The Missouri House General Laws committee is set to consider two gun bills on Tuesday. House Bill 2291 would exempt state and local sales taxes on firearms and ammunition sold in Missouri. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Bishop Davidson, R-Republic.

The other bill would allow concealed guns on public transportation. It would lower the age requirement from at least 19 to 18 years of age or older for concealed carry permits. The bill would also repeal the concealed carrying of firearms in churches and other places of worship by anyone with a valid concealed carry permit.

State lawmakers have considered several versions of this proposal for years. Rep. Adam Schnelting, R-St. Charles, is sponsoring House Bill 1708.

A U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs report shows that 185 Missouri military veterans died by suicide in 2021. The 2023 federal report says Missouri’s veteran suicide rate is significantly higher than the national veteran suicide rate.

The Missouri House Veterans Committee will consider a bill Tuesday that would task the Missouri Veterans Commission with expanding its work to prevent veteran suicide. The proposed plan would require the commission to team up with the Missouri Department of Mental Health to recommend and make efforts to adopt procedures, programs, treatment options, and any other necessary help.

Rep. Dave Griffith, R-Jefferson City, is sponsoring House Bill 1495. The proposal would be subject to state funding approval. Griffith has sponsored similar bills since at least 2022.

A public hearing is set for Tuesday about a bill that would raise the budget of the state’s MOBUCK$ low-interest loan program. The program helps small businesses, farmers, and local government agencies.

House Bill 1803, sponsored by Rep. Terry Thompson, R-Lexington, would boost the program’s annual budgeted amount from the current $800 million to $1.2 billion.

Sen. Sandy Crawford, R-Buffalo, is sponsoring an identical bill in the upper chamber, Senate Bill 736. The request for the increase is due to overwhelming popularity of the program.

The program reopened Jan. 2 after being paused in May of last year. Then six hours later, it was shut down again after all available funds were exhausted. State Treasurer Vivek Malek said in those six hours, his office received 142 applications totaling more than $119 million.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry said a big part of the state’s workforce crisis has to do with the lack of access to childcare. A U.S. Chamber report estimates that Missouri loses more than $1.3 billion annually as a result of childcare shortages. To help solve this problem, the state legislature will be asked to approve a tax credit package that is intended to boost access to childcare options statewide.

The Missouri House Workforce and Infrastructure Development Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday about a plan that would provide tax credits to childcare providers, donors to daycare centers, and businesses who help to cover the childcare costs of their employees. House Bill 1488 is sponsored by Rep. Brenda Shields, R-St. Joseph.

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