HBs 1-13 which contains record funding for elementary and secondary education and stays within the required balanced state budget is now on its way to the governor’s desk for signing. This week the Missouri House and Senate gave final approval to the appropriations bills that make up the $29.7 billion state spending plan that provides funding to the state’s departments and programs.
Bills "Truly Agreed and Finally Passed"
HB 260 specifies that the court may require any person found guilty of chasing, pursuing, taking, transporting, killing, processing, or disposing of certain wildlife in violation of the Missouri Conservation Commission's rules and regulations to make restitution to the state. The moneys collected will be transferred to the State School Moneys Fund. Supporters say the wildlife in the state belongs to all Missourians and when poachers take wildlife illegally, they are stealing from the citizens of the state. Missouri has some of the lowest poaching fines in the country and this bill would increase the fines and reduce poaching.
SB 196 authorizes the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to award grants to preserve, protect, or restore historic county courthouses. Supporters say the funds for the county courthouses come from the Athletes and Entertainers Tax and while this is not a new program, they want to dedicate a portion for courthouses because of their historic significance. Supporters cited the historic significance, community development, tourism potential, and other positive impacts of restoring these buildings and their grounds. The bill also creates the Rock Island Trail State Park Endowment Fund in the state treasury to be administered by the Department of Natural Resources.
SB 167 modifies the definition of "contractor", for purposes of public works construction bonds, to include persons and business entities that contract, provide, or arrange for construction services on a public works project for a non-governmental purpose when acting as a lessee, agent, designee, or representative of a public entity. The act exempts construction managers not-at-risk and construction managers who do not otherwise enter into contracts with contractors for the furnishing of labor, materials, or services to a public works project from the definition of "contractor." The act further requires that all contracts for public works in excess of $50,000 to be performed for a public entity's lessee, agent, designee, or representative on work for non-governmental purposes shall require contractors to furnish a bond. Supporters say the bill will help broaden work for non-governmental purposes. A contractor lien is a claim for payment made by a contractor or a subcontractor who has performed work on a property. Currently, contractors cannot file a lien on public projects or public property. This bill will allow contractors and subcontractors to acquire bonds to do private work on public land. Supporters also say that there is no recourse for contractors who work on public property. This bill will provide a recourse for contractors who put resources and material into projects in the event that the work could not be completed. Supporters want bonds for contractors and subcontractors so that they will be paid for their services and material.
Lieutenant Governor's Senior Service Award
The office of the Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe hosted its annual Senior Service Award on Monday, May 6th. Senior citizens are nominated based on their service and dedication to their communities. I had the honor of joining the Lt. Governor in recognizing Mr. Murphy Thomas of Farmington as one of the recipients of this award in recognition of his many years of service to our area and for his example of charity to others. There were over 60 senior citizens throughout the state who were recognized for their achievements.
Last Friday, I was honored to be invited by Ste. Genevieve School Board Member Terry McDaniel to tour the Ste. Gen Elementary Schools. Wow, was I impressed! The staff, the teachers and the students are amazing! We are fortunate to have such outstanding schools in our district! I was hosted by Renee Yamnitz, Principal at Bloomsdale Elementary and Geri Diesel, Principal of Ste. Genevieve Elementary. What an Outstanding job they are doing with their schools! Thanks to all of them for their passion and service.
I want to take this moment to say a Thank You to all Teachers and Retired Teachers in recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week!
If you have any questions regarding any state matters or legislation, please don’t hesitate to contact email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 573-751-3455.
It is an honor to serve as your State Representative.