NEWS RELEASE: Missouri Chamber priorities become law this week

Each year in Missouri, on Aug. 28, the majority of bills passed by the general assembly become law. This year, several priorities of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry will become effective on Aug. 28, helping Missouri employers better compete.

“Each year, it seems like new challenges emerge that threaten our state’s businesses and their ability to grow and create jobs. If it’s not a national recession or the threat of increased federal regulations, it’s the many state issues we saw emerge recently including fraudulent unemployment claims, massive unemployment insurance debts and patent troll scams,” said Dan Mehan, Missouri Chamber President/CEO. “We thank the leaders in our General Assembly for staying current and continuing to address these problems as they arise.”

Several critical bills passed by the General Assembly will improve the state’s climate for business growth and expansion.

  • Reforming unemployment insurance: The recent economic recession left Missouri’s employers with a massive unemployment debt to repay. Unemployment insurance reforms passed this year will help reduce this debt and ensure future economic downturns are less costly. Senate Bill 510, sponsored by Sen. Kraus, will ensure employees who are fired for willfully breaking workplace rules are not rewarded with unemployment compensation.
  • Protecting business unclaimed property: Currently, Missouri ranks among the states with the worst unclaimed property laws. House Bill 1075, sponsored by Rep. Rocky Miller, a Republican from Tuscumbia, ensures Missouri won’t follow other states in padding state revenues using unclaimed property taken from businesses and individuals.
  • Stopping Patent troll scams: Missouri businesses are vulnerable to scammers who attempt to extort funds by fraudulently claiming patent infringement. Senate Bill 706, sponsored by Sen. Mike Cunningham, a Republican from Marshfield, allows businesses to successfully sue alleged patent trolls.
  • Preserving Shared-Work Program: Missouri’s Shared-Work Program allows companies to reduce the hours their permanent employees work during temporary periods of slow business. To help make up for lost wages, the employees collect partial unemployment payments. This is a vital program for the approximately 350 employers and 30,000 workers who use it each year. Senate Bill 844, sponsored by Sen. Bob Dixon, a Republican from Springfield, keeps the Missouri’s Shared-Work Program in operation.
  • Ending economic border war: For many years, economic development officials in Missouri and Kansas have been incenting businesses to move from one side of the border to the other, with no overall economic benefit for the region. Senate Bill 635, sponsored by Sen. Ryan Silvey, a Republican from Kansas City, will help reserve our development incentives true growth projects.
  • Protecting Missouri’s energy future: In order to protect against stifling federal EPA regulations, Rep. Todd Richardson, a Republican from Poplar Bluff, sponsored House Bill 1631, legislation that would give Missouri greater authority in this discussion. It enables the state to make regulatory decisions that are in the best interest of our citizens and business community.
  • Securing tort reform: Senate Bill 890, sponsored by Sen. Mike Kehoe and handled in House by Rep. Lincoln Hough will modify the 2005 changes to Missouri’s venue statute to clarify that when a foreign plaintiff brings suit against a Missouri company, venue properly lies in the county where the company’s registered agent is located even if individual company executives are named as defendants in the suit.

 

 

From the US Chamber – Every Voice Matters

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed new greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations that will fundamentally alter the backbone of our economy by mandating dramatic changes to our nation’s electricity system. 

EPA’s proposal will be a wholesale transformation of how electricity is generated, transmitted, distributed and used — ultimately limiting the sources of energy available to power American homes and businesses. The magnitude and reach of this EPA proposal is unprecedented. It will impact nearly every sector of the American economy, causing job losses, increased electricity costs and a reduction in the reliability of the electric grid.  

Now is your chance to speak out. Tell EPA that we can’t afford their misguided regulations and that you won’t stand for it. It’ll only take a 30 seconds to send your comment directly to EPA.

Consider: 

  • By EPA’s own estimates, this single regulation will increase nationwide electricity costs by 6-7% and up to 12% in some locations. Can your family afford to pay more?
  • Rising electricity costs will place America’s job creators at a disadvantage with foreign competitors, forcing more businesses and jobs to move overseas.
  • The regulations will decrease reliability in our energy supply and increase the potential for blackouts at times Americans rely on electricity the most.

Send your comment in now

The regulations will impose billions in costs on the U.S. economy and threaten thousands of jobs. And for what? Upon full implementation in 2030, global carbon emissions will only be reduced by a mere 1.3% — the equivalent of just 13.5 days of emissions from China.

The Wall Street Journal was spot on when it declared EPA’s rule a “huge indirect tax and wealth redistribution scheme that the EPA is imposing by fiat [that] will profoundly touch every American.” The paper further noted that “it is impossible to raise the price of carbon energy without also raising costs across the economy. The costs will ultimately flow to consumers and businesses.

