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AIM Legislative Policy
AIM's 2012 Legislative Agenda   AIM Planning & Policy Committee, 11/10/2011

The principal purpose of Associated Industries of Missouri is to “promote a favorable business climate for business, manufacturing and industry.”  AIM has, therefore, formulated the following statement of policy which clearly states the objectives of this association.


This association realizes that the people of Missouri can only be successful if the business community of this state is successful.  AIM is dedicated to helping industry and business in Missouri succeed by empowering its members through communication, education and advocacy before the General Assembly, administrative agencies, courts and the public.  These policy statements serve as guides to allow AIM’s staff to promote this vision and to ensure that AIM will continue to serve as the “Voice of Missouri Business” through the 21st Century.

AIM Press Releases
Missouri Business Could Suffer Increased Costs If Federal Cuts Are Made To Medicaid Provider Tax Programs   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 11/16/2011


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A new report from the University of Missouri concludes that congressional proposals to reduce federal Medicaid cost sharing in Missouri could harm the state’s economy and lead to significant increases in the cost of health insurance for Missouri’s employers. The report was commissioned by the Taxpayer Research Institute of Missouri within Associated Industries of Missouri.


“The congressional ‘super committee’ is charged with reducing federal funding by $1.2 trillion,” said Ray McCarty, president of Associated Industries of Missouri. “This report points to the significant economic damage that would result from using Medicaid provider assessments to reduce federal expenditures. Like many states, Missouri utilizes provider assessments to help fund the Medicaid program. Because of Missouri’s significant reliance on this funding mechanism, the proposal being considered in Washington, D.C. would disproportionately harm the state and could burden employers with higher costs for insurance. The uncertainty created by the lack of funding would hurt our ability to create and retain jobs.”

AIM for Good Business Issue Articles
Wage and Salary Surveys Keep Missouri Companies Competitive   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 8/3/2011

Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) has helped host a regional Wage and Salary Survey for Missouri businesses and the human resources professionals within those companies for many years. Local associations and businesses have sponsored regional efforts to encourage a higher degree of participation and in turn, those companies receive a broad amount of information that helps them determine how competitive their businesses are in regards to attracting top employee talent in their area.


This year, Associated Industries has been joined by the Springfield Area Human Resources Association  (SAHRA) and St. Louis law firm Danna McKitrick to survey AIM members and non-members, in order to help those companies understand what local businesses are offering for employee compensation and benefits packages.

AIM for Good Business Issue Articles
Watts Radiant (Springfield) Joins Missouri Group of 35 Safe Businesses   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 7/28/2011

Last Wednesday, the Missouri Labor Department’s On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program announced that Watts Radiant of Springfield, has earned the distinction of being named the newest member of the Missouri’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) for its excellent workplace safety record, for a new total of 35 SHARP businesses in the state.


“Safety is more than an act, it's a state of mind," said John Kolson, Watts Radiant's Vice Present and General Manager. "We have empowered our employees with more than simply the tools to identify what can be a potentially hazardous situation; we have empowered them to act. Improvements in safety come directly from the employees working with the equipment or walking the floor. This has made the safety program at Watts Radiant incredibly strong."

AIM for Good Business Issue Articles
Governor Nixon Finishes Action on Legislative Items   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 7/21/2011


In the latest AIM Your Voice Magazine, Associated Industries of Missouri informed our members of the bills that passed or did not pass in the 2011 legislative session. In some cases, AIM was able to shed light on Governor Jay Nixon’s thoughts and actions on those bills. With the July deadline passed, Governor Nixon has either signed the bills he agreed with, not signed the bills allowing them to become law, or vetoed the bills he opposed.


One of our AIM priorities, Senate Bill 188, was vetoed in late April. The bill would have aligned Missouri employment and discrimination law with that of the federal government. House Bill 163, which extended unemployment benefits to out-of-work Missourians, was signed in mid-April. And Senate Bill 19 was signed by the governor just two weeks later to eliminate the Missouri Corporation Franchise Tax for all Missouri corporations still paying the tax, which is the worst example of double-taxation.

AIM Legislative Policy
Governor Nixon Legislative Actions   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 7/21/2011

Once each bill is passed out of the General Assembly, the Missouri Governor has until mid-July to sign, not sign, or veto each bill. This link provides a list of the bills that impacted Missouri business and what action the governor took on each bill.

AIM for Good Business Issue Articles
A “Free Market” Is Not Always A “Fair Market” In International Trade   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 7/14/2011

Two U.S. companies are finding that all companies have to play by the same rules…only as long as they are within the United States.


