It was another busy week in Jefferson City. To kick things off, the House Committee on Economic Development, chaired by Representative and Realtor Derek Grier, heard testimony on Representative David Gregory’s HB 665; the House version of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit reform. At the same time, the Senate had a hearing on Senator Hegeman’s version of the same issue [SB 28]. Though the Senate hearing was a little contentious, the House hearing was even more so. That is because there are numerous House members who don’t like tax credits. In the past, the Senate was generally the problem on this issue; however, it has changed and for that reason, the House is now the body to watch.
On Tuesday, we had yet another busy day. At 8:00 a.m., the Senate Committee on Ways and Means met and considered SJR (Senate Joint Resolution) 20. This Resolution, if passed by the voters, would repeal Article X, Section 26 of the Missouri Constitution. This Article directly prohibits the imposition of any new sales taxes on services. During the hearing, several members of the committee suggested they would be willing to carve out an exception for real estate transactions but Missouri REALTORS® was not the only organization working on that issue. For that reason, I explained I had no latitude on the issue except to oppose the repeal. Those who testified against SJR 20 were: Myself for Missouri REALTORS®; Brad Jones for NFIB; Jeremy LaFaver for Missouri Budget Project; Carl Bearden for United for Missouri; and Jeanette Mott Oxford for Empower Missouri. Ward Cook, representing First Rule, testified in support.
The House Committee on Judiciary met on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. and voted in favor, 16 - 0, to send HB 106 [immunity for real estate licensees relating to the reporting of area or square footage] to the Committee on House Rules-Legislative Oversight. Chairman of the House Rules-Legislative Oversight is Representative Rocky Miller. Representative David Gregory, Chair of the Judiciary Committee, runs a very tight ship. In addition, I appreciate his willingness to take the bill up once a House Committee Substitute was developed. I would also like to thank Representative Cody Smith for helping to work through changes needed. In an incredibly time-consuming role, he also serves as Chair of the House Budgett Committee.
Note, I neglected to report last week that the House Committee on Financial Institutions sent the House Committee Substitute for HB 215 [PACE Reform] to the Committee on House Rules-Legislative Oversight.
On Wednesday, March 6, the House Special Committee on Small Business voted to send Representative Hardy Billington’s HB 899 to the House Committee on Rules-Legislative Oversight. This bill would reduce the time defendants have to file a motion to set aside a judgment, or to request a new trial (from 10 days to 5).
Looking forward to next week; there will be a hearing on SB 173 [Senate’s version of PACE], and a hearing on SB 483, which tightens up the permit approval process for building permits and certificates of occupancy. On Thursday, March 21, Spring Break begins for the General Assembly. There will be no session the week following.
Chief Lobbyist, Missouri REALTORS®