EPA’s plan is all pain and no gain for American families and businesses. Let EPA know TODAY that you don’t support these costly, job-killing regulations.

NEWS RELEASE – Missouri Chamber President Dan Mehan receives Champion of Small Business Award from the National Coalition for Capital

Award recognizes leaders for their efforts in promoting access to capital and economic development in states across the country

WASHINGTON, DC, August 20, 2014 – Missouri Chamber of Commerce President Dan Mehan was honored this week with a Champion of Small Business award from the National Coalition for Capital. Dan and 34 fellow legislators and officials from across the nation were recognized for their leadership at the annual National Coalition for Capital Awards Ceremony on August 19th in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Champion of Small Business Awards recognize individuals for demonstrating leadership in supporting policies and initiatives designed to promote access to capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs, especially those in economically distressed communities.

 

Chamber President Dan Mehan

Chamber President Dan Mehan

“This award recognizes Dan’s important work to preserve and create jobs through access to capital policy that helps Missouri small businesses grow and develop,” said Greg McIlvaine, President of the National Coalition for Capital. “Dan has demonstrated he is a champion of small business, and his efforts will have an enduring positive impact on Missouri.”

Dan joined the Missouri Chamber of Commerce in 1995 and, as the current President and CEO, he oversees the operation of the state’s largest business association with more than 3,000 employers that provide jobs for more than 425,000 Missouri employees. Under Dan’s leadership the Missouri Chamber has been instrumental in holding the line on employers’ taxes and has helped secure numerous economic development initiatives. Dan also built the Missouri Chamber PAC, which has played a key role in several pro-business political issue campaigns and in helping to elect a pro-business administration and legislature. Dan was a strong advocate for expanding the Missouri New Markets Development Programs, which has attracted hundreds of millions of dollars in capital to the state’s low-income communities.

“Now more than ever, it’s critical that elected officials do their part to advance innovative access to capital policies that allow small businesses to grow and prosper,” said Mehan. “I am pleased to be among those honored for supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs as they strive to preserve and grow jobs in their communities.”

The National Coalition for Capital hosts an annual awards ceremony during the week of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit to recognize individuals for taking a leading role in fostering access to capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

About the National Coalition for Capital

The National Coalition for Capital (NCFC) is a non-profit, nationwide coalition of leaders supporting economic development and job creation through long-term access to capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs. To learn more about NCFC, visit www.nationalcoalitionforcapital.org.

 

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For more information, contact: Greg McIlvaine President

National Coalition for Capital

(202) 337-1661

greg@cypressgroupdc.com

 

Missouri’s business leaders meet in Sedalia to explore Missouri’s agricultural future

Missouri’s business leaders meet in Sedalia
to explore Missouri’s agricultural future

WHAT:                 Leadership Missouri was founded in 1990 to identify current and emerging business and government leaders throughout Missouri, enhance leadership skills, and deepen participants’ knowledge of the economic challenges and opportunities facing the state. The class will meet seven times through this year in seven different communities to explore issues that affect Missouri businesses. The goal is to prepare participants to take an active role in advancing the state for the common good.

WHO:                   Missouri business and government leaders from throughout the state, who were nominated by their employers to participate in the 2014 Leadership Missouri Class.

WHEN:                 Wednesday Aug. 13 through Friday, Aug. 15

WHERE:              Sedalia, Mo.

WHY:                   Participants will learn more about the state of Missouri’s agricultural future through tours of Tyson Foods, Maplewood Acres farm and time at the Missouri State Fair.

NOTE:                   All members of the media are invited to attend. A complete agenda follows.

 

AGENDA

“Agriculture”

Hotel Bothwell, 103 E 4th Street, Sedalia, MO 65301; 660.826.5588

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

4:15 pm

 

 

5:00 pm

 

Meet in hotel lobby to depart for fairgrounds (bus donated by Ditzfeld & Weaver Charter Service LLC.)

 

Reception and dinner hosted by Director of Agriculture (Director’s House on Fairgrounds)

 

8:00 pm Board Bus and return to the hotel. Evening on your own.

 

 

 

Thursday, August 14, 2014
 

8:00 am

 

Board Bus and Depart for Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site, 19349 Bothwell State Park Road, Sedalia, MO 65301

 

8:15 am Arrive and Tour Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site

Marissa Cowan or Abilene Resch

 

9:00 am Board Bus and Depart for Tyson Food, 10571 Whitfield Road, Sedalia, MO 65301

 

9:25 am Arrive Tyson Foods and Break

 

9:30 am Tyson Foods Conference Room – USDA Farm Service Agency – The primary mission at FSA is to help Missouri farmers and ranchers secure the greatest possible benefit from programs such as farm loans, commodity price support, disaster relief, conservation, food aid or other available resources.

