Sen. Dan Hegeman’s Capitol Report for the Week of July 23, 2018

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Filling Vacancies in County Offices

As chairman of the Senate Local Government and Elections Committee, I understand the importance of governmental bodies below the state level. Because local governments are close to the people they serve, it’s vital they operate as effectively and efficiently as possible.

House Bill 1428, officially signed into law in June, will help fill vacancies that occur in some county offices in a more timely fashion. This legislation requires the governor to appoint a new county commissioner to any open seat within a 60-day time period. Despite being appointed by the governor, these appointees must still receive the advice and consent of the Senate. The law does not apply to counties, such as St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson and Jackson counties, operating under the charter form of government designated in Article VI, Section 18, of the Missouri Constitution. When the governor appoints a commissioner under this law, that officeholder will serve for the remainder of the current term, with the opportunity to run for re-election after the term expires. The law also requires noncharter counties to assign an interim officeholder, within 14 days, until the governor acts on the vacancy.

Missouri has 114 counties — more than all but four other states. The Show-Me State has always placed a great deal of pride on having governmental bodies representative of the people they serve, something I believe smaller counties accomplish more effectively. Missouri’s many county boards of commissioners, which enact and administer ordinances while also approving county budgets, are crucial to the operation of local communities. House Bill 1428 will ensure vacancies on these boards do not disrupt the steady management of local government.

As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.