Legislators reflect on session’s end

By: 
Adam Rollins

Porter

Montgomery County’s two elected representatives in the Missouri Legislature are celebrating the passage of several key conservative priorities this spring, including gun rights protections. 

The last day of the legislative session was May 14.

Sen. Jeanie Riddle and Rep. Jeff Porter are both celebrating the success of the Second Amendment Preservation Act. The bill would make it illegal for state and local police to cooperate in enforcing any new federal regulations on owning or possessing firearms. Any agency that violates this directive would be penalized with a sizeable fine.

Representatives were also pleased with passage of a proposed “Wayfair tax,” which would extend sales tax provisions to out-of-state companies that sell at least $100,000 in products to Missourians through online orders. Proponents say the change is needed to even the playing field for Missouri’s brick-and-mortar stores, because consumers are currently incentivized to order products tax-free from out of state.

Both of those bills await the signature of Gov. Mike Parson to become law. Here’s what local reps had to say about other priorities that made it across the finish line.

 

Rep. Jeff Porter

Rep. Jeff Porter, whose Missouri House district includes Montgomery County along with western and southern Warren County, said a gradual increase to Missouri’s gasoline tax will have a major impact on Missouri’s roads. The bill will raise the gas tax by 2.5 cents per gallon each year for five years, increasing the tax overall from 17 cents to 29.5 cents per gallon.

Porter said the anticipated benefit will be $100 million in the first year, and $500 million by year five, all going toward state and local roads.

“There’s $745 million in unfunded road projects that have to happen,” Porter commented. He said there’s currently talk of federal cost-share projects for infrastructure, and having the additional revenue will also help bring more federal dollars to Missouri.

Porter added that 30 percent of the gas tax flows to city and county governments for their local roads.

Two of Porter’s personal priorities stalled in the Legislature. Porter’s Caller ID Anti-Spoofing Act would have made it illegal to transmit deceptive caller ID information. The bill was passed overwhelmingly in the House, but never got a hearing in the Senate. Porter’s ban on texting and driving wasn’t favored by House leadership and was placed at the end of the schedule with no time to pass, Porter said.

 

Sen. Jeanie Riddle

In a statement published after the final day of the session, Riddle said she was proud to support new protections for police officers, whether from criminals, budget cuts or during internal investigations.

“Our men and women in uniform and our first responders already do so much to protect our communities and keep us safe. I was proud to support this public safety measure throughout the legislative session,” Riddle commented.

Riddle said one of her personal priorities also made it to passage. A new law will ban certain sex offenders from loitering within 500 feet of a sports field primarily used by children. Riddle said the measure will help keep kids safe in areas where parents shouldn’t have to worry about them being harassed by sex offenders.

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Montgomery Standard

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