‘In Good Position’

MBA measures poised for consideration by lawmakers

As the final stretch of the Missouri legislative session begins, it’s all hands on deck for the Missouri Bankers Association government relations staff. The legislative pace is expected to pick up dramatically when lawmakers return from spring break March 25.

“The last weeks of session are always the most dangerous because lawmakers whose priorities haven’t moved forward will begin to amend bills during floor debate,” said Craig Overfelt, MBA senior vice president. “We will be spending the majority of our time watching floor debate
and sniffing out potentially harmful amendments.”

Bills supported by the MBA are in good position to receive serious consideration by both chambers. This includes the following. 

MBA also is working with the state treasurer’s office on legislation to increase the statutorily authorized cap on the Missouri First program from $720 million to $800 million (House Bill 1029Senate Bill 439).

Perhaps the toughest issue for MBA so far this session has been legislation to reform Missouri’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) law. House Bill 215 and Senate Bill 173, both supported by MBA, would make two important changes to current PACE statute. It would require the Missouri Division of Finance to regulate PACE providers and would require PACE providers to provide a notice to the holder of the first mortgage. The measures are sponsored by Rep. Bruce DeGroot, R-Chesterfield, and Sen. Sandy Crawford, R-Buffalo.

“As expected, these bills have faced fierce opposition during the House and Senate committee hearings, with more than a dozen witnesses opposing the changes,” Overfelt said. “Rep. Bruce DeGroot and Sen. Sandy Crawford are doing a masterful job fighting back against the opposition testimony.”

Other issues of interest to banks that are progressing through the legislative process include reforms to the Missouri Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Senate Bill 28) and a complete rewrite of the notary statute (House Bill 495, Senate Bill 140).

Senate Bill 28 was approved by the Senate earlier this year, but the House has yet to refer the bill to committee. The legislation would cap the state tax credit at 72.5 percent of the federal tax credit and reduce the credit for tax-exempt bonds from $6 million to $4 million. House Bill 495 and Senate Bill 140 would rewrite the Missouri notary statute and usher in electronic and remote notarization. 

MBA also is monitoring legislation on tax reform (Senate Bill 46, House Bill 548) and infrastructure funding, as well as the appropriations bill for the state budget.

“With all these bills awaiting votes, it’s important for bankers to share their thoughts with their state reps and senators,” Overfelt said. “I highly encourage you to make a Target Banker visit  during these last few weeks.”
 
The 2019 legislative session ends Friday, May 17.  

The Missouri Banker
March 2019