Those who know me know how passionate I am about our state’s infrastructure, and making sure it keeps up with the demand of the Show-Me State. Over the past few years, our state has made great strides in improving not only our roads, but all aspects of infrastructure, which includes getting broadband into more homes in rural Missouri. These are necessary priorities that, unfortunately, carry a heavy regulatory and fiscal cost.
To this end, the Legislature passed, and the governor signed, a measure that takes these needs into consideration. Senate Bill 44 addresses several issues that relate to public utilities in Missouri. This new law prohibits local governments from banning certain types and sources of energy, modifies provisions relating to service territories of retail electric service providers, increases the competitive bidding process threshold from 10 to 20 percent of external expenditures for certain water corporations and provides an infrastructure replacement mechanism for certain water and sewer projects.
A lot of the sewer systems in our state are at the 100-year mark. When these systems were put into place, it was thought they would suffice for approximately 50 years. Obviously, they have continued to serve us well, but are in desperate need of repair or replacement. When you take into account the population growth we have seen since then, it is obvious there is a real need to upgrade these systems as soon as possible.
Implementing SB 44 is a small part of the whole picture. We still have a way to go when it comes to improving our state’s roads and bridges, and we continue to press forward with getting high-speed internet into more homes in rural Missouri. Infrastructure remains a priority not only for me, but for many of my colleagues in the Missouri General Assembly. This is something that will be a focus for years to come, and I am glad SB 44 is poised to take effect on Aug. 28. This is the kind of help that makes everyone’s life a little better, and can pay dividends for years to come.
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 email@example.com and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.