Mo. lawmakers begin pre-filing bills for 2012 session
Missouri lawmakers began pre-filing bills today for next year’s legislative session, which begins January 4th.
One bill was influenced by the deadly Joplin tornado. If passed, it would allow Missouri residents to deduct up to $5,000 from their state income taxes for building storm shelters on their properties. It’s sponsored by State Representative Terry Swinger (D, Caruthersville).
“It’ll help people to be safer, and quite frankly I think that’s one of the main things in government we should be doing," Swinger said. "We should be looking out for people’s public safety and helping them be safer.”
Other pre-filed bills include yet another legislative attempt to restore local control over the St. Louis Police Department. Local control bills failed during both this year’s regular and special sessions as they became bargaining chips in the tax credit battle between the House and Senate. The sponsor, State Senator Joe Keaveny (D, St. Louis), says he hopes that doesn’t happen again.
“I’ve reached out to a number of Senators, (and) I’ve had a positive response, but you know it only takes one or two to stall something," Keaveny said. "That’s always a concern, (and) you try to address it if it pops up.”
There’s a proposed constitutional amendment that would shorten the legislative session from 18 to 12 weeks – and there’s a measure that would require candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor to run on the same ticket. If passed, it would render the current situation of having a Governor and Lt. Governor from opposing parties impossible.