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Sen. Mike Cierpiot’s Capitol Report for Jan. 14, 2021

Legislative activity is beginning to pick up at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City. The 2021 legislative session began on Jan. 6, with the swearing in of recently elected state senators. Nearly a week after the start of session, the General Assembly convened for the inauguration of the governor and several other statewide elected officials. While there is always some pomp and circumstance associated with this day, it rightfully celebrates our state’s proud history, especially as we embark on our bicentennial year. I look forward to working with the governor, as well as my colleagues in the Legislature to deliver a brighter day for Missouri.

With session now underway, I’ll be focusing on moving my sponsored legislation through the lawmaking process. I plan to focus on two bills in particular. The first is Senate Bill 109, relating to property tax assessments. This legislation would allow property assessment growth above 15 percent of the previous assessment to be split across two years, rather than just the following year. It would also require the county board of equalization to review residential property valuations that exceed 15 percent of the property’s previously assessed value. If you recall, Jackson County has been dealing with significant issues in property valuations. My hope is that this legislation can help better protect taxpayers from excessively high property tax bills and ensure assessments are accurate and realistic.

Another one of my priorities will be Senate Bill 30, which establishes the Show Me a Brighter Future Scholarship Program. This tax credit program will help provide scholarships to low-income students in underperforming schools so they can access better private schools. I believe this legislation will incentivize giving and provide students with the education they need to have a bright future.

As we prepare to start moving bills forward, much of the early work in the Senate will occur in various legislative committees. This session, I’m pleased to announce that I will be serving as the chair of the Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Committee. As the name implies, the committee will consider legislation dealing with our state’s commercial sector, as well as telecommunications, utilities and more. I will also be serving as the vice chair of the Senate’s Economic Development committee, as well as on the Appropriations; Education; and Government Accountability and Fiscal Oversight committees.

I am honored to continue serving the citizens of the 8th Senatorial District. If there is anything I can do to serve you, please feel free to contact my office in Jefferson City at (573) 751-1464. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation for the 2021 session, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Cierpiot.