OpinionJuly 1, 2024
Reflect on the true meaning of July 4th and honor those who secured our freedoms. Plus, learn about Missouri's successful Southern Border Deployment and new rural business tax incentives awaiting the Governor's signature.

As I sit at my laptop writing this, it is only a few days until the 4th of July. I have to wonder how many people will never even stop from their holiday activities and reflect what this day really means?

I hope many will take the time to reflect on what the words “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” means. Remember the brave men and women who have fought for our freedom, whose sacrifices have ensured and secured the way of life we treasure so dearly.

Together we dream of a better tomorrow, one where all Americans can live and prosper in ways that those who came before us could only dream of. So as we commemorate this anniversary, take the time to be with those you love, to enjoy the liberty, freedom and rights we are so blessed to have, and honor and remember those who have given so much. Teach our younger generation to respect, honor, and appreciate those who gave a reason to celebrate the 4th of July.

Missouri Completes Successful Southern Border Deployment

Governor Parson announced the successful completion of Missouri's Southern Border Deployment, which supported Texas Governor Greg Abbott's Operation Lone Star to secure the Texas-Mexico border. The deployment, activated by Executive Order 24-03 on February 20, 2024, involved up to 200 Missouri National Guard members and 22 Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers.

The mission aimed to curb illegal immigration and drug trafficking. It resulted in a significant reduction in illegal-immigrant encounters and the seizure of millions of lethal doses of fentanyl. Missouri personnel played a crucial role in enhancing border security and community safety. Governor Parson thanked the deployed personnel and Governor Abbott for their leadership, expressing readiness to support future border security efforts if needed.

During the deployment, Missouri National Guard soldiers were stationed near Eagle Pass, Texas, reducing daily illegal-immigrant encounters from over 4,000 to less than 300 and capturing five individuals on the terrorist watch list. The Missouri State Highway Patrol assisted with law enforcement, conducting traffic stops, arresting impaired drivers, and intercepting undocumented migrants.

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Operation Lone Star, supported by Missouri and other states, has apprehended over 513,100 illegal immigrants, arrested more than 43,700 criminals, and seized over 488 million lethal doses of fentanyl. Missouri's contribution included 50 soldiers from the 138th Infantry Regiment and 22 state troopers, who helped secure the border and address the fentanyl crisis.

"We express our sincere appreciation to our MONG and MSHP members who answered the call to help secure the Southern Border and stop illegal drugs and immigrants pouring into our nation. The mission has been a resounding success.

Rural Business Investment Incentives

SB 802 aims to boost rural economic development through targeted tax incentives. Known as the "Missouri Rural Access to Capital Act," the legislation encourages investment in rural businesses by offering tax credits to investors. These credits, which increase after the initial two years, are capped at $16 million annually. The bill requires rural funds to apply for eligibility, meet specific investment criteria, and report annually on their economic impact. Additionally, the act includes provisions for tax credit recapture and program exit conditions with a sunset clause taking effect in 2030. This bill has been delivered to the Governor and is awaiting his signature.

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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