The Latest: Missouri lawmakers pass corporate income tax cut - KMOV.com

The Latest: Missouri lawmakers pass corporate income tax cut

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The Missouri statehouse in January, 2018. (Credit: KMOV) The Missouri statehouse in January, 2018. (Credit: KMOV)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Latest on the last day of the Missouri 2018 legislative session (all times local):

3:10 p.m.

The Republican-led Missouri Legislature has passed a bill to cut the corporate income tax rate from 6.25 percent to 4 percent.

House lawmakers gave the bill final approval in a 96-42 vote Friday, just hours before the 6 p.m. deadline to pass bills.

The 2.25 percent tax cut for businesses would take effect in January 2020 if made law. To offset the revenue loss, the proposal would change how multistate corporations can calculate their taxable income.

The Republican-led Legislature earlier Thursday also passed a bill to cut the current 5.9 percent individual income tax rate for most Missourians to 5.5 percent in January 2019.

Individuals' income tax rate would gradually drop to 5.1 percent if the state meets revenue targets. Federal tax deductions would be scaled back to make up for the loss in revenue.

Corporate tax bill is SB 884 .

2:45 p.m.

The House has rejected a measure that would have allowed a governor to appoint a lieutenant governor in the event of a vacancy, as long as that appointment had the approval of the Senate.

The proposal was attached to an unrelated bill and approved by the Senate May 11. The House rejected it Thursday, and the Senate accepted its rejection Friday.

Missouri law isn't clear on how or whether to fill a lieutenant governor's vacancy.

The process of succession is relevant because the House begins a special session Friday to consider impeaching Gov. Eric Greitens. If representatives did vote to impeach the governor, and Greitens was removed from office, Lt. Gov. Mike Parson would vacate his current position to become governor.

Two senators say they will try to amend the proposal onto another bill later Friday.

The original amendment was SA 1

1:45 p.m.

The Missouri Legislature has passed a bill barring insurance companies from denying coverage to ER patients based on their final diagnosis.

The proposal, approved by the Senate Friday 33-0, was a response to a now-discarded policy by the insurance company Anthem. That policy had allowed coverage to be denied if it turned out a patient didn't need emergency treatment but their symptoms had led them to believe they did.

The measure also changes the process for how charges are negotiated between insurance companies and health care providers. That is an effort to address "surprise billing," or situations when patients visit in-network providers but are inadvertently seen by out-of-network doctors.

Proponents say this will protect patients. One lawmaker says the negotiation changes could put doctors at a disadvantage.

The bill next heads to the governor.

The bill is SB 982

1:40 p.m.

The Missouri Legislature has passed a bill to change the state's prevailing wage law.

House lawmakers gave the measure final approval in a 97-46 vote Friday.

School districts, cities and other governmental entities currently must pay more than the state's minimum wage for maintenance and construction work. The specific amount is determined by the type of work being done and a project's location.

If enacted, the bill would change how some local minimum wages are calculated for public works projects. The bill would not impact projects worth less than $75,000.

Proponents say the proposal could help local governments save money. Opponents argue that the changes will hurt small contractors and workers.

Prevailing wage bill is HB 1729 .

1:30 p.m.

Missouri voters will get a chance to weigh in on a proposed fuel tax increase that would go to fund roads, bridges and the Highway Patrol.

House lawmakers voted 88-60 on Friday to put a gas tax hike to voters. It's set for the Nov. 6 ballot.

The proposal would gradually raise the gas tax from its current 17 cents per gallon to 27 cents per gallon by 2022. Legislative researchers project it could raise as much as $293 million for the state road fund by fiscal year 2027.

Backers said the proposal will leave it to voters to decide whether to raise taxes. But primarily Republican opponents in the House on Friday slammed the measure as a massive tax hike.

Gas tax bill is HB 1460 .

11:35 a.m.

People convicted of carrying hidden firearms without a concealed carry permit would be eligible to have their records expunged under a bill passed in Missouri.

House members voted 143-0 Friday to give the measure final approval.

The bill deals with people convicted of concealed carry violations before a new law that took effect last year made those permits largely unnecessary in Missouri.

House Democratic Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty says it doesn't make sense to continue punishing people for something that's no longer a crime. She says the bill offers second chances.

She says expungement wouldn't be available to people who also were convicted of violent crimes, such as assault or kidnapping.

Concealed carry bill is SB 954 .

1:20 a.m.

Missouri's Republican-led Legislature is poised to pass sweeping changes to the state tax code before reconvening in special session to begin considering the impeachment of GOP Gov. Eric Greitens.

Lawmakers face a 6 p.m. Friday deadline to pass bills in the annual regular session. Then, 30 minutes later, they plan to open the proceedings against Greitens.

Still pending is a proposal to cut the corporate tax rate from 6.25 percent to 4 percent in 2020. The bill needs final approval in the House.

Lawmakers late Thursday night pushed through a bill to cut the individual income tax rate for most residents from 5.9 percent to 5.5 percent in 2019. The rate would then gradually decrease to 5.1 percent. The bill also would reduce a federal income tax deduction.

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