Halftime for Missouri Lawmakers, Talboy says It’s “The craziest 1st 38 Days”
March 9, 2012

From the St. Louis P-D:
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. • Missouri lawmakers have reached the halfway point of the session.
How are they doing so far? That depends on whom you ask.
The House Republican leaders gave themselves very high marks during a news conference at the Capitol today, boasting that they have two priority bills on the way to the governor and a budget proposal heading to the House floor.
“We’re proud to say at Spring Break that we’ve accomplished 70 percent of the agenda that we laid out,” said House Speaker Steven Tilley, R-Perryville.
Perhaps not too surprisingly, House Democrats had a different take on the session.
“This is probably the craziest 38 days that I’ve ever had at the start of session. We’ve had a myriad of bad things that have been proposed, passed (and) debated,” said House Minority Leader Mike Talboy, D-Kansas City.
After passing several bills on the floor of each chamber, lawmakers left the Capitol today for Spring Break. They’ll return March 19.
GOP leaders noted the Legislature’s passage of the workers’ compensation bill (SB 572) and the employment discrimination legislation (HB 1219) among key successes so far. Both bills found overwhelming success (though, largely by party lines) in both chambers.
Senate President Pro Tempore Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, and Majority Leader Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, said in a separate news conference that they think the two bills will encourage businesses to create more jobs in the state.
The workers’ comp bill would require that all claims over chronic diseases caused by work duties go through the workers’ compensation program, rather than civil court action. The discrimination bill modifies the laws so that the discrimination itself (i.e. bias of race, religion, gender, age, etc) has to be the “motivating factor” for the case rather than a “contributing factor.”
Talboy disagreed with Republican leaders’ claims that they have been working to create jobs this session. He also said education should be of a higher priority.

Talboy Files Bill to Outlaw Celebration Gunshots in Town
February 9, 2012

From the Missouri News Horizon
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The death of a Kansas City girl last Fourth of July could be a catalyst for changing the state’s gun laws.

On Wednesday, State House Minority Leader Mike Talboy introduced a bill that would make it a felony to negligently discharge a firearm within the limits of any municipality in the state of Missouri.

The bill is in response to the death of 11-year-old Blair Shanahan Lane, who was killed by a stray bullet that was recklessly discharged as part of a Fourth of July celebration last year. House Bill 1686, known as Blair’s Law, would not criminalize the lawful discharge of a weapon, such as in self defense or on a supervised firing range.

“Police throughout Missouri for decades have warned of the potentially deadly consequences of celebratory gunfire, but some people still don’t listen,” Talboy said in a written statement.

Blair was dancing with friends and family at a Forth of July celebration when she was suddenly struck in the neck by a bullet discharged from a 9 mm Glock. The shot came from a group of men firing the gun into a pond more than 1,100 feet away.

The shooter was sentenced to three year’s in prison for involuntary manslaughter, but Talboy said there should be tougher laws to cover the reckless discharge of weapons in populated areas.

Kansas City has an existing ordinance that makes firing a weapon a violation with a sentence of up to 180 days, but Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said the current law does not send a strong enough message and that only a state law would have the necessary impact.

Nixon Rolls Out Auto Parts Supplier Bill With a List of heavy Hitters to Back It Up
January 27, 2012

Missourinet via johncombest:
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon rolled out an impressive list of supporters for his auto-parts jobs bill. Nixon presented the plan Thursday in Wentzville near the GM auto Assembly plant there.
The list includes Kansas City Democratic heavy hitters, House Minority Leader Mike Talboy; Senate Minority Leader Victor Callahan, and Gladstone St. Rep Jerry Nolte.
Nolte, a Republican, was one of the sponsors of the ‘Ford bill’, of 2010 that helped the Ford Claycomo plant in suburban Kansas City.
Missourinet reports:
The automotive industry incentive component of the Governor’s job creation strategy has found its backers in the House and Senate, and they come from both sides of the political aisle.

In his State of the State Address and stops around the state, Governor Jay Nixon has promoted his Missouri Works plan. It would expand on the provisions of the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs act of 2010, which helped promote expansion at Ford’s Claycomo Plant in Kansas City and General Motors’ plant in Wentzville. Legislation introduced this week basically targets those incentives at manufactures in the automotive industry.

