State bonding projects move forward

Posted April 10, 2014 at 1:35 pm


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Earlier this year I was asked to handle the bill authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds to fund construction of a new facility to replace the Fulton State Hospital. There is little debate about whether this project needs to be done. Many of the buildings are beyond the economical point of repair and are not conducive to either a good working or living environment. Because of this, we are paying more than we should for utilities, lost productivity, and workers’ compensation claims. Interest rates are still low and the state has an excellent credit rating, so now is a good time to address this issue.

As a state, we have many buildings around Missouri, both on college and university campuses as well as for the functions of government across various agencies. Unfortunately, as money has become tight in recent years, many necessary maintenance projects have been set aside. We are now getting to the point where continuing to ignore these needs will lead to increased costs in the very near future.

The bill I introduced will allow for the issuance of bonds to cover the cost of a new facility at Fulton State Hospital as well as address the most pressing needs of deferred maintenance on buildings around the state. This bill was given first round approval by the Senate this week and also received a favorable vote in the Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee. It only needs a final vote in the Senate to send it to the House of Representatives for their consideration.

In addition, I also introduced a resolution that specifies which projects are to be funded and the amount to be spent. This resolution underwent multiple changes in the space of a couple days as individual projects on campuses and in buildings around the state were changed and finalized. On Wednesday, the Senate Rules Committee voted unanimously to send the resolution to the floor for consideration by the full Senate. In putting the list of projects together I tried to address the most pressing maintenance needs and worked with legislators from both parties as well as from both urban and rural areas. By doing so early in the process, I hope to avoid the partisan and geographical bickering that can doom major projects like this. Taking care of buildings the taxpayers of this state have invested in is not a Republican or Democrat or urban or rural issue. To me it is a basic responsibility of the job the voters have sent us to Jefferson City to do.

This will be my final week of chairing the Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight (GAFO) Committee. With the departure of Senator Scott Rupp to a position with the Public Service Commission, I was asked to be the new chairman of the Small Business, Insurance, and Industry Committee. While I have enjoyed my time as chairman of the GAFO Committee, the Small Business, Insurance, and Industry Committee handles a wide range of bills that are important to Missouri’s economy. I am looking forward to this new role and am grateful for the trust Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey is showing by appointing me to this position.

The next educational meeting for the Farming Rights amendment will be held at the Osceola High School on Thursday, April 3, at 6:30 pm. The event is free and open to the public. Upcoming events are listed below. We have had excellent turnout and response to these meetings as we work toward the November election. It is important we keep this momentum and move this issue to a successful outcome.

April 5 – 6 p.m., Sedalia Fairgrounds, Agriculture Building, RSVP: 660-826-6054.

April 10 – 6 p.m., Bolivar High School, 1401 N. Hwy. D, Bolivar.

“Nothing is Politically Right Which is Morally Wrong’

Senator Mike Parson, State Capitol Building, Room 420. Phone: 573-751-8793 or 800-752-8256. Email: mparson@senate.mo.gov.

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.

Sen. Parson meets with grocers 3 cc.tif

SEN. PARSON MEETS WITH GROCERS

I was pleased to meet with grocers from around the state during their visit to the Capitol – Wes Burrow, Sen. Parson, Don Woods and Jack Burrell.