K-12 foundation formula and “stable funding” for higher education;
• the creation of the One Start program for performance-based job training;
• a new $450,000 budget appropriation to train Missouri educators on how to teach computer science courses;
• a bill that incentivizes teacher externships;
• legislation that prohibits out-of-state legal cases from coming to St. Louis and Kansas City, where courts are said to be friendly to plaintiffs;
• continuation of federal health care reimbursements for health care industry businesses; and
• a bond issue to improve the state’s infrastructure.
Parson, too, applauded the passage of Senate Bill 68 — sponsored by Sen. Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield — that, in part, authorized $10 million in funding for Fast Track. The bill also approved incentives for General Motors to expand its Wentzville plant.
“From day one, you’ve heard me talk about the importance of workforce development and infrastructure,” Parson said in a news release. “Missouri’s historic low unemployment, national leading small-business wage growth and low taxes are all working to keep our economy stronger than it has ever been. We added nearly 12,000 jobs just last month, and if we hope to continue these successes, we must put our best foot forward and compete to win, which is exactly what we’ve done this past session.”
Developers say city needs a variety of housing types to meet demand.