· Incentives Regionalization Act
· Establishment of Kansas City Land Bank
· Urban Agriculture Zones
Economic development in the State of Missouri especially as it relates to the Kansas City area needs to start from a position of shared responsibility within the state government in both Jefferson City as well as Topeka. The economic border war being waged over State Line Road does absolutely nothing for citizens of Missouri or Kansas, but instead creates an ambiguous regulatory climate pitting a region against its own self-interests. Rep. Holsman is the sponsor of legislation in the Missouri House of Representatives known as the “Incentives Regionalization Act,” or House Bill 2044. This legislation, co-sponsored by the 17 members of the KC caucus, requires that any businesses that move from Kansas to Missouri or Missouri to Kansas applying for economic tax incentives from the opposite state must move in excess of thirty miles. Any move less than thirty miles across State Line would only be eligible for a proportional fraction of any corresponding economic incentive. This legislation must be passed in both states to take effect, but would effectively end the practice of luring businesses to relocate for the purpose of taking advantage of ‘new jobs’ tax credits when no new jobs are really being created. Find House Bill 2044 here
Establishment of the Kansas City Land bank
"The Kansas City area is currently home to over 12,000 vacant properties. The Missouri General Assembly recently passed legislation that would enable the City of Kansas City to establish a 'Land Bank'. This legislation specifically allows for the establishment of a land bank agency for the management, sale, transfer, and other disposition of tax delinquent land to return it to specified effective use.This major piece of legislation will provide a tool for Kansas City to reverse the trends of blighted properties. Ten years from now we will see a much different Kansas City, largely because this effort helped to promote new private investment in our vacant tracts of land. I am proud to have reached across party lines with my fellow delegates from Kansas City to create a tool for our city to move unproductive properties back into private ownership."
Urban Agriculture Zones
Rep. Holsman has also sponsored legislation that would allow for the creation of urban agriculture zones. Urban agriculture zones or UAZs would, upon approval from the local municipality allow for economic incentives to entrepreneurs that work to strengthen local food systems and mitigate the negative effects associated with urban blight. Zones would be designated as either growers, processors, or vendors. UAZs would be eligible for property tax abatement, similar to Chapter 353 legislation for up to 25 years, wholesale water costs if that service is offered by the municipality, and fifty percent reduction in hook-ups to municipal water. Vendor UAZs would remit any sales taxes collected in the zone and remit those funds to the Treasurer's office. Those funds would then become available to local school districts for the purposes of setting up community gardens on the school premises.
Holistic Approach Current attempts to correct inadequacies in our state’s approach to K-12 education are failing for several reasons. There are no comprehensive approaches to improving our K-12 system being presented by our elected officials. Instead solutions are being presented that deal with the symptoms of our failing school districts, rather than underlying causes of why school districts fail. The proposal to eliminate the Kansas City, Mo. School district and segment the district to surrounding suburbs is the most telling of these attempts. What is needed is comprehensive school reform that incorporates issues that relate to early childhood education programs, poverty and economic development in low-income areas of our communities, hunger, and lack of sufficient public transportation systems.
Charter Schools Charter schools have a place in the future of education of Missouri’s youth. However, the lack of oversight and accountability that are currently employed in these institutions can lead to institutions that do not adequately address educational needs. Proper oversight and accountability measures need to be implemented for Charter schools to become a meaningful piece of our state’s educational horizon.
Equality for All Missourians
Rep. Holsman has been a proud co-sponsor of the Missouri Non-Discrimination Act (MONA) every year since taking office in 2006. "Constitutional protections of human rights must be extended to each and every Missourian regardless of sexual orientation. We are not going to sit idly by and watch another generation of our citizens be persecuted in Missouri schools or discriminated against in the workplace. We will not be silenced and we will not be pacified, until all of our citizens are treated equally under the law."
Don't Say Gay Legislation
Rep. Holsman has spoken passionately against recent attempts to outlaw gay-straight alliances in Missouri schools in the 'Don't Say Gay Bill' "All across our nation school children are being bullied and victimized for simply being who they are. HB2051 would have undermined the progress that our nation and state have made in this area. As a former high school teacher, it is extremely inappropriate to politicize an issue that has led to so many suicides across our country."
Rep. Holsman has sponsored and passed various pieces of legislation in his career as a House of Representatives member to bolster energy security in the State of Missouri including the Property Assessed Clean Energy Act (PACE) and the Easy Connection Act.
"As the Chairman of the Special Standing Committee on Renewable Energy in the Missouri House for the past two sessions I have worked on legislation ranging from the implementation of the 2008 Initiative petition proposition C that set the State's renewable energy, to legislation that would call for sustainable construction of state buildings. Incorporating renewable energy into our state's energy portfolio is a worthwhile investment, and one that I will continue to fight for throughout my time in public service."