This week was a busy week for me. I presented two of my bills in committee and perfected one on the House Floor.
The first bill I presented in committee was House Bill 655. This bill would define the term “Landowners Agent”. This term is used in statute but there have been different interpretations being used. We hope to get this clearly defined so that the landowner and the Conservation Agents are all on the same page. There were several people from the community who came up to testify on behalf of this bill. No one testified in opposition to it and I have the support of Missouri Department of Conservation. I am hopeful that it will get voted out of committee next week consent.
The second bill that I presented in Committee was House Bill 572. This bill would require 10 hours of hunter safety instruction in school. We had some testify in support of the bill and no one in opposition. However, the chairman appointed a subcommittee to work on the bill and a few suggestions that the committee offered up.
House Bill 70 was perfected on the floor this week. It prohibits telecommunication devices (cell phones) in our correctional facilities. No amendments were added to the bill. There was only one person to speak on the house floor in opposition to the bill and we have spoken off the floor and resolved his concern. The bill has one more vote on the House Floor before moving to the Senate.
Every week I try to attend an event on my way home from Jefferson City. This past week I stopped and visited with the Arcadia Valley School board at their monthly meeting. I gave them an update on the happenings in Jefferson City and answered questions. It just happened to be Board appreciation month so I was able to also express my Thanks for all they do for our students. It is a thankless job, and I am very appreciative of all our community members who serve on our local school boards.
Some Bills Third Read and Sent to the Senate This Week
HB 214 updates Missouri’s competitive bidding process and increases the amount necessary to issue a request for proposal. The sponsor said the bill would update threshold numbers for the bidding process for the first time since 1995. The goal is to “make it easier for the administration to purchase needed items of a noncontroversial nature in small value amounts.” The bill would require all state purchases in excess of $10,000 to be based on competitive bids with specified exceptions. Under current law, all state purchases in excess of $3,000 must be based on competitive bids. The bill also requires the Commissioner of the Office of Administration to advertise and solicit bids on any state purchase with an estimated expenditure of $100,000 or more. Currently, the commissioner must advertise and solicit bids on any state purchase with an estimated expenditure of $25,000 or more. The bill also would authorize the commissioner to hold reverse auctions for the purchase of merchandise, supplies, raw materials, or finished goods if price is the primary factor evaluating bids.
HB 77 updates provisions related to teacher and employee retirement systems. The bill is meant to fix a problem with language that was passed last session. It will add a provision that exempts anyone that retired as a teacher under the public school retirement system who is now employed by a public community college.
HB 324 creates the offense of unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft near a correctional center or a mental health hospital. The offense of unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft near a correctional center or mental health hospital would be a class A misdemeanor unless the person uses the unmanned aircraft for the purpose of: (1) Delivering a weapon or other article that may be used in such a manner to endanger the life of an offender or correctional center or mental health hospital employee, in which case it is a class B felony; (2) Facilitating an escape from confinement, in which case it's a class C felony; or (3) Delivering a controlled substance, in which case it is a class D felony.
HB 402 allows that when following certain criteria drivers may turn left after stopping at a red light for one-way streets. Supporters say most other states have this rule which is just as safe as the right turn on red rule given the configuration of one-way streets specified in the bill.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, concerns, or suggestions you might have. As your Representative I am here to assist you however I can. I can be reached by email at Chris.Dinkins@house.mo.gov or by phone at 573-751-2112.