Governor Holden wants the legislature to raise revenues rather than make cuts to public schools, colleges and universities. But, the Missouri House doesn’t even plan to hold hearings on any revenue packages during the special session now in its fourth week at the Capitol. House Tax Policy Committee Chairman Shannon Cooper of Clinton refused to even hold a hearing on a bill that would increase the admission fees and gross receipt tax on casinos in exchange for lifting loss limits. Cooper notes similar provisions didn’t even make it out of a Senate committee and he tells the Missourinet he’s confident the issue wouldn’t even make it out of his committee if he did hold a hearing. He says there is no support for tax increases among Republicans, who make up the majority in the House. Representative Chuck Graham, a Democrat from Columbia, sponsors the bill, believing it is the most politically acceptable of the governor’s call for increased revenue. He’s not surprised by Cooper’s decision. He said he couldn’t get a hearing for such an idea during the regular session either. Though House Speaker Catherine Hanaway assigned Graham’s bill to committee, she isn’t upset the committee isn’t hearing the bill. She says she sees little reason to waste time hearing a bill that is going nowhere. Hanaway has flatly refused to consider tax increases to help the sagging state budget.
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