Monday, August 13, 2012

A Moment with Mike -- Primary Election & Jobs Bill

Last week many Missourians went to the polls to vote in the August primary.  As we all know, one of our most important rights is the right to determine who will represent us the halls of government and I hope that you exercised that right.  The best way to make our voices heard is to cast your vote and help determine the path our area, our state and our nation will take in the future.  Primary elections typically see turnouts that drop below 30% and even though the primary may not be the final election to determine who will serve your interests in office, it does reduce the field of candidates and it is a major part of the democratic process that places us above most countries.  Voting is one of our most basic rights and I hope that you will all make a concerted effort to make your opinion count as we continue through this very important election season.
With more than 83 percent of the vote, a constitutional amendment that reaffirms and strengthens our right to pray was approved overwhelmingly by Missourians.  Amendment 2, which I have mentioned in past reports, was approved by the General Assembly in 2011 with the intent of making it clear that the right to pray in public will always be protected here in our state.  We have all heard stories of how our expressions of worship have been suppressed by threats of lawsuits and fear of criticism.  By changing our state constitution to more closely reflect the United States Constitution we hope to prevent such acts and protect the rights of all Missourians to pray and worship as they see fit.  I was extremely proud to see the overwhelming number of Missourians who supported this effort.
As the news in recent weeks was dominated by coverage of the elections, many may have missed the fact that an important piece of legislation focused on job creation was signed into law.  It is a bill that was originally passed by the legislature in 2011 to give a tax break to small business owners who create new jobs.  Our intent was for the legislation to apply to all business with 50 or fewer employees.  However, a ruling by our Department of Revenue narrowed the focus of the bill so that it applied to only a select few businesses.  Because we want this deduction to be available to all small business owners who create new jobs, we revisited the issue this year and passed a bill to clarify our intent.  This new piece of legislation, which was signed into law a few weeks ago, provides a tax deduction for small business owners for each new job they create.  The deduction is $10,000 per job or $20,000 if the new job includes health insurance coverage.  In addition, the jobs must pay a wage that matches the county or state average for wages.
Small businesses make up an enormous part of our economic engine here in Missouri and it’s important that we do all we can to sustain an environment that allows them to succeed.  In recent years Missouri ranks high when it comes to efforts to encourage small business growth.  We need to continue to look for ways to make Missouri attractive to business if we are to improve our economy and provide Missouri families with the kind of good-paying jobs they need.
          If you have questions, you may reach me at my Capitol number 573-751-9465, at the local district number, 660-582-4014, by email at or by mail at Room 401B State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

No comments: