Greetings, My Fellow Missourians

On Wednesday, I had the honor of presenting a Resolution to Dr. Mark Beem at Skyline Public School. Dr. Beem is retiring after thirty-one years of serving Missouri’s young citizens through tireless endeavors as an educator. Dr. Beem served as Superintendent of the Wheatland R-II School District, as Principal and coach in the Weaubleau R-III School District, and as a teacher and coach in the Humansville R-IV School District prior to assuming his responsibilities as Superintendent at Hickory County R-I. Representative Jeff Knight and Senator Sandy Crawford also joined the celebration of Dr. Beem’s accomplishments. I want to express my appreciation for the unparalleled service that Dr. Beem has rendered to Missouri’s children and wish him and his wife Staci well as they embark on this next chapter in their lives.

The Discover More on Route 54 Annual Board Directors Meeting was held at Smith’s Restaurant in Collins on Wednesday. The topics of discussion were; the continuation of our Annual 100 Mile Yard Sale, which has turned into a big event and future ideas to promote businesses, tourism and a general awareness of Route 54. One promotional idea was for each little town along Route 54 to have a retro or nostalgic mural painted on a building. Travelers could post selfies at each site along the route. These murals could be painted by local high school art students and would have things like old cars, beam bridges and the Discover More on Route 54 logo. I would like to encourage all who are interested in promoting business and tourism along Highway 54 to get involved. For more information, call 417-830-1950.

Hwy. 82 is getting a much needed pavement overlay. The project started on the west end at El Dorado Springs and moved east. Also, reconstruction on the Hwy. ZZ Bridge on the Osage Arm of Truman Lake in Northeast St. Clair County has begun. The bridge will be completely closed until early September.

Despite a legislative session that was shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic, lawmakers were able to work together to pass a number of important bills and send them to the governor for his approval. The abbreviated session saw only 51 pieces of legislation receive final approval from the General Assembly. This number is significantly reduced from the 2019 session, which saw 95 bills make it through the legislative process. While the final bill count for the 2020 session was diminished, the legislature was able to address many important issues with the legislation it passed.

Some of the bills now on their way to the governor’s desk include:

Partial Motorcycle Helmet Law Repeal (House Bill 1963) A wide-ranging transportation bill approved by the General Assembly includes a partial repeal of the state’s motorcycle helmet law. Under the bill, motorcycle drivers 26 years and older could go helmetless if they have their own health insurance. Individuals under the age of 26 who operate or ride as a passenger on a motorcycle or motor tricycle must wear a helmet when the vehicle is in motion.

Remote Driver’s License Renewals (House Bill 1963) – Missourians will have the option to renew their driver’s license online thanks to a bill approved during the 2020 legislative session. The legislation authorizes the Department of Revenue to design and implement a remote driver’s license renewal system accessible through the Department’s website or through one or more self-service terminals located within the state. Drivers will be able to apply for no more than one consecutive renewal remotely, and would need to apply within six months before or after the license expires as required for conventional renewal. In lieu of the current vision test requirement, applicants for remote renewal would certify under penalty of law that their vision satisfies the legal requirements and that he or she has undergone an eye exam in the last 12 months.

Digital Driver’s Licenses (House Bill 1963) – A wide-ranging transportation bill passed during the 2020 session will give Missouri drivers the option to obtain a digital driver’s license in addition to a card-based license. The bill authorizes the Department of Revenue to design and implement a secure digital driver’s license. The digital license would be accepted for all purposes for which a card-based license is used.

Interim hours: Now that Session is over for 2020, I will be back in District full time. If you need any assistance my Legislative Assistant Amy Helton will be happy to help you Monday-Thursday.