Missouri-based Leggett and Platt is pleading with U.S. elected officials to even the international playing field, while Massachusetts-based American Superconductor is involved in an international lawsuit. Both companies, while coordinating business in the United States’ “capitalist” economy, find that not all companies play by the same rules.

AIM for Good Business Week in Review
The 2011 Legislative Session Produced Mixed Results for Employers   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 5/19/2011

Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) is pleased the Missouri legislature took action this year to eliminate the corporation franchise tax and extend state oversight of water pollution programs, but overall legislative results for employers were mixed.  One of the biggest successes of this session was defeating a major employer tax and cost increase bill that was backed by one other business organization and the trial bar. 


Employers were optimistic this session, but the legislature was only able to get two high priority bills to the governor’s desk. Governor Nixon signed Senate Bill 19 to cap the Missouri Corporation Franchise Tax and phase it out over the next five years. In the same week, he vetoed another priority that would have aligned Missouri’s employment law with the federal Human Rights Act – an action that became necessary following several anti-business judicial rulings over the past several years. 

AIM for Good Business Week in Review
Final Two Weeks Bring "Good, Bad, and the Ugly"   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 5/6/2011

In the middle of the week, employers had a brief chance for celebration, but by Thursday, businesses were left wondering whether Missouri's business community would have to take "the bad and ugly" in order to get "the good". On Tuesday, the Missouri House of Representatives gave their final approval to an AIM and Fix the Six Priority, passing Senate Bill 8 to reform the occupational disease and co-employee liability laws as they both relate to Missouri Workers' Compensation Law.

One problem: Discussion has now shifted to adding a provision debated in neither chamber - one that would burden Missouri employers with a surcharge increase (a.k.a. tax increase) to pay for Missouri's Second Injury Fund...

AIM for Good Business Week in Review
Gov. Nixon Signs Business Priority, Announces Intent to Veto Another   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 4/28/2011

With three weeks to go in the 2011 legislative session, Governor Jay Nixon signed two pieces of business-related legislation and announced intent to veto an AIM and Fix the Six legislative priority. Missouri corporations will have much to be grateful for as their Corporation Franchise Tax will be capped at the 2010 level and reduced each year for the next five years for a complete Missouri Corporation Franchise Tax phase-out.

In addition to the signing of Senate Bill 19, Gov. Nixon also released a statement on Tuesday that announced his intent to veto the employment law reforms that AIM and many more in Missouri's business community have supported for five years. Find out more in this week's legislative update.

AIM for Good Business Issue Articles
Three bills await Nixon's signature while debate continues on Redistricting   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 4/21/2011

Three business bills have been sent to Gov. Nixon's desk in the start of this week. Two of the three are AIM priorities and have been proposed by Associated Industries in the past. In this week's AIM for Good Business, AIM encourages our members to contact Governor Nixon and urge his support of these important pro-business bills.

Also discussed in this week's article: State budget, Second Injury Fund tax increase, and Congressional redistricting efforts.

AIM for Good Business Week in Review
Business Issues Progress in General Assembly   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 4/15/2011

This week in the General Assembly, employers benefited from revisions to Missouri's Unemployment Fund by reducing the time employers have to pay from 26 weeks to 20. The AIM and Fix the Six priority legislation also received approval from the House and Senate. AIM has asked for the Employment Law reforms for years, but with the super majority pro-business legislature in charge in the Missouri Senate and House, businesses can expect several issues to progress that will benefit our employers and attract new ones to the Show Me State.

AIM for Good Business Week in Review
General Assembly Approves Corporate Franchise Tax Elimination, Other Business Issues Progress   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 4/8/2011

This week, the Missouri General Assembly gave final approval to the elimination of Missouri's double-tax on corporatations. Senate Bill 19 was approved by the House of Representatives and was sent to Gov. Nixon. The bill caps the Corporate Franchise Tax at the 2010 levels and phases-out the tax in a five year period.

Other issues to move this week include: Second Injury Fund Tax Increase, Paycheck Protection Act, Unemployment Benefits Extension, the Manufacturing Jobs Act, and the House Redistricting bill.

AIM for Good Business Issue Articles
Week in Review: April 1, 2011   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 4/1/2011

In addition to the state budget, legislators debated several provisions that would impact business. From Workers' Compensation Reforms and Tax Credits, to Census Redistricting and Health Care, find out what happened this week and how it will affect your business.

