MIL-OSI USA: Sen. Mike Bernskoetter’s Legislative Column for May 18, 2022

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Source: US State of Missouri

Wrapping Up A Successful Session

The 2022 legislative session has come to a close. While at times the session was stressful and outcomes were uncertain, I believe the General Assembly still managed to do a lot of good for the people of Missouri.

First and foremost, we passed a balanced state operating budget that fully funds our K-12 schools as well as continues to provide pay raises for our hardworking state employees. Lawmakers also approved a plan to provide a tax credit up to $500 for individuals and $1,000 for married couples with the hope of giving some relief to Missourians as we see record levels of inflation.

As chairman of the Senate’s Agriculture committee, I was glad to see us pass several priority pieces of ag legislation. For instance, we passed House Bill 2005 which will protect the property rights – and property values – for our farmers and ranchers during eminent domain proceedings. House Bill 1720, an omnibus agriculture bill, was also given final approval by the General Assembly and now heads to the governor’s desk for his consideration. The bill includes legislation I sponsored to make the family farm breeding livestock loan program easier for our state’s small farmers to use. House Bill 1720 also renews and extends a number of important ag-related tax credit programs as well as streamlines the regulation of anhydrous ammonia.

Another set of priorities for many of us in the General Assembly this year was ensuring our elections are as secure as possible. To help strengthen our elections, we passed some commonsense reforms, such as a voter ID requirement and ensuring the use of paper ballots in our elections. In the final days of session, we also managed to find a path forward on a map for a new set of congressional districts. While I opposed splitting Camden County, in the legislative process, you rarely get everything that you want and it’s usually a process of give and take. At the end of the day, I believe it was important for the General Assembly to resolve this issue rather than let a group of federal judges draw our new congressional map.

All in all, I believe it was another successful year in the General Assembly. As always, I am honored to serve the citizens of the 6th Senatorial District. Please feel free to contact my office at (573) 751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Bernskoetter.

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