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14 July 2011

Tim Jones: Environmental Omnibus Bill Signed Into Law

“It's not the heat, it's the humidity” – was the phrase most frequently recited as we recently celebrated Independence Day!

“I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” – Abraham Lincoln

I want to take a moment to reflect on the reason why we continue to celebrate Independence Day every July of every year, the day that our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence. On July 4, 1776, the United States of America was founded with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. With the creation of this important document, we claimed our independence from Britain and our great Republic was born. Fifty-six men, of various means and education, put their lives, happiness and worldly possessions on the line to provide future generations freedom by inscribing their names on a piece of parchment. These men had security in life with money and property, but they wanted more: freedom and liberty. They gave us a nation that believes in its citizens—a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

On July 4, 2011 the United States of America celebrated its 235th birthday—235 years of independence, liberty, freedom and the uninterrupted pursuit of happiness. Our forefathers gave more than time and hard work to the cause of independence. Many of these men sacrificed everything they had, including their lives. The British charged some with treason, others fought and died in the Revolutionary War, and many witnessed their homes and livelihoods taken and destroyed. Yet all stood proud and with determination pledged their devotion: “I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states. Yet through all the gloom I see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth all the means. This is our day of deliverance,” John Adams proclaimed.

We, as Americans, should never forget why we have our freedoms and how they were won. Today there are still those who are willing to give everything for their country. These brave service men and women remind us that the liberties we often take for granted are valuable and worth fighting to protect. We are not perfect, but we enjoy more freedoms than any other nation on the planet and our promise is perfect. The Fourth of July is just one day a year when we as a nation can stop and reflect on the free and independent life we all have and the struggles of those before us, among us, and in the future. Always remember to thank our Veterans, service members and their families--especially, we say a prayer and thank you to the families who know that yet another Independence Day was secured as their loved one gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Continued Update on Legislation Passed in the First Regular Legislative Session of 2011

SB 135—Modifying Provisions Pertaining to Environmental Issues Signed Into Law on June 22, 2011

SB 135 was signed into law on June 22, 2011 and was sponsored by Senator Kurt Schaefer. I was the handler for SB 135 in the House and chief sponsor of HB 192 which was the companion bill to SB 135. This multi-dimensional bill modifies several provisions pertaining to environmental issues. And unlike the federal government, which has been bent on destructive policies relating to environmental regulations over the past several years, this bill’s goals will be largely to reduce, decrease and eliminate unnecessary regulations and get government out of the way of businesses. The legislation will streamline processes and provide proper regulation, where needed. I am proud to say that all the industries affected by this legislation promoted it and supported it. The bill includes the following:
  • Extending the expiration date for fees assessed to lead-acid batteries, as well as assorted hazardous waste handlers, until December 31, 2013;
  • Protecting monies in the State Park Earnings Fund from being transferred to the General Revenue Fund;
  • Removing the ban on the use of expanded polypropylene coolers near certain state rivers;
  • Allowing transfer of ownership of scrap tires to regulate proper disposal or recycling;
  • Extending the statutes regarding environmental regulation of dry-cleaning facilities until August 28, 2017;
  • Restricting modification of motor fuel vapor recovery fees by local governments or enforcement agencies;
  • Regulating the repair or replacement of motor fuel volume measuring devices (gas pumps);
  • Easing requirements for construction of water wells for charitable or benevolent organizations, other than schools or day-care facilities; and
  • Providing requirements for training of individuals in the use of underground petroleum storage tanks.
This legislation covers many environmental concerns but also works “hand in hand” with the regulated industries to make sure we keep these businesses and industries in Missouri and growing in Missouri. We must continue to update Missouri Statutes to meet the growing need to protect our health and safety without adding any regulatory burdens to our many small businesses. For more information and to read the full bill text and summary of SB 135, please access the following link:

News & Notes

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Miss Skylar Maurath, a student at Eureka Elementary School for being selected as a State Finalist in the upcoming National American Miss Missouri Pageant and to acknowledge the positive role model she has provided through her hard work and devotion. The pageant seeks to recognize the accomplishments of each girl while encouraging the girls to set goals for the future. The pageant is based on inner beauty as well as poise, presentation and offers an “All American spirit of fun for family and friends.” I wish Skylar success in the upcoming pageant and in all her future endeavors. I feel very privileged to have Skylar living in the 89th District!

Thank you for reading this Interim Report. If you know anyone who would be interested in receiving this report, please click the “Capitol Report Signup” button on my member home page at and enter the appropriate information to receive the Capitol Report. If you happen to see me in and around the District this summer, please feel free to introduce yourself and say hello! I have been very busy traveling all over the State and speaking to various groups about our many substantive and important legislative accomplishments. If you would like for me to speak to your group or community, please contact Jody at our office at 573.751.0562 and we will be happy to accommodate you.

Finally, if we can ever be of any assistance to you at your State Capitol during the coming months even while we are in the Interim Session, please do not hesitate to contact us at: 573.751.0562 or you can reach my primary assistant, Jody, at: jody{dot}williams{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov. If you ever find yourself in or around Jefferson City at any time during the year, please feel free to visit the Majority Leader’s Office in Room 302 and Jody will be happy to meet and greet you!

Until our next update, I am, and remain, in your service,

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