KSPR.com: Healthcare, taxes and term limits up for debate in last weeks of Missouri legislature

Your Missouri lawmakers are looking to make changes to how your healthcare is paid for, taxes, and their own term limits.

Let’s start with the tax bill. We told you about a plan to cut taxes last week, but this one is different. Senate Bill 674 mostly deals with taxes on corporations. It would dramatically cut the corporate income tax rate from 6.25% to 3.5%. It also would remove parts of the tax code that supporters say, gives advantages to out-of-state companies. While it would reduce the amount of money coming into the state by way of taxes at the outset, Senator Andrew Koenig (R-Manchester) says it would help the state in the long-run, by growing businesses here, “It’s a massive tax cut for Missouri-based businesses without blowing a hole in the budget. Nothing is more destructive to economic growth than the corporate income tax. So, we need to make our state more competitive.”

Despite critics saying it would lose the state too much revenue, it sailed through the Senate, 28-4. It’s now in the House of Representatives.

Another bill would change some of the ways you pay for health care. One of the main aspects of Senate Bill 982 deals with ER visits. “When people go to the emergency room, to an in-network hospital, and then, they are treated by an out-of-network doctor, they have been billed for those out-of-network costs,” said State Sen. Jill Schupp (D-Creve Coeur).

But, Schupp worked with Sen. Bob Onder (R-Lake Saint Louis) to create a plan that would make it so you’d pay in-network costs for that emergency care, regardless of your doctor. Onder’s plan also would specify that your potential “emergency medical condition” depends on your symptoms, not the final diagnosis. That also passed the Senate, and is now in the House.

One more interesting piece of legislation is SJR 27, which would change the term limits for your lawmakers. Under current law, no one can serve more than 8 years in any one house of the Legislature, the Senate or House of Representatives. So, you could serve eight years on one side, and eight on the other. But, this amendment would change that to 16 years total in the General Assembly, regardless of whether they’re served in the Senate or House. This plan is also in the House, but would still have to be approved by voters, if it passes.

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