Capitol Report 08/13/2015

Special Elections & Emission Standards
The governor recently set the date for special elections to fill the three House seats that are currently vacant. Missourians in districts 29, 36 and 89 will now have the opportunity on November 3 to elect new representation in the Missouri House of Representatives.

With the call for the special elections, the governor acted more promptly than he has in the past. Missourians in these districts will go without representation for only a matter of months rather than a much longer period of time, which has happened in the past. In fact, District 120 sat vacant for more than a year because of the governor’s failure to call for a special election.

The fact that current law allows the governor to set the special elections at his convenience prompted me to file House Bill 1204 last session, which specifies that the Governor must, within 30 days, issue a writ of election to supply a vacancy in either house of the General Assembly. While the bill was not able to make it through the entire legislative process before the legislature adjourned, I plan to file and push for the bill’s passage when the legislature returns for the 2016 session.

Ensuring prompt special elections is simply common sense, as it promotes good government and ensures Missourians receive the adequate representation they certainly deserve.

As a state that relies on coal to provide over 80 percent of its electricity, Missouri has traditionally seen utility rates below the national average. However, with the release of the EPA’s new Clean Power Plan, many fear the excessive regulations will soon drive up utility costs for Missourians. In fact, a study done by Energy Venture Analysis indicates Missourians could see their utility bills rise by as much as $1,000 annually by the year 2020 because of new regulations being handed down by the federal government. The impact in Missouri could be even more dire because of the effect higher rates could have on citizens in impoverished rural areas. The new plan has led to a public outcry from many of Missouri’s public officials. U.S. Senator Roy Blunt pledged his support to fight against the Clean Power Plan in an effort to protect families, workers, and consumers in Missouri and around the nation. He noted that, “middle and low-income families are hit the hardest by bad energy policies resulting in higher utility bills, as these families already spend a larger part of their paycheck on their energy bills.”

You may read more about what is happening at your Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently and tirelessly for you as your State Representative.

Jason

Special Elections
The governor recently set the date for special elections to fill the three House seats that are currently vacant. Missourians in districts 29, 36 and 89 will now have the opportunity on November 3 to elect new representation in the Missouri House of Representatives.

With the call for the special elections, the governor acted more promptly than he has in the past. Missourians in these districts will go without representation for only a matter of months rather than a much longer period of time, which has happened in the past. In fact, District 120 sat vacant for more than a year because of the governor’s failure to call for a special election.

The fact that current law allows the governor to set the special elections at his convenience prompted me to file House Bill 1204 last session, which specifies that the Governor must, within 30 days, issue a writ of election to supply a vacancy in either house of the General Assembly. While the bill was not able to make it through the entire legislative process before the legislature adjourned, I plan to file and push for the bill’s passage when the legislature returns for the 2016 session.

Ensuring prompt special elections is simply common sense, as it promotes good government and ensures Missourians receive the adequate representation they certainly deserve.

Emission Standards
As a state that relies on coal to provide over 80 percent of its electricity, Missouri has traditionally seen utility rates below the national average. However, with the release of the EPA’s new Clean Power Plan, many fear the excessive regulations will soon drive up utility costs for Missourians. In fact, a study done by Energy Venture Analysis indicates Missourians could see their utility bills rise by as much as $1,000 annually by the year 2020 because of new regulations being handed down by the federal government.

The impact in Missouri could be even more dire because of the effect higher rates could have on citizens in impoverished rural areas. Missouri has 13 rural counties with persistent poverty and all of them are served by rural electric cooperatives. By putting new regulations in place, the EPA could cause rates to escalate to a point that many rural Missourians simply cannot afford. Furthermore, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association has said that even a 10 percent increase in electricity prices would result in 1.2 million jobs lost in 2021 across the nation, with nearly 500,000 of those in rural communities.

The new plan has led to a public outcry from many of Missouri’s public officials. U.S. Senator Roy Blunt pledged his support to fight against the Clean Power Plan in an effort to protect families, workers, and consumers in Missouri and around the nation. He noted that, “middle and low-income families are hit the hardest by bad energy policies resulting in higher utility bills, as these families already spend a larger part of their paycheck on their energy bills.”

