Greetings, My Fellow Missourians
During my second year in legislation, the Hickory County license office had a dispute with the Department of Revenue (DOR) over the bidding process when they had a vacancy in their office. The DOR bidding process is to allow interested groups and individuals to bid to operate one or more Missouri license office as they become vacant. Bidders with an active Federal Employer Identification Number will be evaluated on items such as methods proposed for performing the service and the proposal that scores best in areas including customer service and business. At that time Senator Parson and I had a heart to heart discussion with DOR and were able to successfully work to keep that office open.
In 2016 the Osceola license office had a vacancy and once again I had to negotiate with DOR to keep it open. Unfortunately sometimes DOR cannot keep the local license offices open due to the lack of funds to pay staff, rent a building and provide utilities. The Osceola office was closed for 6 month before we were able to work out the funds and was it successfully re-opened. The Carney family stepped in and offered a very reasonable rental space for the Osceola office that was a tremendous help. This past summer the same issue came up at the Stockton office in Cedar County. Although I was not involved in that issue, Senator Sandy Crawford worked with DOR and a local bidder and were able to keep the office open.
This year Representative Jeff Knight sponsored a bill to allow increase in fees. Due to having experienced three license offices struggle to remain open in my district, I was for the fee increase. I became a supporter and co-sponsor of HB 584. We were successfully able to get it into law and it is currently waiting on the desk of Governor Parson’s for a signature. Feel free to call and encourage him to sign this legislation at (573) 751-3222.
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. You can read the full bill here HB 584.
The first day of school in 2020 could come little later than normal based on the recently passed HB 161. In an effort to give the tourism industry a few more days in August to make money, HB 161 modifies the school start date by removing the option that school districts may set an opening date more than 14 calendar days prior to the first Monday in September.
Representative Jeff Knight sponsored the bill in hopes to help businesses that have suffered in recent years as school districts have moved their start dates earlier and earlier. Rep. Knight noted “The revenue that is being lost is significant”. With Tourism as Missouri’s second largest generator of revenue we need to allow our businesses to thrive in order to bring in the funds that support our state, including our schools. I also support this legislation with the knowledge that many teachers along with high school and college students have summer jobs and depend on many of our tourism sights for employment. For the full bill visit HB 161.
Upcoming events – Discover More on Route 54 is hosting the annual 100-mile yard sale on Labor Day weekend, August 30-31st. This will cover communities along US Hwy 54 from Nevada to Camdenton. They need sellers and bargain hunters to make this event a success! For more information on rules and locations visit https://100mileyardsale.wordpress.com/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DiscoverRoute54/.
Interim hours: Now that Session is over for 2019, I will be back in the District full time. If you need any assistance my Legislative Assistant Amy Helton will continue to be in my Capitol office Tuesday-Thursday and will be happy to help you.