The Missouri legislature adjourns May 12 and several tourism-related issues are making their way through the House and Senate.
- The House approved the Division of Tourism’s FY18 budget at about $20 million as recommended by Gov. Eric Greitens, a decrease of $5 million from the current budget on top of a $3 million withholding from the FY17 budget. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the governor’s recommendation and action in the full Senate is expected soon. The impact on the Springfield CVB is funds available from the Cooperative Marketing Program will remain at $430,000 in FY18, the same as it was in FY17.
- The Meet in Missouri Act passed last year to provide $3 million in matching funds to help offset hosting expenses for conventions and events where more than 50 percent of delegates come from outside Missouri is not likely to have funds appropriated this year due to revenue shortfalls.
- Details on state legislation to allow short-term rentals are still being ironed out. Springfield Rep. Sonya Anderson and Sen. Jay Wasson from Nixa are sponsoring the legislation in the House and Senate but the Missouri Hotel Lodging Association disagrees with some details. Negotiations continue but agreement may not be reached by the end of the session.
- Legislation requiring Missouri driver’s licences to meet minimum security standards (unless an applicant opts out) passed in the House and awaits Senate approval. Beginning in 2018, current Missouri driver’s licenses will not be acceptable form of identification for people flying on commercial aircraft because they are not compliant with the REAL ID Act passed by Congress in 2005.
For an opportunity to network with state legislators and discuss issues of importance to you, consider attending the Springfield Metro Partnership’s final legislative breakfast of the 2017 session. It takes place from 7 to 8:30 a.m. April 19 at Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City. Cost is $25 per person and you can RSVP by contacting Peyton Andrews at email@example.com or 417.862.5567.
On the national level, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill will host a town hall forum from 9 to 10 a.m. April 14 at The Old Glass Place, 521 E. St. Louis St. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, call 417.868.8745.