The House version, HB 1455, will be carried by Representative Chuck Gatschenberger (R-Lake St. Louis). He says, “Those manufacturers of vehicles … they need brakes, they need windshields, they need trim, they need engines … and not all of those are built right there on that spot.”
Parts makers qualify under the proposal if the products they make are used by an automaker. Companies with at least half of their sales coming from parts used to modify vehicles can also qualify for incentives.
Gatschenberger says it offers two options to those companies. “One is if you employee five employees, you’re gonna get the same benefits with withholding the taxes that you pay from the state for the benefit of the company. The other aspect of it … there’s a lot of companies in this state that are not going to be able to employ five people but they can employ two people. If they do two people and $100,000 of investment in their business, they can fall under the same guidelines.”
Gatschenberger says it also includes some clawback provisions. ”Let’s say they have those two people but they lay two other people off. Then they lose the benefit. It’s not the specific people that they hire, it’s the total number of people.”
The package increases the standard incentive period to five years, from the three found in the 2010 language. Companies would get a tax break equaling 5 percent of their new payroll if wages are at the average for the county, 5.5 percent for wages that are 120 percent of that average and 6 percent for wages at least 140 percent of the county average.
Gatschenberger notes the package opens up incentives to all auto manufacturers, not just Ford and General Motors, “So if Nissan thinks, ‘Hmm, we might want to put a plant somewhere but where are we going to put a plant,’ it’s making the carrot bigger and jucier.”

Special Session, A Burial at Sea?
October 26, 2011

Kansas City Democratic Minority leader Mike Talboy calls the just-ended special session, “the Lost Legislative Session”.

The effort to pass a major economic development bill died quietly Tuesday. It was the political version of an anonymous burial at sea.

The AP reports it took about 40 seconds for Senate leader Rob Mayer to call the State Senate into Session. He then called on Republican Leader Senator Tom Dempsey, the only other senator present. Dempsey moved to adjourn. They both voted to adjourn, that was it.

The session’s major effort was to draw up and approve a jobs bill for the state. Kansas City officials and some local law makers were pushing for a jobs retention bill. They hoped that would provide enough extra tax incentives to keep existing Missouri companies from being lured across the state line into Kansas. Locally, it was referred to as ’business poaching’.

The economic development measures were caught in a battle between House and Senate Republicans over whether or not some reforms on tax credits should be permanent or limited to a certain amount of time.

The legislature did manage to pass a bills reforming Missouri’s ‘Facebook Law’. That will clear up language that will allow educators to use social media more freely in the classroom. Another measure, aimed at attracting more life science and high-tech companies into Missouri also passed. But that measure, the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act, (MOSIRA), is linked to the dead jobs bill. Governor Jay Nixon’s office says it is looking at signing the measure despite the connection to the jobs bill.

The legislature also failed to move the Missouri presidential primary from February 7 back until March 6. Republican National Committee rules insisted the date be moved back, or the Missouri GOP would risk losing delegates to the national convention next summer.

Instead, the state GOP will hold a non-binding “beauty contest” primary on Feb.7. The delegate selection process will start with a statewide St. Patrick’s Day caucus on March 17.

According to the state, the session, that started September 6 and died Tuesday costs taxpayers about $280,000.

KC Lawmaker Raising ‘Aerotroplis’ Questions, $360 Million on the Line
September 12, 2011

A major piece of the Missouri Legislature’s special session is taking hit. And more may be coming. Especially from a Kansas City area State Senator, Luanne Ridgeway

The bill is the plan to offer $360 million in tax credits for a foreign trade air cargo hub at St. Louis’ Lambert Field. It is often called the, “Aerotropolis” tax credit plan.

Missourinet reports Ridgeway believes the bill has a second agenda, to manage the debt of an underutilized airport (Lambert Field).

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay’s staff told Ridgeway that is not the case. The project would create jobs for Missouri and establish a base for increase trade with China coming directly into Missouri.

Ridgeway is threatening to slow the bill down on the Senate floor by requiring the entire text of the bill be read aloud to the Senate.

Monday afternoon, Missourinet reports the state’s Economic Development Department will present a report on the plan to state senators.

Friday, in a letter to Maryville State Senator Brad Lager (R Maryville), the Economic Development Department estimated a $10.2 million dollars state investment in the ‘Aerotroplis’ 400,000 sq foot warehouse project would directly created 215 new jobs.

The machinery and manufacturing element would produce 75 new jobs off an additional state investment of nearly 5 million dollars.

Copies of that letter also went to House and Senate leaders, including House Speaker Steve Tilley; Senate Pro Tem Rob Mayer; House Minority Leader Mike Talboy of Kansas City and Senate Minority leader Victor Callahan of Independence.

(Missourinet via johncombest contributed to this report)