Michelle Motley, USDA Farm Agency

  • Resources available to farmers
  • Opportunities for Youth in farming
  • Farm Bill 2014 – how does it impact YOU!

 

10:15 am Break

 

10:30 am Tour Tyson Foods – Tyson Foods is one of the leading supporters of U.S. farm families, paying more than $15 billion in fiscal 2013 alone to independent farmers who supply them with livestock and poultry.

 

Chuck Yarbrough

 

12 Noon Lunch

 

1:00 pm Board Bus for Maplewood Acres Farm, 29774 Pony Path Road, Sedalia, MO 65301

 

1:30 pm Arrive Maplewood Acres Farm – Matt and Jennifer Boatright own and operate Maplewood Acres Farm with their two children, David and Hannah.

 

Tour and Discussion of Farm Operation

 

2:45 pm Board Bus and Depart for Ag Power, 2205 S Limit, Sedalia, MO 65301

 

3:15 pm Arrive Ag Power and Break

 

3:30 pm Ag Power – Bruce Wolfe

  • Equipment Explanation/Demonstration
  • Equipment Cost

 

4:15 pm Board Bus and Depart for Katy Depot, 600 East Third Street, Sedalia, MO 65301

 

4:45 pm Arrive Katy Depot – Deb Biermann

  • Reception
  • Brief history of building and tour

 

5:30 pm Board Bus and Depart for Wildlife Ridge Winery, 34751 Miller Road, Smithton, MO 65350

 

6:00 pm Arrive Wildlife Ridge Winery – Kevin and Kristy

Wine tasting and dinner

 

8:00 pm Board Bus to return to hotel

 

 

Friday, August 15, 2014
8:30 am Depart Hotel Bothwell

Drive vehicles to Missouri State Fairgrounds

 

8:50 am Arrive Missouri State Fairgrounds, 2503 West 16th Street, Sedalia, MO For a map of the fairgrounds, go to www.mostatefair.com.

 

Meet Wendy and/or Tammie at Main Gate and enter fairgrounds.

 

9:00 am Tram tour of fairgrounds

 

9:45 am Missouri State Fair (National Guard Armory Room 129)

Wendy Faulconer, Executive Director, Missouri State Fair Foundation

Tammie Nichols, Marketing Director, Missouri State Fair

Samantha Davis, Missouri Department of Agriculture

  • History of the State Fair
  • What’s involved in organizing the State Fair
  • How does the State Fair get youth interested in agriculture

 

10:30 am Adjourn and enjoy the State Fair

 

Yes on 7! Missouri businesses support transportation measure

On Aug. 5, Missouri voters will decide whether to support our state’s transportation system with a new sales tax, which has been endorsed by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Our state’s businesses, large and small, rely on having a fully-functioning transportation system.

Read below to see what Missouri business leaders are saying about the need to pass Amendment 7.

Dallas Nichols, Transportation Manager The Doe Run Company, St. Louis For the Doe Run Resources Corporation, shipping more than 500,000 metric tons of material per annum from our facilities, the Missouri transportation road system is the life blood of our business.  We are dependent upon the roads and bridges to move our products from our mines and mills to the marketplace.  The transportation infrastructure also allows us to operate throughout the state so that we can bring in raw materials, which we process, and ship out finished goods to customers throughout the US.  Without safe and efficient transportation infrastructure, Missouri’s businesses would be at a disadvantage.  The livelihood for our 1,400 employees and the additional 6,000 jobs we support indirectly is dependent upon Missouri’s transportation system.

Gene Schwartz Sr., President K&S Wire Products, Inc., Neosho Management supports 100 percent the passage of the sales tax to fund the highway department’s need for additional funding. We are a manufacturer shipping our products everyday via trucks. We must maintain our roads and improve many of them. 

Margot Crowell, owner Nostalgic Place Bed and Breakfast, Arcadia I do feel a well maintained road system is viable to my business. Roadways are very important for my delivery of goods. Visitors to my store and Inn feel smooth and safe roads are an asset for their vacations. Consumers who have large spending budgets drive nice vehicles. They vacation and spend a lot of money and frequent vacation locations with smooth safe roadways. Specialty markets of touring vehicles and cycles require and only visit locations with excellent road systems. All of these groups bring revenue to Missouri. Maintenance of roadways provides income to Missouri construction workers and supplies them with incomes and they in turn spend money at other businesses.

I am for the new tax. Just insure me that the folks at state will use the funding wisely and not squander the revenue generated by the tax.

