The newly-elected majority leader continues to advocate for Missouri businesses
In the Missouri General Assembly, Sen. Mike Kehoe stands out for his support of the state’s business community.
Kehoe’s career as a business leader helps him understand the issues companies in our state are facing. For 20 years, Kehoe owned and operated Ford and Lincoln-Mercury franchises in Missouri. He served on the Ford Motor Company’s National Dealer Council and placed in the Top Five for Time Magazine’s Dealer of the Year Award.
In recent years, Kehoe has advocated for some of the most important pro-business bills in the legislature. This year, he sponsored a bill to keep employment law discussions at the state level—a response to a growing trend where individual municipalities are seeking to institute new mandates on their local employers. Kehoe’s efforts resulted in the passage of House Bill 722 this year, which became law after a successful veto override vote.
He was also instrumental in this year’s passage of a new law reforming our state’s unemployment compensation system. The law, which passed in House Bill 150, ties Missouri’s jobless benefits to the state’s unemployment rate, providing more weeks of unemployment payments during a recession and fewer weeks of benefits when jobs are plentiful. The bill also requires increased payments from employers to help the state’s Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund reach a balance that is capable of paying for benefits without going into debt—as it repeatedly has during recent recessions.
Kehoe is also helping lead the charge to reform Missouri’s job-killing litigation climate. This year, Missouri’s legal climate was ranked 42nd in the nation by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. In 2014, Kehoe successfully passed his Senate Bill 890, which creates new rules to deter “venue shopping” by attorneys who seek out favorable locations for their trials. Another proposal sponsored byKehoe would add integrity to Missouri’s legal system by ensuring expert witnesses who are called to testify actually have specialized knowledge of the subject matter.
In addition to these efforts, Kehoe is one of the leading proponents seeking a funding solution to save and improve Missouri’s transportation infrastructure. As the former chairman of Missouri’s Highways and Transportation Commission, Kehoe has long been a proponent for responsibly investing in Missouri’s infrastructure. He has often spoken out about the urgent need to find a future funding source for Missouri’s highway system.
As the recently-elected majority leader in the Missouri Senate, The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the state’s business community will continue to look to Kehoe for leadership on this and other important issues.