Legislative Corner

This is our dedicated Legislative Update page. As legislative bills concerning water and wastewater utilities come forth, we will do our best to keep you updated and informed.  We will also use this area of the MRWA website to post National Headlines that impact rural water and wastewater utilities across the country.  We encourage you to get to know your legislators and let them know how proposed legislation affects you and the operation of your utility.

Legislative Foot Work in Action

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From the Executive Director

Legislative News Brief – 14 March 2018
MRWA continues to look out for you in the Missouri and U.S. legislative arenas.
At the Federal level, there is still a Federal Administrative desire to eliminate the Rural Development funding for the Grant and Loan Program.  The thought is that Rural Development is “redundant” to the State Revolving Fund.  However, MRWA continues to promote the stability and experience stemming from Rural Development to specifically promote to Rural Missouri.  As of this writing, we have the committed support through Dear Colleague letters from Congressman Cleaver, Congresswoman Hartzler, and Congressman Graves.  Please take the time to thank them for their continued support of what matters to Rural Missouri!
Within Missouri, there is movement to reduce a 4th class municipality vote from 2/3rd to a majority in order for that municipality to sell it’s drinking water or wastewater utility.  MRWA stands firm that this is a significant decision to undertake and asks for direct contact to every customer and registered voter within that municipality to be directly notified of proposal of such a sale in order to provide the citizens, and the decision-making body, the needed facts and understanding before undertaking such a decision.  As always, MRWA is a firm fighter for LOCAL control.
These are the two biggest discussions right now and definitely not the only subjects being taken up.  The Missouri legislative season is hitting the busy stage where stances and information change on the hour…literally.  Additionally, matters with Education funding and matters associated with our Governor overshadow much of the legislative discussion and impact the movement, or more accurately, the lack of movement.
The Missouri Legislators will go on Spring Break from March 19th through March 23rd.
We are there looking out for you.  Your support with your Legislative Assessment is what gives the ability to do this.

 

Sincerely yours,

Randy L. Norden

Executive Director

Bills to Watch – Updated March 9, 2018

(Click Bill # for detailed information.)

HB 1272 – Lant
This bill would allow political subdivisions to opt out of prevailing wage requirements for public works projects that are less than $750,000.  The bill was scheduled for hearing January 23rd, in the House Economic Development Committee.

HB 1279 – Beck
This bill would require certain data protection actions and notifications if data is breached.  Includes governmental entities in these requirements.

HB 1446  (Eggleston) Would allow cities with 2,000 or fewer residents to hold no municipal election if there are no contested races or ballot issues. That threshold currently is 1,000 residents. The bill passed the house on Feb. 8. in the Senate Local Government Committee, it was amended to include the sale of utilities in 4th class cities.

HB 1510 – Cross
This bill would prohibit municipalities from making internal inspections of homes.  May conflict with the backflow prevention regulations.

HB 1595 – (Higdon) Brings municipal sewer districts under the control of the public service commission

HB 1877 – (Miller) The “Missouri Water Safety and Security Act” would require expensive upgrades for public water supply systems. It was referred more than a month ago to the House Utilities Committee but no hearing has been scheduled.

HB 1903 – Walker
This bill would add a “heritage value” component to be considered in utility expansion condemnation proceedings.  This bill has not been referred to a committee.

HB 1909 – Brattin
This bill would require candidates in smaller political subdivisions to declare a political party affiliation when filing for once.  This bill has not been referred to a committee.

HB 1947 – (Alferman) would allow 4th class municipalities to sell their water or sewer services with a simple majority vote rather than a two-thirds vote as existing law requires. The bill was amended to include required notification for a public informational hearing before a vote to sell. The bill was perfected in the House on Wednesday (Feb. 28. A similar bill in the senate, SB658, was heard Feb. 13 in the Senate Local Government Committee.

HB 2113 – (Roden) Would prohibit PWSD’s from requiring certain charges and deposits. It has not been referred to a committee.

HB 2213 – Lichtenegger
This bill would require a public drinking water supply seeking to modify its fluoridation to be required to seek and receive information about the impact of public water fluoridation from the local health department.

HB 2216(Brattin) Intends to deregulate, to an extent, the construction of water wells on private property. It was referred to the House Rules Committee on Feb. 21.

HB 2242 – (Wiemann) Would establish the “Missouri Municipal Government Expenditure Database” which would require free public access to a city’s expenditures and vendors paid. It was heard Feb. 7 in the House Local Government Committee. No vote has been taken.

HB 2289 – (Higdon) Modifies provisions for waterworks and sewerage rates.

HB 2519 – (Anderson) Would prohibit the owner of residential rental property from being responsible for a tenant’s unpaid water or sewer service charges. It has not been referred to a committee.

SB 598 – Riddle
This bill would require the Missouri Department of Transportation to provide a 12- foot wide utility corridor int he right of way when space is reasonably available.

SB 599 –  (Schatz) Would repeal the state’s prevailing wage for public works projects costing less than $500,000. It was placed on the Senate “Informal” Debate Calendar on Feb. 21.

SB 658 – (Hegeman) Modifies provisions relating to municipally owned utilities


SB 659
– (Hegeman) Would increase from $1,400 to $3,000 the maximum “per connection” grant the MODNR could issue to assist in water and sewer projects. It was passed by the Senate on Feb. 21.

SB 935 – (Hegeman) Would require additional training for PWSD board members who are re-elected and wish to continue to receive a meeting-attendance stipend. It was heard Feb. 20 in the Senate Local Government Committee.

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