The Capitol Report | July 6th, 2017

Improving Transportation Infrastructure

In an effort to address Missouri’s crumbling roads and bridges, a group of lawmakers and civilians will work together to develop recommendations to repair the state’s aging transportation infrastructure. The 21st Century Missouri Transportation System Task Force, which was created by HCR 47 that was passed during the 2017 legislative session, recently held its first meeting at the State Capitol. The task force is taking on the difficult but important challenge of ensuring Missouri’s transportation system continues to serve the needs of Missourians in the years to come.

The task force will now work to:

  • Evaluate the condition of the state transportation system;
  • Evaluate current funding;
  • Evaluate whether the current funding in Missouri is sufficient to not only maintain the transportation system in its current state, but also to ensure that it continues to serve the needs of Missouri’s citizens moving forward into the 21st century;
  • Make recommendations regarding the conditions of Missouri’s roads and bridges; and
  • Make recommendations regarding transportation funding.

The task force is made up of five members from the House, five from the Senate, nine individuals from the private sector, and representatives from the governor’s office, Missouri Department of Transportation, Missouri Department of Economic Development, and the Missouri Highway Patrol. The task force is scheduled to work throughout the 2017 interim and will report a summary of its activities and any recommendations for legislation to the General Assembly by January 1, 2018.

Also, as promised, below is a brief summary of more bills the legislature has passed this regular session. More passed bill summaries will follow in the weeks to come.

HB 451 – This bill provides that once any city, county, or other political subdivision has come under the terms of a statute requiring a specified population, a subsequent loss of population will not remove the city, county or political subdivision from operation of that law. Currently, this only applies to the City of St. Louis.

HB 452 – This bill creates a definition for the term “employee” and repeals the definition for the term “physician employee” in provisions relating to causes of action for damages against a health care provider for personal injury or death. With certain exceptions, no health care provider shall be liable to any plaintiff for the negligence of another entity or person who is not an employee of the health care provider.

HB 662 (Signed by Governor: 3/30/17) – The bill authorizes the Department of Agriculture, if it determines that any person has knowingly used a herbicide for a crop for which the herbicide was not labeled for use, to assess a civil penalty of up to $10,000 per violation. This bill contains an emergency clause, so it is in effect now.

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

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

-Jason

 

 

Task Force Set to Look for Solutions to Improve Missouri’s Aging Transportation Infrastructure

In an effort to address Missouri’s crumbling roads and bridges, a group of lawmakers and civilians will work together to develop recommendations to repair the state’s aging transportation infrastructure. The 21st Century Missouri Transportation System Task Force, which was created by HCR 47 that was passed during the 2017 legislative session, recently held its first meeting at the State Capitol. The task force is taking on the difficult but important challenge of ensuring Missouri’s transportation system continues to serve the needs of Missourians in the years to come.

As the chair of the task force noted, Missouri has a robust transportation system with the seventh largest highway system and the sixth highest number of bridges. In total, Missouri has more than 33,000 miles of highway and more than 10,000 bridges. However, despite the robust transportation network, Missouri ranks only 47th in the nation when it comes to the amount of revenue spent per mile. The result is a transportation system that has continued to age and fall into disrepair. As the chair said, “Our roads are crumbling, and our constituents are grumbling.”

The task force will now work to:

  • Evaluate the condition of the state transportation system;
  • Evaluate current funding;
  • Evaluate whether the current funding in Missouri is sufficient to not only maintain the transportation system in its current state, but also to ensure that it continues to serve the needs of Missouri’s citizens moving forward into the 21st century;
  • Make recommendations regarding the conditions of Missouri’s roads and bridges; and
  • Make recommendations regarding transportation funding.

The task force is made up of five members from the House, five from the Senate, nine individuals from the private sector, and representatives from the governor’s office, Missouri Department of Transportation, Missouri Department of Economic Development, and the Missouri Highway Patrol.

During the first hearing on June 28, task force members listened to a presentation from Missouri Department of Transportation Director Patrick McKenna. The task force is scheduled to work throughout the 2017 interim and will report a summary of its activities and any recommendations for legislation to the General Assembly by January 1, 2018.

Truly Agreed To & Finally Passed Bills

Now that both the regular and first special legislative sessions have come to an end, the legislature stands at a little over 75 bills that have been Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed (TAFP). These bills now await the Governor’s approval or veto. These TAFP bills span a variety of topics. Below is a brief summary of three TAFP’d bills. As promised, more TAFP’d bill summaries will follow in the weeks to come.

HB 451 – Specifies that a change in population shall not remove a city, county, or political subdivision from the operation of a law

This bill provides that once any city, county, or other political subdivision has come under the terms of a statute requiring a

specified population, a subsequent loss of population will not remove the city, county or political subdivision from operation of

that law. Currently, this only applies to the City of St. Louis.

HB 452 – Modifies definitions of “employee” and “physician employee” in actions against health care providers for personal injury or death

This bill creates a definition for the term “employee” and repeals the definition for the term “physician employee” in provisions relating to causes of action for damages against a health care provider for personal injury or death. With certain exceptions, no health care provider shall be liable to any plaintiff for the negligence of another entity or person who is not an employee of the health care provider.

HB 662 (Signed by Governor: 3/30/17) – Changes the laws regarding the misuse of herbicides

The bill authorizes the Department of Agriculture, if it determines that any person has knowingly used a herbicide for a crop for which the herbicide was not labeled for use, to assess a civil penalty of up to $10,000 per violation. If a person is a chronic violator, the department has the authority to assess a civil penalty of up to $25,000 per violation. During an active complaint investigation, the department may subpoena witnesses and compel the production of certain records relating to a person’s application of any herbicide.

If the person refuses to submit the records, the department may assess a civil penalty of up to $5,000. Any person who is penalized will be liable to the department for any reasonable costs associated with the department’s investigation. Any penalty collected will be remitted to the school district in which the violation occurred. The department, after inquiry and opportunity for a hearing, may deny, suspend, revoke, or modify the provisions of any license, permit, or certification issued under the Missouri Pesticides Use Act. This bill contains an emergency clause, so it is in effect now.

New Traveling Exhibit Opens at Capitol

The Capitol Commission has recently announced that all Missourians are invited to attend the premiere of a new exhibit, Missouri and the Great War, which will temporarily be on display in the history hall of the Missouri State Museum in the Missouri State Capitol. This 900-square-foot interactive exhibit will complement Here at Home‎: Missouri and the Great War, which opened in May.

The traveling exhibit officially opened on Friday, June 30, and a celebratory opening event is scheduled for Tuesday, July 11 from 3:30-5:30 pm. The exhibit will remain on display in the Missouri State Museum until August 27.

For more information, please visit http://www.missourioverthere.org, which was the origin project for this fantastic exhibit.
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 415-B, 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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