Bill Pre-Filing Begins
Just a little more than a month away from the official beginning of the 2012 legislative session, legislators are now pre-filing bills that will set the tone for upcoming session. Legislators are able to file bills before the session begins each year on December 1. So far only a few bills have been filed but that number will grow in the next few weeks as House members make clear their legislative priorities for 2012. To keep up with the growing list of pre-filed bills you can visit the Missouri House of Representatives official website at http://www.house.mo.gov/billlist.aspx?year=2012.
Interim Committee on Disaster Recovery Readies Final Report
An interim committee charged with taking a closer look at how the state responds to natural disasters is in the process of readying its final report to the Speaker of the Missouri House. The committee spent the last few months travelling around the state to visit areas devastated by natural disasters. As we all know, Missouri was extremely unfortunate with tornadoes striking Joplin, Sedalia and St. Louis and flooding causing serious problems in both Southeast and Northwest Missouri. While the state has handled these situations well in many cases, the committee found a few key areas where improvements can be made. One change the committee will likely recommend is to remove some of the red tape that currently exists that has prevented physicians from other states from lending a helping hand during times of need. It is likely that legislation will be filed in 2012 to ensure physicians can cross the border into Missouri during times of emergency without worrying about legal repercussions. The committee also is likely to recommend changes to the state’s prevailing wage law in relation to disaster recovery efforts. Committee members found that the prevailing wage had tripled in Joplin, which would cause rebuilding efforts there to be much more costly. Several members of the committee would like to reduce the cost of rebuilding efforts by exempting disaster recovery construction projects from prevailing wage requirements. This is an issue we will almost certainly discuss during the 2012 session.
In the District
Below is a press release from MoDOT concerning road work in Greene county.
Ramp/Lane Closings Dec. 5-7 at Campbell Avenue/James River FreewaySpringfield, Greene County -- The westbound ramps at the Campbell Avenue/James River Freeway (Route 60) interchange will be closed one at a time beginning Mon. night, Dec. 5 and lasting until Wed. afternoon, Dec. 7, the Missouri Department of Transportation said.
The ramp closings are needed to allow contractor crews to remove the existing pavement on the ramps and pour new concrete for new ramp pavement as it approaches Campbell Avenue.
By closing the ramps, the work can be done quickly and safely.
Also, during daytime hours on Wednesday, Dec. 7, lane closings are planned on Campbell Avenue between South Avenue north of Republic Road and El Camino Alto Street south of James River Freeway. Crews will lay asphalt to smooth out the transition areas between the new concrete pavement and the existing road. Only one northbound and one southbound lane will be closed at a time.
- 7 p.m. Monday to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5-6 -- Westbound on-ramp from Campbell Avenue to James River Freeway (Route 60) CLOSED to all traffic. Drivers will have to use National Avenue or Kansas Expressway to access James River Freeway.
- 7 p.m. Tuesday to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6-7 -- Westbound off-ramp from James River Freeway (Route 60) to Campbell Avenue CLOSED to all traffic. Drivers will have to use the National Avenue or Kansas Expressway interchanges to exit off James River Freeway.
- At 3 p.m., Wednesday, the westbound off-ramp will reopen. However, there will only be one left-turn lane open from the ramp to southbound Campbell Avenue. During this time drivers can expect much traffic congestion until the second left-turn lane can be opened later that evening.
- 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 7 -- The northbound and southbound right lanes of Campbell Avenue will be blocked one lane at a time to allow contractor crews to lay temporary asphalt to reduce the bumps between the new concrete pavement and the existing roadway.
I look forward to hearing from you. The normal work schedule has resumed at the Capitol office. The office is staffed Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office. Best wishes.