Sen. Dave Schatz’s Column for July 6

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It may be summer, but the General Assembly and the governor are still busy. While we adjourned regular session on May 12, we are currently in our Second Extraordinary Legislative Session and the executive department is busy reviewing bills passed during regular session for the governor’s consideration.

Gov. Greitens and Sen. Schatz at a recent bill signing ceremony.
Gov. Greitens and Sen. Schatz at a recent bill signing ceremony.

In the last week, Gov. Greitens has signed several bills I sponsored during regular session. Senate Bill 225 began as a simple bill to allow articulated buses used by MetroLink to operate in St. Louis, but became a vehicle for my House Transportation Chair colleague, Rep. Bill Reiboldt, and I to pass a collection of small improvements for transportation. Included in this bill were provisions closing a loophole for the state’s ignition interlock law, a provision allowing two-year colleges like East Central and St. Louis Community College to use the same highway signage that four-year institutions use, several provisions that update state law to match the federal FAST Act, a provision allowing autocycles (three-wheeled vehicles that are like small cars) to operate in the state and a provision allowing veterans who received the distinguished service cross to park for free at state colleges.

The governor also signed Senate Bill 240. I had the opportunity to work with one of our area’s State Representatives – Kirk Mathews – on this bill. Senate Bill 240 creates a statewide license option for electrical contractors. Previously, Missouri was one of only six states with a patchwork of local regulations that prevented a free and fair market across the state. With Senate Bill 240 becoming law, local jurisdictions can still set their own building code standards and still license contractors, but contractors will now have the option to receive a statewide license that will be recognized in all municipalities. This will allow for greater competition and I believe it makes Missouri a fairer place for electricians to work.

The Senate will reconvene soon to continue our work on the pro-life extraordinary session called by the governor. I also expect the governor to sign more legislation that I sponsored and I will continue to keep you updated on the status of those bills. With new leadership in Jefferson City, I expect to stay busy throughout the summer and fall.

Thank you for reading this weekly column, please contact my office at (573) 751-3678 if you have any questions.