Jan 03, 2020 7:04 PM

Lawmaker sees several issues vying for attention in upcoming session

Posted Jan 03, 2020 7:04 PM
State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer looks on as Gov. Mike Parson addresses a news conference in St. Joseph.
State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer looks on as Gov. Mike Parson addresses a news conference in St. Joseph.

By BRENT MARTIN

St. Joseph Post

A state senator who represents St. Joseph in the legislature says lawmakers will tackle a number of issues in the upcoming legislative session.

“One is going to be dealing with crime issues,” Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer tells reporters. “It’s something that has plagued St. Joe. It has plagued a lot of different areas in the state, the increase in violent crime, the increase in property-related crimes; car-jackings, theft is up in St. Joe. I know that’s been an issue that has been a major local focus.”

Luetkemeyer, who is from Parkville, will push a package of anti-crime measures when the legislature reconvenes in Jefferson City next week.

“So, that’s going to be a big personal priority,” Luetkemeyer says. “The governor has been talking about that a fair amount as well, and so I guess that’s probably going to be a big priority for the General Assembly as a whole.”

One proposal would prevent probation from being given to many repeat offenders, another would make armed criminal action a more serious offense.

Another issue, according to Luetkemeyer, will be property tax reform.

Luetkemeyer says homeowners have been alarmed by the increases contained in their new property tax assessments they received in the mail.

“You saw record increases in property tax assessments around the state this year,” according to Luetkemeyer. “People were not given adequate notice to be able to appeal those tax increases and so I have a series of bills to address that issue, to make sure that taxpayers are having notice when their tax assessments go up dramatically.”

Luetkemeyer proposes legislation which would limit increases in property assessments and would require a physical inspection of any property which would see an assessment increase higher than 5%.

Luetkemeyer also is sponsoring legislation which would legalize sports book betting in Missouri, arguing that it is going on in the state now without the protection of regulations or the benefit of generating revenue for the state.

A United States Supreme Court ruling in 2018 paved the way for states to allow sports betting. Several states have enacted sports book betting, both online and at casinos, with many others considering like legislation.