Republicans move forward to cut taxes

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JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Despite the drama with Missouri Governor Greitens' investigation, Missouri Republicans say they can still get an ambitious tax plan through the legislature this spring.

The Republicans who dominate the legislature here in Jefferson City say they want to build on the momentum on the federal tax cut from this year and they say they can give you a state tax cut this year without breaking the bank.

Elijah Haahr, the next Speaker of The House, plopped a 400-page tax bill on a table for a Senate committee to consider Tuesday.

But you don't need to dive much into the numbers to get a sense of what the GOP wants to accomplish.

They're looking to lower personal and corporate tax rates and hike fuel taxes or vehicle registration fees to pay for roads.

"I think that's a powerful message that we came down here to promote and work towards in the legislature. We want to lower the tax burden on Missouri families and we wanted to make sure that our infrastructure was strong," said State Senator Bill Eigel (R) St. Charles.

Republicans say they can pay for a significant portion of the cuts if the state starts requiring online retailers to charge state and local sales taxes.

I'm very hesitant to give the government another avenue to collect another tax, in this case, an internet tax, but on the other hand, you have retailers that have a physical location in the state that are at a competitive disadvantage because they're having to charge sales tax."

While many Democrats agree with the need to find new money for roads, but the other ideas are going to be non-starters.

"We shouldn’t be giving money to big corporations at the expense of cutting higher Ed, at the expense of not expanding Medicaid," said State Senator Jamilah Nasheed (D) St Louis.

The GOP won't need Democrat's help to get a plan across the finish line.

"Really I think the question just becomes, is a package that broad and that bold going to be able to make it through the chamber."

Lawmakers from both parties agree this week they want to get the budget done so that they have the last two weeks of the session to work on tax cuts and any of their other priorities.

In addition to tax cuts, the Missouri House also voted to legalize medical marijuana.

The bill was approved by a 112-44 vote.

It would allow anyone over 18 with a terminal disease to use smokeless medical marijuana.

People with Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder and several of other conditions would also be eligible.

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