Sen. Hegeman’s Column for the Week of May 3: Giving Local Governments Flexibility

I am passionate about many things in my role as a state senator, especially when it comes to aiding the many local government entities in the 12th Senatorial District. Too often, we have found burdensome regulations that keep county commissions or city councils from fully having the authority they need to run their own communities. In my opinion, when the state cuts these restrictions, our local communities flourish.

To this end, I am sponsoring three measures aimed at helping local government. Senate Bill 324 looks at counties and how they bid for construction contracts. If we lessen the burden of how they are allowed to bid for these projects, hopefully then, maintenance items can be repaired more quickly and less expensively. Senate Bill 526 would give local control of securing courthouses over to the county in which they sit, rather than outside entities. Senate Bill 282 relates to elections, especially ensuring against taxpayer money being used to endorse candidates or ballot questions.

Also this past week, we saw House Bill 271 move through the Missouri Senate. This is a comprehensive local government proposal that includes language requiring county governments to send assessment notices a little earlier, so that people are not penalized if personal property taxes are sent after an uncertain date. With the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen counties all across the state demand late fees after a check was lost in the mail, or someone could not pay property taxes in-person. There is no reason to add burden to our citizens for something that is already unpleasant, in my opinion.

I hope we can keep all of these local government bills moving, and eventually see them become law. It is a small gesture, but can pay big dividends in the everyday lives of all Missourians.

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.