House gives approval to tax bill
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House gives approval to tax bill

Date: April 30, 2008
By: Matt Tilden
State Capitol Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri House spent the majority of the afternoon debating the state's 2005 Medicaid cuts after a restoration proposal came from an unlikely source -- an anti-tax Republican.

Rep. Steve Hunter, R-Joplin, put Democrats on the spot by proposing an amendment to a tax bill that would increase taxes more than $300 million in order to restore the cuts.

House Democrats such as Judy Baker of Columbia cried foul over Hunter's proposal, calling it unconstitutional and a convenient political tool, as passage of this bill is extremely unlikely with only two weeks left in the legislative session.

Hunter touted his anti-tax credentials and told Democrats they finally had an opportunity to restore the cuts to Medicaid, which Democratic leadership has consistently touted as one of their top priorities.

Hunter said his proposal would take from the rich, or anyone making more than $50,000 per year, and redistribute their tax dollars to Medicaid recipients.

Rep. Gina Walsh, D-St. Louis, called the vote politically motivated.

"It's simply an attempt to catch members on both sides of the aisle making a bad vote," she said.

Hunter was the only person in the House to vote for the amendment. It failed 1-146.

The amendment was part of a bill that would remove the federal income tax liability for corporations. The bill still needs final approval from both chambers of the legislature in the session's last two weeks to pass.