Legislative Update

The 2017 legislative session ended May 12 with a budget of $20,948,443 approved by the House and Senate for the Missouri Division of Tourism’s FY 18 budget.

If Gov. Eric Greitens approves the amount, it is about $5 million less than the division’s original FY 17 budget, from which $4.5 million was later withheld.

A bill giving Missouri residents the option to get a driver’s license or state identification card in compliance with the federal Real ID Act was approved by the legislature and is awaiting the governor’s signature. Without Real ID compliance, Missouri identification cards would not be acceptable forms of identification at airports beginning in 2018.

Legislation that will pave the way for companies, such as Uber and Lyft to operate in Missouri was signed by the Governor in April. This legislation was modeled after a bill passed by Springfield City council last year.

The legislature did not appropriate funding for the Meet in Missouri Act passed last year. The bill establishes a $3 million matching fund to offset hosting expenses for conventions and events where more than half of the delegates are from outside Missouri.

Legislation to allow short-term rentals passed in the House but was not taken up by the Senate.

The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce Governmental Relations Committee is hosting a legislative recap at 8:15 a.m. May 19 at the chamber office. Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, chair of the House Budget Committee, will provide chamber members with a recap of  the 2017 legislative session, including an update on chamber legislative priorities. The meeting is open to chamber members but advance registration is required. To RSVP, contact Peyton Andrews at pandrews@springfieldchamber.com or 862-5567.

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Tracy Kimberlin is the President & CEO of the Springfield, Missouri, Convention & Visitors Bureau

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