Bob Gilbert, PE Bartlett & West, Jefferson City This ballot measure is very important to our business. We provide engineering and technology services for transportation agencies in Missouri (MoDOT and Cities/Counties). Without the measure, we are hearing that the budget for our kinds of services could be reduced to half of their current value as early as 2015. This kind of reduction in resources for our industry will be detrimental to many of the businesses in Missouri just like ours. We hope that Missourians understand the value of a good transportation system and will vote yes on August 5, 2014. We need to keep Missouri moving ahead and keep our workers busy in Missouri.

Kathy McGraw, Director Ozark Valleys Community Services, Ironton Ozark Valleys Community Services provides services to people with developmental disabilities.  Part of those services is transportation.  We are in a small rural area and have to transport the people we serve at least within 200 miles or more once or twice a month. Therefore I would like to express to your how important I feel it is to support the tax for transportation funding to keep up the infrastructure of the roadways as well as improvements in the future.

I feel it is important for the business community as well as we are somewhat a tourist town with a lot of parks, etc. in the surrounding area and the roads need to be in good condition for people to travel to our area.  When they are here they often stay in our bed & breakfasts and shop at our businesses.

2014 Missouri Chamber Election Action Center is your campaign information HQ

Each election year we are given the responsibility of voting for individuals to represent us in our state and federal government. As a Missouri voter, you will help elect a new Missouri Legislature and statewide elected officials – individuals who will shape legislative attitudes on business issues.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry continues to provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your voting choices, and all this information is provided to you at the newly re-launched www.mochamberelectioncenter.com

The Missouri Chamber’s Election Action Center is the state’s top resource regarding candidates and how their views align with the goal of advancing Missouri’s economy. Each candidate is given the opportunity to weigh in on their priorities to make sure you have all the important information at your fingertips.

Users of the free website can view information about candidates in all the state races as well as races for U.S. Congressional seats. The site will clarify voting records and candidate position on the issues such as tort reform, workers’ compensation reform, tax policy, and other business factors that impact you and your business.

At this site you can track the latest election news and watch video clips of candidates. The site will be updated right up to the November 4 election.

You can also check in on your incumbent legislators’ voting records to see how they stack up to their opponents on business friendly legislation.

Please use this information to your advantage and share it with others in your company and industry!

Leadership Missouri visits St. Louis, sees transportation in action

As the Gateway City, St. Louis was a fitting location for Missouri’s 2014 Leadership Missouri class to learn about—and experience—the variety of transportation resources available in our state.

leadershipmo2014

Whereas the early travelers arrived in St. Louis via boat or wagon, many visitors today arrive in the city by air. Leadership Missouri participants had a chance to visit this historic main terminal at St. Louis Lambert International Airport and learn about efforts to modernize and upgrade the facility. Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge also shared the airport’s ambitions to become a greater engine for economic development. The airport is currently pursuing a vision to develop its property and bring more international cargo business to the site.

While at the airport, Metro St. Louis Chief Operating Officer Ray Friem shared an overview of the city’s vast public transportation network. He described the many challenges facing the system, including limited public funding compared to other systems. He also shared the success of the system’s MetroLink trains. The class then experienced this form of transportation as they boarded Metrolink for a ride to the Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center, which connects the city’s transit system with rail lines and bus access.

From there, the class headed to the icon of St. Louis, the Gateway Arch, where they learned about the CityArchRiver project. CityArchRiver seeks to enhance the park and improve its ties to the city. While overlooking the monument, the class learned about work to build a pedestrian park-like bridge which will create a seamless transition from the city to the Arch. The project will also revamp the underground museum, including a new entrance, and raise an underutilized parking garage in favor of an outdoor amphitheater and new gardens. The plan also includes new paths that will make the park much more accessible for families and people with limited mobility.

As the class observed the Arch, several barges passed by along the Mississippi River. At the next stop, Leadership Missouri participants learned about a major public facility that makes commercial river traffic possible. The Mel Price Lock and Dam is a massive facility that helps keep the river navigable for barges. With a tour from the US Army Corps of Engineers, the class went behind the scenes and saw how the facility operates before getting a chance to view the museum on the site.

Later, the class heard presentations about the railroad industry and the Railroad Terminal Association. They also learned about the trucking industry and ongoing efforts to improve Missouri roadways using more recycled materials. Later presentations also included discussions about the effort to pass a new sales tax to fund road improvements and new trends in road construction.

The class also had the opportunity to enjoy a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game.

Thanks to the many presenters and sponsors—especially CHS Foundation, our premier sponsor—who made the visit to St. Louis both fun and informative. Next, the class visits Sedalia from Aug. 13-15.