The Buzz

Jason Kander to GOP lawmakers: Where are you guys?


Missouri’s secretary of state, Jason Kander, is wondering what happened to his plan to make business filing fees the lowest in the nation.

He proposed the idea in September and, according to an opinion piece he’s issued Monday, the plan immediately attracted bipartisan support.

Even Dan Mehan, president of the Missouri Chamber, acknowledged that “lowering the cost of doing business is always helpful...”

But now, with time growing short in the 2015 legislative session, Kander’s plan has stalled, he said.

“The time for our legislators to act is now,” he wrote.

What’s happened? Well, many Republicans aren’t talking. But Kander’s mid-February entry into the U.S. Senate race against incumbent Republican Roy Blunt may have been a factor.

Why give the Democrat one more issue to crow about even if it’s an issue that Republicans would normally embrace?

Kander didn’t mention that brand of bare-knuckle politics in his piece. But here’s betting that politics may be the real reason his idea has faded.

Here is Kander’s opinion piece:

Last September, I offered a plan that would slash Missouri’s business filing fees to the overall lowest in the nation. Sen. Wayne Wallingford of Cape Girardeau (R-27) introduced the legislation on my behalf, along with Reps. John McCaherty (R-97) and Deb Lavender (D-90).

The legislation, Senate Bill 157 and House Bill 513, would reduce fees paid by new and existing businesses that must file paperwork with my office. This includes several types of business entities, including corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs) and nonprofits. It would save Missouri businesses about $6 million a year.

Small business owners should spend the least amount of time possible worrying about fees and forms, and instead focus on expanding their businesses and growing jobs in their local communities. This legislation is a commonsense way to make it easier to do business in Missouri, and I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Almost immediately after announcing it, my plan received bipartisan support from legislators, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Missouri Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and editorial boards from around the state.

The Jefferson City News Tribune called the proposal “…a rare, and welcome, example of bipartisanship.”

Missouri Chamber President and CEO Dan Mehan said, “Lowering the cost of doing business is always helpful to encourage job growth, especially for entrepreneurs starting a business.”

Despite such strong support, the legislation has been stalled in the Missouri General Assembly since early March. With less than one month left in this legislative session, the time for our legislators to act is now.

This legislation will make Missouri’s filing fees the overall lowest in the nation. If you agree that our state government should be doing all it can to help business owners, then please contact your state senator and state representative today and urge them to send this bill to Gov. Nixon’s desk to help make Missouri the best state in the country to do business.