OpinionMay 29, 2024
Missouri's legislative session ends with 46 bills awaiting Gov. Parson's signature, including key measures on abortion funding, education reform, border security, and economic development.
Chris Dinkins, Missouri's 144th District House Representative
Chris Dinkins, Missouri's 144th District House RepresentativeSubmitted photo

With the end of the second regular session, 102nd General Assembly, members have returned home to their districts following a lengthy legislative session which resulted in the Missouri House and Senate passing a combined 46 pieces of legislation, with 18 appropriations bills and 28 policy bills.

To date, Gov. Mike Parson has signed or approved seven of the 46 truly agreed to and finally passed bills from this session:

— HB 2634 prohibits abortion clinics from receiving Medicaid reimbursements, restricts public funding for abortion facilities, and empowers legal enforcement against violations.

— SB 727 and HB 2287 aim to reform education by raising minimum teacher salaries, increasing funding for early childhood programs, expanding scholarship access, and supporting teacher retention.

— HB 2016 funds the deployment of Missouri personnel to the southern border for Operation Lone Star, supported by a $2.2 million supplemental budget for border security initiatives.

— HB 1751 allows the city of Raymore more influence over Kansas City’s landfill placements by increasing the municipal approval radius for waste disposal facilities from one-half mile to one mile.

— HB 1803 expands the MOBUCK$ program with a $400 million supplement, enabling reduced interest rates for borrowers, particularly benefiting farmers and small businesses amid high demand and inflation.

— HB 2015 appropriates supplemental funds for the current fiscal year.

  • Missouri Department of Economic Development awards $6 million in tax credits through Youth Opportunities Program (YOP): The Department of Economic Development has announced that it will distribute $6 million in 50% tax credits to 37 organizations across Missouri through YOP for its 2024 cycle.
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YOP aims to enhance opportunities for youth development and community engagement. The program enables organizations to leverage private-sector funds by offering partial state tax credits to businesses and individuals who contribute to approved youth development or crime prevention projects. Funded projects include degree completion, internships and apprenticeships, mentoring, substance abuse prevention, violence prevention, counseling and more.

YOP is aiding and supporting children and family in Missouri. By providing tax credits, YOP encourages increased donations, enhancing the community impact. The program helps remove barriers to accessing free, high-quality mental health services, ensuring comprehensive care through clinical support, assessments, and education classes tailored to individual needs.

Each year, YOP awards up to $6 million, with individual projects capped at $200,000 in tax credits. Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, faith-based organizations, local governments, and businesses meeting the program’s requirements. The Division of Business and Community Solutions administers YOP. The full list of 2024 YOP recipients is available here.

  • It’s on Memorial Day that we take time to honor the heroic men and women who have given their lives in defense of the United States of America. It goes without saying that these selfless soldiers did not enter their service with the goal of seeing their lives ended too soon and their names engraved in stone. They took on their duties out of a sense of responsibility, and not with the aspiration of earning the label of hero. However, in serving their country, they certainly earned the title of hero, and it is because of these sacrifices that we come together to pay tribute to the few who did what so many would not and could not.

As one of our greatest Missourians, President Harry Truman, once said, “Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.”

We must never forget, and we must never cease to be thankful for the heroes our nation has been blessed to have. Some who gave their lives now have their names etched in the walls of memorials, while others live on in the hearts and minds of those who love them. But for the other heroes who have not been remembered in this way, they have their own lasting monument that should forever serve as a reminder of their service. This monument is the country we all are so proud to call home. It is a monument created by the sacrifices of these heroic individuals, and it is a monument that shines as a beacon of freedom and hope not only for us, but for people all around the world.

On Memorial Day, and on every day going forward, I ask us to remember that. I ask us to give thanks that our nation has been blessed with such heroes. To all those who have served, and to all those who have given their lives in service, we say thank you! May God bless you all, and may God bless the United States of America!

  • 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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