Missouri concludes its 2018 legislative session

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Republican supermajority in control of the Missouri legislature labels the 2018 spring session as "historic" and "successful" despite the distraction of the Greitens scandal.

The House and Senate passed 142 bills, the most since 2014. House Speaker Todd Richardson said Missourians will feel some of the proposals in their pocketbooks and their paychecks.

"This session has been the most successful implementation of conservative reforms in the history of this state bar none," Richardson said.

Republicans pushed through personal tax cuts and corporate tax cuts. Under their personal income tax proposal, the top rate most workers pay would be reduced from 5.9 percent to 5.5 percent.

The proposal also creates a pathway to eventually lower the rate to 5.1 percent.

Lawmakers moved the public statewide vote on the "right-to-work" issue from November to August and made changes to the "prevailing wage," a minimum wage paid to workers on public projects.

Lawmakers also passed a balanced budget that restores the governor's proposed college cuts and fully funds k-12 public schools.

"I think that even though there was some distractions, I think the two bodies focused on the policy issues and worked together," said Sen. Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan.

The proposal generating the most buzz on the last day will not go to the governor, it will go to a vote of the people.

Lawmakers voted to put a measure on the November ballot to ask voters to increase the states gas tax from 17 cents to 27 cents to pay for road projects.

"I chaired the transportation committee over here for two years in the house, two years in the Senate," Schatz said. "And that's an issue that's been facing Missouri for a long time."

While Republicans are celebrating their achievements, Democrats are going home disappointed.

"As far as workers and everyday people go in this state, I would give them [Republicans] an F," Beck said.

Richardson said he believes the session will get high marks from Missouri workers and businesses.

"This agenda we believe will put Missouri on one of the strongest economic footings you can find of anywhere in the country," Richardson said.

Gov. Greitens broke with tradition and did not hold an end of session news conference. He sent a brief statement approving of the legislature's accomplishments.

Richardson and Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard said they will hold off on signing bills to send them to the governor's desk until May 31.

Depending on what happens with impeachment, it is possible a different governor could sign some of these measures come June.

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