Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, says he doesn’t expect there to be any major issues this week as lawmakers returned to Jefferson City for the annual veto session with a special session running concurrently.
Gov. Mike Parson called the special session Aug. 21 to focus on amending a state statute to allow the sales proceeds of more than one vehicle, trailer, boat, or outboard motor to be used as a credit against the sales tax owed on the purchase of another.
The Missouri Supreme Court recently clarified in Kehlenbrink v. Director of Revenue (SC 97287) that the sales proceeds of only one vehicle may be used as a credit against the sales tax owed on the purchase of a new vehicle.
The Legislature may amend the state law during special session to allow for the sale of multiple vehicles to be used as a credit, in line with the Department of Revenue’s prior practice and what consumers have come to expect.
“This is really a noncontroversial thing,” Schatz said. “And I don’t expect any bills that were vetoed to be overridden.”
Late last month, Gov. Parson denied a request from the House Democratic black caucus requesting a special session on gun control, and State Rep. Aaron Griesheimer, R-Washington, feels that issue may rear its head again this week.
“The Democrats may try to grandstand,” Griesheimer said. “It may cause some fireworks, but I don’t think it will affect the legislation.”
Griesheimer added he agrees with the governor and respects his position to not address such a complicated issue in a knee-jerk reaction.
“Gun control is not an issue we can address in a two-day session,” Griesheimer said. “The Democrats will stand up, make their stance known and then sit back down. Everything else should be a slam dunk. We don’t want to be up there (Jefferson City) any longer than we have to be.”
State Rep. Nate Tate, R-St. Clair, agrees with his colleague the gun control issue may be brought up, but it will indeed only be grandstanding.
“I don’t think it will amount to anything at all,” Tate said. “Usually in cases like this, the floor leaders of each party will get together and make a deal to avoid it, but with only one piece of legislation, they may end up grandstanding.”
Tate claims liberal policies on gun control simply do not work.
As far as the one piece of legislation being brought up in the special session, Tate was hesitant to call the issue an emergency and it could have waited until the next regular session in January.
Gov. Parson has received criticism that the special session will benefit a small number of special interest groups in the auto industry.
“It’s my understanding it only affects 3,000 people,” Tate said. “This is the end of the model year and I guess a lot of people are out buying cars this time of year.”
Out of the dozens of bills passed by the Legislature this year, Parson vetoed only two House bills and four Senate bills.
One of the few bills Parson vetoed July 12 included a measure from one of Tate’s bills that was tacked on to a Senate bill in the closing hours of the session back in May.
Senate Bill 147 would have established a “Towing Task Force” for commercial motor vehicle tows. This task force would make recommendations on overcharges, customer complaints and the process for nonconsensual towing used by law enforcement.
In his veto message, Parson explained why he rejected the towing measure.
“The attorney general’s office has a system in place to handle such complaints, which is managed by the Consumer Complaint Division,” Parson explained. “As I believe adequate protection already exists to address these matters, I cannot support the establishment of a redundant task force.”
Tate said there won’t be an override effort on the bill, but instead will wait until next year. He has however spoken to the governor’s legislative liaison Justin Alferman about the issue.
“Unfortunately, the bill was vetoed because of the transportation task force,” Tate said. “The governor wants to go about it a different way. I am certainly interested in what they have to say.”