In a public forum concerning House Bill 253, Community R-VI students had an opportunity to exercise their First Amendment rights Thursday, August 29 in the school’s new gymnasium.
Mrs. Sarah Simmons’ Government Class and Mr. Brandon Westlake’s Current Issues Class led the charge in educating the audience about the pros and cons surrounding the bill.
Sophomore Sam Polacek acted as the forum’s moderator for the evening. Senior Mason Sims spoke in support of the bill while senior Aaron Johnson spoke in opposition of the bill.
“In recent years, small family businesses and farms have been forced to consolidate or be bought out because of the price of hiring employees. Right now the economy is bad. For smaller businesses to thrive, they’re going to need lower taxes,” Sims said.
Some people support the bill because of the benefit that comes with lower income taxes. Supporters believe lower taxes will keep businesses from relocating to states with lower taxes, such as Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. The goal is to keep the revenue here in the state of Missouri.
“The veto on this bill needs to be kept because it will majorly affect rural areas like us. All across Missouri, smaller schools like us are worried, scared, and threatened by this bill. This bill will cost more than $800 million annually, which would be like closing all of our state prisons, mental health programs, and cutting funding to schools, colleges and uni-versities. The bill would also increase taxes on prescription drugs. The house bill mainly helps out the wealthy and it won’t help the middle class people,” Johnson Rebutted.
Those who oppose the bill are concerned where the necessary funding for schools and healthcare will come from if taxes are lowered. District 43 Representative Jay Houghton and District 54 Representative Denny Hoskins made an appearance at the school’s forum to answers questions of concerned students, parents and school staff. Community R-VI students who participated in the House Bill 253 Forum Thursday night were well prepared and presented both the pro and con viewpoints in a professional manner.
Coming up on September 11 during the legislative veto session, those in support of the bill are hoping to override Governor Nixon’s recent veto of House Bill 253. However, a two-thirds majority from state House of Representatives and Senate is needed in order to override the veto.