OpinionJuly 10, 2024
Rep. Chris Dinkins updates constituents on key legislative developments, including bills on clean water, Medicaid funding, and business growth. For assistance, contact her office directly via email or phone.

I am glad the temperatures have not been too bad and tolerable this week as it has been very busy for me. One of the things I love most about being back in the district is helping the constituents of the 144th district. I am always running into someone that needs my help and my office is always happy to assist when we can. If you need any help, please reach out to my office and we will help you the best that we can.

I want to keep you updated on more bills that passed during session and what they mean. They are awaiting the Governor’s signature.

HBs 2134 and 1956 — Modifies permit requirements and exemptions in relation to Missouri fertilizer and clean water laws.

This is a comprehensive bill aimed at regulating the land application of industrial wastewater, sludge, and related process wastes in Missouri to protect water resources and property rights from misapplication and improper storage of certain food industry wastes. Waste disposal companies intending to build storage lagoons for animal byproducts would need to conduct tests for heavy metals, pathogens, and other pollutants, with mandates for groundwater monitoring wells where necessary to prevent seepage into water bodies. Large animal feeding and agricultural operations are exempt due to existing regulations. The bill addresses environmental concerns about waste storage and spreading from meat processing and food industries, aiming to close a regulatory loophole and ensure responsible land application of materials. It introduces a nutrient management standard overseen by the Department of Natural Resources and restricts exemptions from water pollution permits, highlighting Missouri's commitment to clean water and sustainable practices while supporting agriculture and business interests.

SB 748 — Modifies provisions relating to reimbursement allowance taxes.

This bill deals with the Federal Reimbursement Allowance (FRA), which would renew taxes on hospitals, pharmacies, nursing homes and ambulance services that are essential to Missouri’s Medicaid program. These taxes amount to around $1.4 billion, which then attracts an additional $2.8 billion in federal matching funds. Typically, Missouri covers about 35 percent of its Medicaid costs, with the federal government covering the remainder. Since their inception in 1991, these taxes have been renewed 17 times. After much debate and a record-long filibuster in the Missouri Senate, legislators voted to approve the measure, which now includes a sunset clause that would take effect in five years.

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SB 894 and 825 — Modifies provisions relating to the promotion of business development.

This bill introduced provisions to promote business development in Missouri. The Right-to-Start Act mandates annual reports on contracts awarded to businesses operating for less than three years and recommends improving access and resources for such businesses, including those owned by minorities, women, and veterans. Additionally, the Office of Entrepreneurship is established within the Department of Economic Development to support small Missouri-based businesses. Furthermore, the Regulatory Sandbox Act creates the Regulatory Relief Office to identify regulations that could be waived for innovative businesses during a two-year period. It establishes a committee to advise on approving applications to the Sandbox Program and outlines procedures for participant selection, exemption from regulations, and reporting requirements. Provisions regarding the Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board in current law are repealed. These measures aim to foster a conducive environment for small business growth and innovation in Missouri.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, concerns, or suggestions you might have. As your Representative, I am here to assist you however I can. I can be reached by email at Chris.Dinkins@house.mo.gov or by phone at (573) 751-2112. Please do not contact me via social media. These messages are easy to overlook and may not be responded to in a timely manner.

CHRIS DINKINS represents Missouri's 144th House district. The district includes Bollinger, Iron, Madison, Reynolds, Shannon, Washington and Wayne counties.

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