Pre-Filing Opens for 2018 Legislative Session: The flood-gates opened December 1 for state lawmakers to begin pre-filing legislation for introduction on January 3, the first day of the 2018 legislative session. In the first two weeks of December, nearly 400 bills are teed up in the House, and another 250 in the Senate, for formal introduction when legislators convene in Jefferson City next month.
Among the first batch of measures to be considered are several of industry interest. Newly-elected Senator Mike Cierpiot will introduce SB 625, legislation that would clarify that telecommunications equipment is included in the state’s manufacturing sales tax exemption law. A House companion bill is expected to be filed by Rep. Rocky Miller. An April, 2016 Missouri Supreme Court decision had called that tax issue into question, and both the telecommunications and cable industries are working to reaffirm the important provision through legislative action.
Legislation that would allow telecommunications carriers to use a depreciation schedule when the State Tax Commission determines their business personal property tax has been introduced by Senator Denny Hoskins (SB 768) and Rep. TJ Berry (HB 1464). This change would save some MTIA member companies as much as 25% of their property tax bill.
Pre-filing will continue until the opening day of the session, with additional measures introduced daily in both the House and Senate through early spring.
Missouri Selects FirstNet: Governor Eric Greitens announced Monday that he had decided to accept the FirstNet and AT&T plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the state’s public safety community. MTIA member-company AT&T, in a public-private partnership with FirstNet, will build, operate and maintain a highly secure wireless broadband communications network for Missouri’s public safety community at no cost to the state. The project is expected enhance network coverage across rural Missouri in particular, and drive infrastructure investment and job creation across the state.
“Telecom 101” Training Available: MTIA member-company Cellstream, Inc. is offering an eight-hour, self-paced online course designed to train new telecom employees in the basics of telecom and broadband. The course offering, available until January 15, is priced at $ 49. For more information , or to view the course outline, go to Telecom 101.
Industry Partner of the Week: MTIA member-company OFS manufactures fiber optic solutions, including high-performance optical fiber and fiber optic cables, as well as connectivity and specialty photonics products, for Missouri’s telecommunications carriers. For more information, contact Mike Lamb, sales manager, Midwest region, at 636-207-7881; or visit them online at www.ofsoptics.com.