Legislative Report 2008

Two companion bills in the Missouri legislature are slowly moving forward. They provide an important update to State Planning Law, known as the Missouri County Planning Act of 2009. Senate Bill 5 and House Bill 379 will provide Missouri Counties with the ability to plan for growth and development. The bills retain the element of citizen participation through a vote to enact any zoning requirements, but the provide county commissioners with the means to develop a county plan.

Report—Legislative Affairs Consultant

By Jim Ferrall

Our efforts leading up to the December 1st pre-filing of legislation focused on working to come to an agreement with the St. Louis Home Builders Association on language in the bill. We addressed some of their issues in an attempt to bring them on as an ally along with the Missouri Association of Counties, County Commissioners Association, MACOG, and AIA. Bruce Wiggins along with Steven Kling negotiated the various sections of the law that we were willing to change and still accomplish the objectives of the APA.

The support of these groups is extremely important and will be essential to build support with our legislators.

Senate Bill 729was pre-filed by Senator Griesheimer as one of his top three bills. The bill was referred to the Economic Development, Tourism and Local Government Committee which is chaired by Senator Griesheimer. The hearing was held on February 13th. The receptivity by the committee was very positive. Senator Griesheimer testified that the bill was a solid piece of legislation needed by many rural counties that were facing ever increasing development pressures. He stated that he had met with the Farm Bureau to explain the purpose and the need but they refused to move from their position of opposition. APA representative Bruce Wiggins, Commissioner Doc Kritser from Callaway County and Nancy Myers from the Fulton Chamber of Commerce provided quality testimony and were very effective in answering the Senators questions. The Farm Bureau then testified as the only opponent of the bill and their lobbyist was grilled with questions from the Committee.

Senate Bill 729 was voted out of committee 9-1 and has been set on the Senate Calendar ready for debate on the floor.

We recommend our members contact these Senators, thanking them for their support:

Sen. Griesheimer R-26, Washington; Sen. Kennedy D-1, St. Louis County

Sen. Dempsey R-21 St. Charles; Sen. Callahan D-11 Kansas City

Sen. McKenna D- 22 Jefferson Co; Sen. Koster R-31, Harrisonville

Sen. Engler R-3, Farmington; Sen. Goodman R-29, Mt. Vernon

Sen. Vogel R-6, Jefferson City

House Bill 1832was filed and heard in the House Local Government Committee Chaired by Vickie Schneider on February 13th. Our supporters did an outstanding job of testifying in the committee.

Representative Shannon Cooper R-120, Clinton is our Sponsor.

sponsors are; Representatives  Scharnhorst St. Louis County, Yates R-56 Lee’s Summit, Threlkeld R-109 Washington, Schlottach R-111 Owensville, Franklin and Gasconade Counties, Hobbs R-21 Mexico, Deeken R-114 Jefferson City, Hunter R-12 Joplin,  Parson R-133 Bolivar, Richard R-129 Joplin, Schneider R-17 O Fallon, Jones R-69 Wildwood, Onder R-13 Lake St. Louis, Sutherland R-99 Warren County, Faith R-15 St. Charles, Stream R-94 Kirkwood, Casey D-103 Jefferson Co , Meiners D-46 Kansas City, Moore R-20 Fulton, Bivins R-97 St. Louis Co, McGhee R-122 Odessa, J Smith R-150 Salem, Schad R-115 Versailles.  The bill was voted out of the Local Government Committee unanimously 10-0.  We now must have the bill referred to the Rules Committee before moving to the floor of the House.

The Missouri APA should now focus their letters and email support at leadership in both chambers. In the Senate, Senator Mike Gibbons President Pro Tem R-15 Kirkwood and Senator Charlie Shields Majority Floor Leader R-34 St. Joseph.  In the House, Speaker Rod Jetton R-156 Marble Hill and Majority Floor Leader Steve Tilley R-116 Perryville.   Next contact your local legislators for their support and vote in favor of HB 1832 and SB 729.

There are an additional 16 bills in the House and Senate that relate to various components of planning and zoning.  These bills do not include any of the bills related to TIF reform or eminent domain   Attached to this report is a list of the bills and the action that has been taken to date on the bills.