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23 September 2010

Nodler: Audio of Farewell Speech

Senator Nodler addresses his colleagues on the floor of the Missouri Senate. Senator Nodler is one of 11 retiring or retired senators who were honored during a ceremony on Sept. 15.

Listen to this audio feature by clicking here:

Rupp: Supporting Fiscal Conservatism in Missouri

Ever since Congress passed and the president signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, the Missouri General Assembly has made great efforts to monitor how these stimulus dollars are spent in our state and prevent wasteful spending of these funds.

Early in the legislative session last year, my colleagues and I in the Senate and House passed Senate Bill 313, which created two separate funds with our state's treasury to receive and retain the funds provided under ARRA.  That same year, the General Assembly recognized that our state needed to determine how best to utilize the funds for Missourians from ARRA.  The Senate Select Committee on Oversight of Federal Stimulus, which I chaired, was created and charged with studying and analyzing strategies for securing the maximum amount of federal dollars for our state that was anticipated to come from the federal economic stimulus plan.  Members submitted a report to the General Assembly, including recommendations on developing transparency and accountability standards for the use of ARRA funds.

With these recommendations in mind, the Legislature passed House Bill 544in 2009, which would have created the Joint Interim Committee on Recovery Accountability and Transparency to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse of these federal stimulus dollars.  However, the governor vetoed this legislation.  Even though a similar committee was created that same year, it did not contain the same charges to address proper examination and distribution of stimulus funds.

In the meantime, federal stimulus dollars in the form of Community Services Block Grants(CSBGs) were distributed for projects such as film festivals in our state.  These grants provide funds at the local level to address or reduce conditions of poverty.  Constituents have been calling and writing my office about this particular distribution of CSBGs.  If we would have had a proper accountability and transparency committee in place to examine distribution of stimulus funds in these instances, perhaps we would have been able to address the situation before it resulted in numerous questions that are now popping up about this project.

This year, lawmakers continued their efforts to address the lack of oversight of these federal stimulus dollars by passing House Bill 1965, creating the Joint Subcommittee on Recovery Accountability and Transparency.  This committee is responsible for coordinating and conducting oversight to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse of federal stimulus funds.  More specifically, the committee will review contracts, grant management, job creation, and state agency and departmental practices.  Senate and House members are expected to be named to this committee in the near future.  Committee members will have to submit a report to the General Assembly and the governor each year until the panel expires March 1, 2013.

With this new committee, lawmakers will now finally have the opportunity to properly ensure that your taxpayer dollars are spent in a fiscally responsible manner to better our state as a whole.

If you have any questions regarding this matter or any other issues within state government, please visit my website at  You can also e-mail me or call my office toll-free at (866) 271-2844.

Joe Smith: MoDOT schedules closures for I-70, Route 370 interchange

Please see the News Release below.

One lane of EASTBOUND I-70 @ Route 370 will be closed the entire weekend beginning 9am Friday morning.

One lane of WESTBOUND Route 370 over the railroad just north of I-70 will be closed all weekend as well beginning at 8 pm Friday.

Please pass this on to yours constituents and avoid this area if possible.

James R. Gremaud, P.E.
MoDOT Area Engineer - St. Charles County

MoDOT schedules closures for I-70, Route 370 interchange

ST. LOUIS – The Missouri Department of Transportation will close lanes at the interchange of I-70 and Route 370 in St. Charles County the weekend of Sept. 24-27 to continue bridge repair work on the interchange, weather permitting.

Crews will close one lane of eastbound I-70 at Route 370 at 9 a.m. Friday, September 24.  They will close a second lane between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.  All lanes on eastbound I-70 will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, September 27.

Crews will also close the ramp from westbound Route 370 to eastbound Interstate 70 at 8 p.m. Friday, September 24.  At the same time, they will close the right lane of westbound Route 370 at the railroad bridge.  The lane and the ramp will reopen by 2:30 p.m. Monday, September 27.

Plan ahead to avoid work zones by calling 1-888-ASK-MODOT or visiting our website at

Travelers can get up-to-the-minute traffic information on interstates or major state routes by dialing 5-1-1 from most cell phones; if 5-1-1 isn't available from your telephone, please dial 877-478-5511 (877-4STL-511).