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Mo. House Passes Benevolent Tax Credit Bill

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Legislation that would revive three benevolent tax credits that died last year has been passed by the Missouri House.

House Bill 87 would restore incentives for food pantries, crisis pregnancy centers and the Children in Crisis program.  They expired last year when House and Senate leaders failed to agree on any incentives bill, due to a long-running conflict between the two chambers over tax credit reform.  The sponsor, State Representative Eric Burlison (R, Springfield), says aiding these charities through tax credits also encourages personal involvement.

“You’re engaging citizens in the community who get involved and really care about these issues," Burlison told reporters after the vote.  "I think the flawed way of handling those needs is to have taxes funneled through and politicians fight over them, and then hope that bureaucrats handle the needs in a good way.”

The measure passed with strong bipartisan support.  However, two House Democrats voted “no:”  Judy Morgan of Kansas City and Stacey Newman of Richmond Heights.  Newman says the pregnancy centers in question are operated by anti-abortion groups that are spreading false information about the issue.

“I’m not opposed to their providing women with alternatives," Newman said.  "At the same time, if women are obtaining ultrasounds or any other medical information, it needs to be factual and we’re not convinced that they are.”

The bill would also extend existing incentives for widowed spouses of law enforcement officers and for home renovations for the disabled.  It now goes to the Missouri Senate.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.