As session continues to become more busy, I am proud of the work that myself and other Representatives from the area are doing to let our community thrive. Take a look at some legislation the House has been working on.
Francis Howell North Students Young Republicans and Young Democrats Visit
Reps. Phil Christofanelli, Chrissy Sommer, Bryan Spencer, and Senator Bill Eigel had the opportunity to meet with students from the Young Republicans and Young Democrats at Francis Howell North. Students received a tour of the Capitol Whispering Gallery, Capitol Dome, and Missouri Supreme Court Building. Throughout the day students were able to ask us questions and debate us about issues facing our state and country. I hope more students continue to visit the Capitol and learn about our state!
Putting an End to “Litigation Tourism”
St. Louis is frequently labeled a “judicial hellhole due to relaxed regulation that allows out-of-state parties to file lawsuits in St. Louis. House Bills 460, 461, 462 are intended to stop thousands of lawsuits filed every year in Missouri by out-of-state residents against non-Missouri companies for alleged injuries that did not occur within the state. It sounds crazy because it is.
A 2016 study by the American Tort Reform Foundation named St. Louis as the number one “judicial hellhole” in the country; calling it a “magnet for product liability lawsuits and consumer class actions.” In 2016, there were 140 aggregated mass tort cases pending in St. Louis, with 8,400 plaintiffs in the cases having nothing to do with Missouri.
The study noted that plaintiffs travel from out-of-state to file lawsuits in Missouri to take advantage of the state’s weak venue laws and low standards for what is considered expert testimony. In February the House also passed legislation that strengthens the state’s expert witness standards, which helps prevent frivolous lawsuits from being filed.
Missouri Unemployment on the Decline
Missouri received good news this week as the state’s jobless rate continues to decline. The Missouri Department of Economic Development released its latest data showing that unemployment dropped to 4.2 percent in January. The number is a decrease from the December rate of 4.4 percent, and is also lower than the 4.5 percent unemployment rate the state saw in January of 2016.
The department’s data also shows an increase in the number of jobs in the state. Missouri gained 7,300 jobs from December to January. The state also has an additional 10,000 jobs when compared to January of last year. The state has now seasonally adjusted to nonfarm employment of more than 2.97 million.
All the best,