Propane price investigation, red dye diesel fines and Right to Farm

Posted February 20, 2014 at 12:51 pm

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We had a lot of visitors from the district stop by the office, but I want to give special recognition to a couple retired teachers who stopped by. Arvilla Beem and Willa Jean Blackwell stopped by on Tuesday with several members of the Missouri Retired Teachers Association (MRTA). I was honored to have both of these outstanding educators as teachers while growing up. I do not believe I would be where I am today without the instruction and guidance of these two special ladies.

The Senate unanimously passed my resolution asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the unreasonable spike in propane prices. Although propane prices have stabilized somewhat, they are still about $1-per-gallon higher than they were about six weeks ago. I hope the U.S. Attorney General will take the resolution seriously and give this issue the attention it deserves.

During hearings of the Senate Appropriations Committee, we discovered some possible overreaches and excessive fines by the Missouri Department of Revenue in its fuel tax enforcement program. Diesel fuel currently used in farm and construction equipment is not subject to state or federal highway tax. It is illegal to use this untaxed fuel in vehicles for highway use. To ensure compliance, a red dye is added as a means of identification.

I fully support this law as the fuel tax is what pays for the construction and maintenance of our roads and highways. Where I have a problem is the practice of the department going onto private property, such as a livestock auction barn, and pulling samples of fuel from the tanks of parked vehicles with no probable cause that a violation has occurred. We have also discovered fines of more than $72,000 being levied for violations involving only a few gallons of the dyed diesel. I will be holding hearings in my Senate Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee to look into this issue.

The first educational meeting of the Right to Farm constitutional amendment will be held in Stockton on Feb. 20. It will be at the Stockton Christian Church, located at 703 West Street, and will begin at 6:30 p.m. I would encourage everyone to attend and bring a friend or neighbor. We need to make certain everyone understands the importance of this issue and opportunity.

Visitors to the office included Mayor Elaine Horn, City Administrator Gary Edwards, 1st Ward Councilman Steve Galliher, 1st Ward Councilwoman Jo Lynn Turley, 3rd Ward Councilman Bob Cross, and 4th Ward Councilman Larry Stevenson, all of Sedalia; Dr. Kathryn Findley of Benton County; Gene Brockus of Osceola; Dr. John Howell of Bolivar; Renee Fiquet with a group of students from the State Fair Community College Dental Hygiene Program; Keith Davis with a group of students from the Career and Technical Student Organization from Lebanon; Wendy Jones and Grant Glor from Buffalo; Pettis County Commissioners Brent Hampy and Jim Marcum; and a large delegation of retired teachers attending the MRTA lobby day.

“Nothing is Politically Right Which is Morally Wrong’

Contact Information: Senator Mike Parson, State Capitol Building, Room 420. Phone: 573-751-8793 or 800-752-8256. Email:

If you have any questions or comments regarding issues in state government or within the 28th Senatorial District, please feel free to contact my office.

VISITORS FROM THE LEBANON TECHNOLOGY AND CAREER CENTER – Back row: Tori Razer, Dakota Williams, Emily Niffen, Moses Farr, Dylan Jackson, Zachary Perez, Trevor Miller. Front Row: Reno Gillenwater, Erinn Hawkins, Cody Starnes, Leslie Mott, Stacie Vestal, Sadie Staver and Jason Goring.