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Legislation moves forward

Anyone who has driven past the State Capitol this week has noticed a large construction area has been fenced off covering the front of the State Capitol and its south lawn. Over the next two years, this construction project will address the deteriorating stonework on the Capitol’s facades, dome and drum. This project will be the first update to the Capitol’s exterior since it was completed in 1917. More than 100 years of use has worn down the beautiful Capitol building, and these repairs are desperately needed to preserve the beauty of this historic landmark and the safety of the structure. Upon completion, this construction project will improve the structural stability and water drainage capabilities of the building while preserving the State Capitol’s majestic stonework.

The south side of the Capitol’s circle drive will be closed until December 2020. By closing the south circle drive to traffic, the two traffic lanes on North Capitol Drive will merge into one lane, eliminating visitor parking around the building. However, handicapped spaces will remain. The Capitol will be surrounded by scaffolding, and there will be several cranes located around the Capitol to assist with the renovation process. All construction work will be staged from the south lawn.

Parking is still available near the Capitol. Once you park, you may still enter the Capitol through the first floor entrance facing High Street. This entrance, commonly known as the carriage tunnel entrance, will be open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. seven days a week.

The work is scheduled to be finished in early December of 2020, just in time for the governor’s inauguration in January of 2021. For more information, visit the Missouri State Capitol Commission’s website at https://capitol.mo.gov/construction/.

BLASTING SAFETY BILL APPROVED BY SENATE

Currently, the fee paid to the Division of Fire Safety for using explosives shall not exceed $2 per ton. Under Senate Bill 649, the fee shall not exceed $7.50 per ton and received revenue will not exceed the cost of administering the Missouri Blasting Safety Act. The current fee does not provide enough revenue to properly fund safety inspections and other safety measures, so this legislation ensures there is enough revenue to guarantee that blasting is being done in a safe manner while ensuring businesses are not paying more than the necessary amount to administer the Missouri Blasting Safety Act. Senate Bill 649 passed in the Senate, moved to the House of Representatives and this week was heard in the House Conservation and Natural Resources committee.

PREVAILING WAGE NEGOTIATIONS BEGIN

As I’ve discussed previously, a bipartisan working group has been created to begin negotiations with stakeholders involved in reforming Missouri’s prevailing wage. As a member of this working group, I plan on advocating for reasonable and smart reforms to Missouri’s prevailing wage polices. These reforms should be based on the responses of constituents throughout the state and reflect the best interests of all involved parties. I attended the first meeting this week, and I am confident we will work together to create positive reforms for Missouri’s prevailing wage law.

CONTACT ME

I always appreciate receiving visitors to my office. This week my staff and I were privileged to meet constituents: John and Mary Kramer, John and Linda Kelly, Landra Miller, Krystal McKellips, Misty Harmon, Larry Harmon, Susan Zornek-Stevens and Vickie Winkler. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-4008. You may write me at Gary Romine, Missouri Senate, State Capitol, Jefferson City, MO 65101; or email me at gary.romine@senate.mo.gov; or www.senate.mo.gov/romine.

Missouri 3rd District State Senator Gary Romine, R-Ste. Genevieve, files his Capitol Report at the end of each week during the state legislative session.

Romine

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