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'Famous 15' To Meet Friday To Discuss Proposals For Tax Bill In 2014

Mo. House Communications

The so-called "Famous 15" Missouri Republican House Members who voted "no" on a controversial tax cut bill during last week's veto session are set to meet Friday to plan their next steps.

Jeffrey Messenger (R, Republic) is co-hosting the meeting, along with fellow-15-member Lynn Morris (R, Ozark).  Messenger says the purpose is to come up with a better idea for cutting taxes than the one vetoed this year by Governor Jay Nixon(D).

"We're not opposed to tax cuts," Messenger said.  "We're getting together and (we're) gonna hash out some ideas, because we feel like a tax cut should include a good tax cut for all Missourians and not just a few."

Messenger and other "Famous 15" members had objected to the elimination of several sales tax exemptions in House Bill 253, including exemptions for prescription drugs and college textbooks.  He says they've also invited Majority Floor Leader John Diehl (R, Town and Country) to attend, along with Aaron Willard of the Grow Missouri coalition that had backed the bill the 15 helped to defeat.  Former House Speaker Pro-tem Shane Schoeller has also been invited.

"We're not trying to do this out of spite or anything," Messenger said.  "We just want to create a very good tax cut bill, so we want everybody to know what we're doing so that they know ahead of time that we're moving forward with something like that."

The meeting is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at the corporate offices of Family Pharmacy in Ozark, which is owned by Morris.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Copyright 2013 St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio State House Reporter Marshall Griffin is a native of Mississippi and proud alumnus of Ole Miss (welcome to the SEC, Mizzou!). He has been in radio for over 20 years, starting out as a deejay. His big break in news came when the first President Bush ordered the invasion of Panama in 1989. Marshall was working the graveyard shift at a rock station, and began ripping news bulletins off an old AP teletype and reading updates between songs. From there on, his radio career turned toward news reporting and anchoring. In 1999, he became the capital bureau chief for Florida's Radio Networks, and in 2003 he became News Director at WFSU-FM/Florida Public Radio. During his time in Tallahassee he covered seven legislative sessions, Governor Jeb Bush's administration, four hurricanes, the Terri Schiavo saga, and the 2000 presidential recount. Before coming to Missouri, he enjoyed a brief stint in the Blue Ridge Mountains, reporting and anchoring for WWNC-AM in Asheville, North Carolina. Marshall lives in Jefferson City with his wife, Julie, their dogs, Max and Liberty Belle, and their cat, Honey.
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