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General Assembly wraps up legislation session

This week concluded the 2018 legislative session. I believe the General Assembly had a successful session and worked together to create good policies for the state of Missouri. Throughout the last several months, I had the opportunity to work with colleagues, in both the Missouri Senate and the House of Representatives, to move bills through the legislative process. This year, 18 of my bills were truly agreed and finally passed by the General Assembly, which means, barring veto, they will become law. Some legislation I filed was amended onto other Senate bills or included in House bills, but the end result is the same: we passed good policies to improve the lives of Missourians living and working in our state.

Senate Bill 978, which establishes the Environmental Restoration Corporation Act was added on to Senate Bill 659 and passed. The Environmental Restoration Corporation Act allows a public benefit nonprofit company to hold, manage, or own an environmentally impaired property for the purpose of facilitating efforts to restore and redevelop the land. In other words, nonprofit organizations will be able to participate in the revitalization of an environmentally impaired property and have the ability to request public funds to assist in the restoration project. Any participating organization will be audited regularly and will provide an annual report to the General Assembly concerning the successful use of public funds. The ASARCO court settlement allows $111 million to be used for the environmental restoration of the lead belt. Senate Bill 659, which includes the Environmental Restoration and Corporation Act, has been approved by the General Assembly and now moves to the governor for his consideration.

Additionally, Ste. Genevieve has been officially approved by the United States Congress to receive a special designation as a National Historic Park. In cooperation with the National Park Service, the land conveyance of 13 acres has been officially approved. This designation is the result of more than twenty years of effort by locals in cooperation with state and federal entities. Ste. Genevieve dates back to 1735 and the settlement there was the first European community in what is now Missouri. This announcement is cause for great celebration and I look forward to seeing the benefits of this designation for the local community and surrounding areas.

While the Missouri Senate is often a formal and business-like environment, occasionally we like to have a little bit of fun on the Senate Floor. To hear a unique introduction of SB 697, click here.

Senate Bill 697 was one of the first bills I filed this year. This act reduces the required time period before a member of an organization can participate in the operation of a bingo game from two years to six months, and it reduces the required membership period of a person working under the direction of such a member from one year to six months. This act also removes a provision currently authorizing organizations to expend up to 10 percent of bingo receipts for advertising. It is important to note that Senate Bill 694 will not go into effect until voters approve House Joint Resolution 59, which would amend the Missouri Constitution to reflect these changes.

I look forward to being back home this summer with family and friends, and I hope to see you at summer events around the 3rd District. Thank you for providing me the opportunity to represent you in the Missouri Senate.

I always appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. 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.

State Sen. Gary Romine

State Sen. Gary Romine

This report was filed May 18, 2018

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