AIM for Good Business Issue Articles
Legislators Move Quickly on Business Issues Before Spring Break   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 3/18/2011

On Wednesday, the Senate Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee, chaired by Senator Scott Rupp (R-St. Charles), heard Senate Bill 420 and Senate Bill 430; both relating to the Missouri Second Injury Fund. The sponsor of both bills, Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer (R-Dexter), filed Senate Bill 420 to dissolve the fund entirely, but later filed Senate Bill 430 to allow Second Injury Fund claims to be paid from an increase in the Workers’ Compensation Administrative Surcharge.  This would result in a $45 million tax increase on business each year for at least three years.

AIM President Ray McCarty commented, “Associated Industries of Missouri opposes this tax increase on Missouri employers to support a broken system that currently allows employees to be compensated for non-work related injuries. We support eliminating the fund, which will mean employers will only have to pay for work-related injuries, which is the original purpose of the Workers’ Compensation Law.”  AIM was joined in its opposition to the tax increase in SB 430 by many other business groups, including the National Federation of Independent Businesses, Missouri Retailers Association, Missouri Grocers Association, and the Associated Builders and Contractors.

AIM for Good Business Issue Articles
Legislative Update March 10, 2011   Ray McCarty, 3/10/2011


Associated Industries of Missouri continues to represent Missouri businesses in the debate of issues that are important to employers in the Missouri Capitol.  Here are some highlights from action this week:

AIM for Good Business Issue Articles
Tax Cuts & Employment Law Reforms Progress in State Capitol    Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 3/4/2011

Last week, Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) was pleased to inform our members that the Missouri House of Representatives and a Senate committee gave their approval to employment law reforms. This week, those measures were again approved, but this time, Missouri business has more to be thankful for since the legislation has progressed further than it has for the past five years.

Wednesday evening, the full Senate gave its first stamp of approval to legislation filed by Senator Brad Lager that will help preserve Missouri’s “employment at will” doctrineSenate Bill 188 was approved by a voice vote. The bill now goes to the Senate Ways & Means and Fiscal Oversight committee, where it will be reviewed before final Senate approval.

AIM for Good Business Issue Articles
Employment Law Reform Receives Full House and Senate Committee Approval   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 2/25/2011


Late Wednesday afternoon, Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) informed its members that the Missouri House of Representatives gave first round approval to employment law reforms by a vote of 99-56. On Thursday, the House gave its final stamp of approval on legislation that will drastically protect employers from outrageous litigation and employees from discrimination.


AIM has discussed this issue in great detail with its membership for the past several years. And, this week, we walked the halls of the Capitol to help answer questions and doubts from legislators about the bill’s impact on business. On Wednesday and Thursday, Representative Kevin Elmer’s House Bill 205 passed with overwhelming support for Missouri business. The bill received its final vote from the House on Thursday where it passed after a 95-59 vote. The legislation now goes to the Senate where a committee recently gave its approval on similar legislation.


In a statement Wednesday, AIM President Ray McCarty commented, “This legislation helps protect employers from frivolous claims of discrimination by leveling the playing field between the Federal Human Rights Act and the Missouri Human Rights Act. The House action today gives Missouri’s business community more surety in the employment law arena. AIM would like to thank House Leadership for making this a priority and we look forward to continuing the fight in the Senate.”

AIM for Good Business Week in Review
Finally, Tax Reform for Everyone...AIM Business Priorities Advance   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 2/18/2011

This week in the Missouri Capitol, legislators debated and passed two sets of pro-business tax reforms.


The Missouri Senate overwhelmingly passed Senate Bill 19, sponsored by Senator Eric Schmitt (R-St. Louis County), Wednesday.  The bill will place a cap on the amount of franchise tax that must be paid by Missouri corporations at the amount paid in 2010 and will phase-out the franchise tax over 5 years. The bill now moves to the House for consideration.  Similar legislation (HB 76) was also filed in the House by Representative Jerry Nolte (R-Gladstone).


“The passage of Senate Bill 19 is a huge victory for businesses that have been promised tax reform since 2002,” said AIM President Ray McCarty. “While legislators in Jefferson City have passed several bills aimed at reducing the tax burden for businesses, a majority of the bills have been tax credits which target specific industries or businesses that provide certain benefits or jobs.”

AIM for Good Business Issue Articles
Big Week for Business - Big and Small   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 2/10/2011
This week business scored two huge successes in addition to several others.


The Missouri Senate approved a bill that would eliminate the Missouri corporate franchise tax over a five-year phase-out. The House of Representatives approved a measure that would protect employers from outrageous lawsuits that should be covered under workers’ compensation. The Senate Committee on General Laws heard Senate Bill 1, which establishes Missouri as a Right to Work state. The Senate Jobs, Economic Development, and Local Government Committee held a hearing on AIM’s business income tax deduction, Senate Bill 146. And, the Senate also debated workers’ compensation reform legislation.

