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Our session is flying by and bills now have only 6 weeks to make it to the Governor’s desk. When it gets to this time of the year, if a bill is going to make it to the finish line, it is imperative that it keeps moving through the bill process.

At the same time, we must remember that it is not about how many bills are passed, but the quality of the legislation that will benefit the people of Missouri. To achieve this, we spend long hours working on bills even as late as midnight this week.

Bills of Interest

HB 168 exempts any entity registered with the Department of Health and Senior Services that possesses, distributes, delivers, or sells hypodermic needles or syringes to be exempt from provisions of law prohibiting the distribution, delivery, or sale of drug paraphernalia. This bill also exempts any entity registered with the Department of Health and Senior Services that delivers or manufactures hypodermic needles or syringes to be exempt from provisions of law prohibiting the manufacture of drug paraphernalia. This was a tough vote. You want people to be safe from disease, but you also do not want to enable people to continue their bad behavior.

HB 374 requires political subdivisions to post what the sales tax rate will be if a sales tax increase is proposed and what rate it will remain if the measure fails. The intention is total transparency in government.

HB 584 increases specified motor vehicle and trailer registration fees under Section 136.055, RSMo. The fees are increased as follows:

(1) Licenses increase from $3.50 to $6.00 for annual and from $7 to $12 for biennial;

(2) Transfer of title increases from $2.50 to $6;

(3) Instruction permits, nondriver, chauffeur's, operator's, and driver's licenses increase from $2.50 to $6, and

(4) Notice of lien processing increases from $2.50 to $6.

The intent of the bill is to save the rural license offices which are closing because of a lack of funds. With the real ID coming and minimum wage increase starting many offices are making no money or losing money each year.

I had the pleasure of visiting with 2 students from our area that were selected to attend the SE Sophomore Pilgrimage and join other students from across the state for their Legislative Day at the Capitol. Students are selected by their High School Teachers and counselors and must be in the upper fourth of their class scholastically and display leadership and citizenship qualities. My Congratulations to Kylie Kinnard of Central High School and Megan Perkins of West County.

Monday was Missouri Linemen Recognition Day and linemen from Ameren and Missouri Electric Co-ops from around the state were recognized on the House Floor for the work they do. I just want to take this time to thank the linemen from our area who work to keep our homes and business up and running, and especially when they are called out late at night and in bad weather.

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