Mo. House passes car trade-in tax credit bill, heads to Senate

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- With a 126 to 21 vote, a bill that would allow Missourians to get the trade-in credits of multiple vehicles toward the sales tax of a new car passed the state House of Representatives.

"On the merits of the bill itself, we had a lot of support," Speaker Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, told reporters Wednesday afternoon.

House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, said she wasn't surprised half of her party voted in favor of the bill.

"Frankly, since the Governor has called the special session, our issue hasn't been with the specific bill itself. It's been the fact that we're spending tens of thousands of dollars on an issue that's not an emergency, and we have true emergencies we should be talking about," Quade said.

One of the topics Quade feels is more of an emergency to discuss in special session is gun violence.

At least a dozen children have died this year after being shot in St. Louis.

Another is fixing and expanding the state medicaid system.

"It makes no sense for the administration to continue to insist everything is fine with the state's medicaid system, when we continue to hear story after story from working Missourians with life threatening conditions, who, without any explanation, suddenly lost their health care coverage," Quade said.

Haahr says the Republicans are interested in looking at legislation to address gun violence. They're doing research to present legislation for the next regular session in January.

As for medicaid, Haahr says there is no need for any legislative hearings.

"To do medicaid expansion in Missouri, it would require a 10-percent match for the 90-percent draw down," Haahr said. "That would blow a sizable hole in our general revenue budget. I don't think at this point we need to have hearings. If Chairman [Rep. David] Wood ever came to me and said we do need to have hearings, we would have hearings."

The democrats announced they will have their own hearing on the medicaid issue at the State Capitol Thursday morning.

A final vote on the car trade-in credit bill is expected to happen Friday.