Special Designations

  • Organ Donor Recognition Day (HB 88) Legislation approved this past session will designate July 3 of each year as “Organ Donor Recognition Day” and recommends people of the state to observe the day by participating in activities that will increase awareness of organ donation. The bill is meant to bring recognition to the importance of organ donation and the approximately 1,300 Missourians currently waiting for organ transplants.
  • Epilepsy Awareness Month (HB 400) The bill designates the month of November each year as “Epilepsy Awareness Month” and encourages citizens to participate in activities and events to increase awareness of epilepsy and its related symptoms.
  • Missouri Safe Boating Week (HB 402) The bill designates the first full week of May before Memorial Day as “Missouri Safe Boating Week” and encourages citizens to observe the week with appropriate activities and events. The designation will mirror the federal Safe Boating Week designation.
  • Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week (HB 861) The bill designates the first full week of March each year as Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week in Missouri and encourages citizens to participate in appropriate activities and events to increase awareness of multiple sclerosis.
  • Jackie Robinson Day (HB 859) The bill designates April 15 of each year as Jackie Robinson Day in Missouri and encourages citizens to observe the day in honor of Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play major league baseball.

District Visits
During the interim season between legislative sessions, I have been attending several meetings with local organizations and businesses and making constituent visits. In the next few weeks I will be meeting with several more local businesses in District 120 including:

  • Paramount Apparel, Bourbon – Aug. 18th at 10 AM
  • Steelville Manufacturing – Aug. 31st at 10 AM
  • Meramec Instrument Transformers, Cuba – Sept. 14th at 10 AM
  • Sullivan Hospital – Sept. 21st at 10 AM

If you are a local business or organization and would like me to come visit your location, please email my legislator assistant, Dylan Bryant, at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

Special Events
Discover Nature-Fishing
Location: The Centre, Rolla Date: Monday, August 17, 2015, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Lesson 3: Five Common Missouri Fish- Anatomy, Habitat, and Life Cycle Lesson 4: Fishing with Lures and Fishing Regulations Participants are limited to anglers ages 7 – 15 and families with children. Those participating in this event must have previously completed Lesson 1 of the Discover Nature – Fishing program. There is no fee for this program. Fishing equipment, instructors and bait will be provided. Adults must accompany their child at all times. Reservations required. Please call 417-256-7161 for reservations. For more information on Discover Nature-Fishing please visit http://mdc.mo.gov/node/27175. 

Discover Nature: Bow Building Class
Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center
Date: September 3, 5:00 PM to September 5, 2015, 5:00 PM
If you enjoy working with your hands, you will enjoy this workshop. Participants will study the history of the longbow, bow design and performance. Then you will carve your own longbow from a wooden stave using basic hand tools. Some woodworking skill is helpful. The class starts with an introductory session Thursday from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM and continues Friday and Saturday with sessions that run from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Attendance at ALL sessions is REQUIRED. This program is designed for ages 18 and up. Reservations are required. For further information or to make a reservation, call 573-325-1381.

Hummingbird Banding
Location: Onondaga Cave State Park Visitor Center Date: September 5, 2015 10 AM Researcher Lanny Chambers will visit Onondaga Cave State Park throughout the season to capture, band and study Missouri’s smallest flying machine, the ruby-throated hummingbird. The event is free and open to the public. Onondaga Cave State Park is located seven miles southeast of the Leasburg exit off of Interstate 44 on Highway H. For more on the event, contact the park at 573-245-6576. For more information about Missouri state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com

Jakes Day
Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center
Date: Saturday, September 12, 2015, 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Jakes stands for Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship. Designed for the 6 to 12 year old, this skill-building day is filled with a variety of outdoor activities. Join the NWTF members and Twin Pines staff for sessions on archery, air rifle, hunting safety, outdoor skills and fishing. Lunch will be served. Participants will have a chance in our drawings and don’t forget to pick up your goodie bag before you leave. Pre-registration is strongly advised. For further information or to make a reservation, call 573-325-1381.

Scout Patch Program
Location: Onondaga Cave State Park Date: September 12-13
Scout troops can participate in a two-day event at Onondaga Cave State Park sponsored by Missouri State Parks. Scouts will be introduced to the Missouri State Park and Historic Site Jr. Explorer program and all scouts completing the requirements associated with this event will receive a unique patch to add to their collection. Patch requirements include a number of interesting activities and a service project. Space is limited and reservations are required. Applications for the program can be found at http://mostateparks.com/event/62319/scout-patch-program and must be completed and signed by the scout leader. Group or individual camping is available. Some fees apply. For more on the event, contact the park at 573-245-6576.

Facts & Figures
Each week you can find an interesting fact or figure here about Missouri!
The first successful parachute jump to be made from a moving airplane was made by Captain Berry at St. Louis in 1912.

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 115H, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

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