Greetings, My Fellow Missourians
Due to living close to the Hwy ZZ Bridge, my neighbors have been asking for an update on when it will reopen. Neighbors hauling hay used to have a 3 mile drive to their property located on the other side, now they have a 26 mile drive going around. I did some checking with MoDOT and according to the Area Engineer Dave Taylor, there were some modifications made to the design of the bridge after the letting and that pushed out the completion date. The bridge is now scheduled to be completed by the first week of December.
While the 2020 legislative session was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislature was still able to pass numerous bills that address some of the most pressing issues facing the state. The majority of the bills approved by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Parson went into effect on August 28.
In total, the Missouri House and Senate approved 51 pieces of legislation during the 2020 session. That number is down from the 92 bills that made it across the legislative finish line in 2019. Gov. Parson vetoed two of the 51 bills sent to him by the legislature. The bills passed by the General Assembly address a wide array of subjects ranging from workforce development to public safety to property tax relief. A couple of the noteworthy changes that went into effect August 28 include:
Partial Motorcycle Helmet Law Repeal (House Bill 1963) – A wide-ranging transportation bill approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor includes a partial repeal of the state’s motorcycle helmet law. Under the bill, motorcycle drivers 26 years and older can now 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 motortricycle must wear a helmet when the vehicle is in motion.
Expanding Access to Broadband (HB 1768) – A bill approved during the 2020 legislative session that is now law is meant to bring access to broadband internet to the nearly 1 million Missourians who do not have it. The legislation will help to keep vital funds to expand access to broadband internet in the state. It will enable the Department of Economic Development to legally seek to have any funds that would otherwise be returned to the federal government to be retained in Missouri and awarded to other eligible qualified Missouri broadband providers. The bill also allows community and neighborhood improvement districts to partner with broadband providers to construct or improve facilities to provide service to the unserved and underserved. Additionally, it expands the sunset on the Missouri broadband fund until 2027, and the sunset for deploying 5G until 2025.
Department of Labor – Missouri has become only the third state in the nation to begin processing payments to unemployed workers under the federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. The state began processing the $300 federal supplemental payments last night to eligible individuals.
Because Missouri was one of the first states to apply for and be approved for the LWA grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Disaster Relief Fund, and made the necessary changes to UInteract, its claims filing system, eligible unemployed workers should soon begin receiving payments for the weeks ending August 1, August 8 and August 15, 2020.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DOLIR) has processed more than $4 billion in benefit payments to assist unemployed Missourians.
“Because of Governor Parson’s decisive leadership, Missouri was the fifth state to apply and receive approval for over $200 million in funding through the LWA,” said DOLIR Director Anna Hui. “Due to the incredible state staff who have worked tirelessly to quickly implement these process and system changes, Missouri can now pay the $300 federal supplement to over 100,000 eligible Missourians.”
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.
It is my honor to serve the constituents of District 125. If you ever have questions, concerns, or input, please feel free to contact me any time at (573) 751-4065.
YOUR District 125 Capitol office is 413B, and YOU are always welcome!
If you would like to be added to the e-mail list to receive our Capitol Reports, you may e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Capitol office at (573) 751-4065 and speak with my Legislative Assistant.