Senator Bob Onder’s Legislative Report for the Week of Oct. 23, 2017

Onder - Column - BannerWhen I first ran for office in 2007, I did so knowing my role as a lawmaker would have an impact not only on my constituents, but all Missourians. I take this responsibility, and my oath as a Missouri Senator, very seriously and I am always humbled when I receive an accolade for doing my job. Recently, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced I am one of the recipients of its prestigious 2017 Spirit of Enterprise Award.

Each year, this award is given to several lawmakers who play a central role in passing pro-jobs, pro-growth legislation in the General Assembly. On Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, I will join three other legislators in receiving this award.

During the 2016-2017 legislative session, I worked with my colleagues to pass legislation making Missouri a Right-to-Work state. I also worked with my fellow lawmakers to expand use of virtual schools and fought to pass legislation allowing ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft to operate in Missouri. In addition, I sponsored and saw the passage of the Fairness in Public Construction Act.

Commonly referred to as Senate Bill 182, the Fairness in Public Construction Act ended the discriminatory and unfair practice of union-only Project Labor Agreements (PLAs). Our taxpayers deserve the best product for the best price, but PLAs drove up the cost of construction by effectively ensuring that all work on a public project would be done by union contractors or those few non-union contractors who would yield to union demands. This meant that the 85 percent of St. Charles County construction workers who worked for non-union companies had no shot at building the schools, libraries or municipal buildings paid for by their own tax dollars. Senate Bill 182 ensures all contractors get a fair chance to bid on a project. By eliminating union-only PLAs, we are actively encouraging more responsible stewardship of taxpayer money. This bill was signed into law on May 30, 2017.

“The Spirit of Enterprise Award recognizes legislators who have consistently shown efforts to protect the free-enterprise system in Missouri,” said Dan Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO. “It is important that we highlight those lawmakers who are fighting for jobs in the Missouri General Assembly.”

As always, I am working hard to represent your views and concerns in Jefferson City. Looking towards the 2018 legislative session, two of my main goals are to increase job growth throughout the state and promote economic development opportunities through meaningful legislation.