AIM for Good Business Issue Articles
Pro-Business Taxation & Workers' Compensation Policies Advance in Mo Capitol   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 1/27/2011

This week in the Missouri Capitol, legislators began to tackle those important issues affecting business costs: taxes, workers' compensation costs, and wages. Several pieces of legislation were heard this week in both the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives. AIM was there to testify on behalf of the legislation as it was heard in committees.

Read this week's AIM for Good Business article to find out what happened and how the legislation could impact your business.

AIM for Good Business Issue Articles
Nixon and Missouri General Assembly Display How Missouri is “Fighting Every Day for Every Job”   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 1/20/2011

In his third State of the State Address, Governor Jay Nixon addressed the members of Missouri’s General Assembly, other state elected officials, and those Missourians watching on television. He stressed the need for education, sound fiscal government, broadband access, but more so the need for Missouri to fight “every day for every job.”


The governor used a majority of the speech to stress job creation and retention. He commented, “My focus is crystal clear. By fighting every day for every job, we are turning this economy around. The recession that began three years ago cast a long shadow across our nation. Millions of Americans are still unemployed. And while there are signs that our economy is beginning to turn the corner, I won’t be satisfied until all Missourians can provide for their families.”

AIM for Good Business Issue Articles
Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft Addresses Business Leaders at 2011 SHOW ME Leadership Event   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 1/13/2011

Yesterday, former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft looked into an audience of business leaders and Missouri State elected officials and discouraged a federal and state government from generating “evolving legal standards.”


“Evolving legal standards create a paralysis in the business community and a proliferation of resources to the legal profession,” said Ashcroft.


Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) has discussed and advocated against the uncertainties that our state and federal leaders have forced on business and caused such a paralysis. Business cannot legislate job growth, but they can hinder it due to inaction on employment and discrimination law reforms that create an unsympathetic court system that looks at business as corrupt. The same unsympathetic activist judges prevent businesses from reinvesting dollars back into their business because those businesses suffer outrageous court costs and settlements associated with employee claims that are no fault of the business.

AIM for Good Business Issue Articles
General Assembly Leadership Priorities Overlap With Those of Business   Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communication, 1/5/2011


Today marked the first day of the 96th General Assembly in Jefferson City. The incoming freshmen Representatives and Senators were sworn into the offices they were elected to last November. The two leaders in the chambers gave their inaugural addresses. While both discussed their priorities for the 2011 session in different chambers of the Capitol, the priorities discussed mirrored each other, but also the priorities of business. 


Just this Tuesday, over a dozen business group leaders were present to show their associations’ support of a business-led initiative: Fix the Six. Associated Industries of Missouri has our own Agenda to Restore Prosperity in Missouri consisting of the six Fix the Six priorities, a DNR fee extension and AIM’s across-the-board business income tax deduction. The Fix the Six Coalition is comprised of business groups with broad interests that have agreed to this common agenda with no fiscal impact to the state. Groups involved include: AIM, the Missouri National Federation of Independent Businesses, Missouri Merchants and Manufacturers Association, Missouri Grocers Association, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Missouri Restaurant Association, and the Associated General Contractors of Missouri.

AIM for Good Business Issue Articles
Who Cares About Unemployment? YOU SHOULD!   Ray McCarty, AIM President, 12/23/2010

Did you know your business is facing an automatic tax increase of $21 per employee if the legislature and governor’s office take no action in the next year  That’s $21 per employee, whether your business has laid off many workers that are receiving unemployment payments or not!


The tax increase is actually a reduction in the amount of Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) tax credit.   The FUTA credit will be reduced if Missouri employers still owe money to the Federal Unemployment Trust Fund on November 10, 2011. 


Typically, Missouri employers pay state unemployment taxes and these tax collections are used to pay unemployment benefits.  But when the state experienced unusually high unemployment over the last two years, Missouri did not have enough money in the state fund to pay claims, so the federal government loaned us the amount needed to pay unemployment claims.  Some of the amount that has been paid to unemployment recipients was “paid for” with the federal stimulus money, but the amount used to pay regular unemployment claims are the responsibility of Missouri employers.  Right now, Missouri employers owe more than $722 million to the Federal Unemployment Trust Fund for money that was used to pay unemployment claims during this recession.  Many other states (31 at last count) owe the federal government more than $40 billion!