More MoLeg

30 May

I have a few more items to add to my end-of-session legislative summary.

– A bill (SB 591) passed the legislature to change the standard for the use of expert witnesses in court cases, to what is called the Daubert standard, which is used in federal courts and in most states and which creates a higher bar to what constitutes an expert.

From the MO Chamber of Commerce:

“Earlier this year the US Chamber came out with a report that ranked Missouri’s judicial system 42nd out of 50,” Bunten highlighted during today’s hearing.  “A few weeks ago, the American Tort Reform Association ranked Missouri’s judicial system the fourth worst judicial hellhole in the United States, explicitly citing the lack of Daubert standard in our courtrooms as the reason for the poor rating.”

It’s pretty inexcusable that a state with an uberconservative legislature is rated as a judicial hellhole. Most of JeffCo’s delegation supported this bill, but Reps. John McCaherty and Ben Harris (the lone Democrat) and Senator Gary Romine voted against it.

– A port bill put forward by McCaherty and Senator Paul Wieland (SB 861) also passed the legislature. It allows ports (including the one in JeffCo, presumably) to create “advanced industrial manufacturing zones.” Half the state taxes generated from new jobs in the zone are captured and can be used for developing and expanding the zone.

The bill also allows for a tax deduction for businesses that move to Missouri from out of state and creates income tax deductions for entities transporting cargo through water and airports in Missouri. It also expands a tax credit for redevelopment at the former Chrysler site in Fenton to include demolition costs. All JeffCo reps and senators voted for this bill.

– McCaherty also pushed through a measure, attached to HB 1765, establishing a two-year statute of limitations for bringing malpractice lawsuits against a mental health professional.

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