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23 June 2011

Denison: "Missouri Solution" Explained, Will Rogers Turnpike Construction Prompts Detours

“A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” – Francis Bacon

Proposition B Compromise Explained

One of the most contentious issues that has been mentioned in previous Capitol Reports is the compromise on Proposition B that was passed by voters in 2010. As most know, the intent of Proposition B was to protect animals and keep bad dog breeders from doing business in Missouri. The unintended consequence of the measure is that many reputable dog breeders were going to be forced out of business as a result of some of the new requirements that were being put into place.

To keep law-abiding breeders in business while also ensuring that animals are treated humanely, the legislature worked with individuals and organizations on both sides of the issue to create a compromise. The final bill [SB161] was signed into law immediately after its passage and is something I firmly believe everyone can be happy with. Known as the Missouri Solution, it will make a few key changes that will protect dogs from improper treatment. The law we passed now requires that dogs have access to food at least twice per day; continuous access to water; and an examination at least once a year by a licensed veterinarian. The law also doubles the amount of space provided to each dog effective January 2012, and triples the amount of space after January 2016. The new law also enhances enforcement by giving specific authority for the Attorney General to crack down on illegal and irresponsible breeders. To further enhance enforcement, we approved an additional $1.1 million in the budget this year to be used for additional inspectors and enforcement agents.

We believe these changes when taken in their totality will help us to better ensure the health and wellbeing of the thousands of dogs that are raised in our state. At the same time, it will allow reputable, law-abiding dog breeders to continue to operate within our borders. It truly is a compromise and a solution that all Missourians can support.

Oklahoma Turnpike Work Could Affect Your Travel

Following is a MoDot news release:

“If you’re thinking about heading to Oklahoma via Interstate 44 and the Will Rogers Turnpike any time between July 5 and next summer, you might want to take note of a major repair project that will limit travel to a single lane in each direction.

“The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority plans to repair 4.5 miles of pavement between the Oklahoma/Missouri state line to Oklahoma milepost 325 and completely rebuild the Five Mile Creek Bridges in Oklahoma.

“Traffic will be limited to a single lane in each direction from just east of the Missouri state line to mile marker 325 in Oklahoma. During the first phase, expected from July through November 2011, lane reductions will begin just west of Exit 1 in Missouri.

“Travelers on the Will Rogers Turnpike/Interstate 44 in Oklahoma will share the single pair of eastbound lanes as the westbound side and an entire bridge is rebuilt. In the next phase, travelers will share the westbound lanes as the eastbound side is rebuilt.

“Message boards will inform travelers of real-time traffic conditions, displaying expected travel times within the work zone. A strong law enforcement presence is expected in the construction zone for the duration of the project.

“Those seeking an alternate to traveling in the construction zone can consider the following route:

“Westbound - I-44 West to US 71 South (Joplin, Mo.) to US 60 West (Neosho, Mo.) to I-44 West/Will Rogers Turnpike; and

“Eastbound - I-44 East/Will Rogers Turnpike to US 60 East to US 71 North (Neosho, Mo.) to I-44 East (Joplin, Mo.)”

Interim Office Hours

Interim office hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Normal schedule will resume December 1, 2011. If you need to call me at home, my number is 417-887-3353.

I look forward to hearing from you. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office. Best wishes.

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