Senate Bill 49 Advances
This week, I presented my Senate Bill 49 to the Transportation Committee. This legislation addresses issues brought to me by constituents in Camden County. Senate Bill 49 addresses the problem of vessels blocking access to private docks and people using private docks without the owner’s permission. This bill prohibits vessels positioned within 100 feet of a permitted boat dock from being anchored in a manner that obstructs ingress or egress of watercraft without permission. The act also provides that no person shall secure a vessel to or enter upon a private boat dock unless authorized to do so by the boat dock permit holder. The Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee received electronic testimony from almost 90 individuals in support of this legislation. The committee voted 6-0 to move this bill out of committee. The next step will be floor debate with the full Senate.
Unfortunately, a few inconsiderate boaters create problems for others by ignoring common courtesy and basic property rights. One of the individuals who reached out to my office said they actually found someone camping on their dock. This legislation defines the named offenses as infractions, and gives the Water Patrol authority to issue citations. Currently, the Water Patrol can ask a trespasser to leave, but has little recourse if the individual refuses because boat docks are typically not considered real property. It’s important to understand that SB 49 does not prohibit fishing near a dock. You can cast your line all you want, so long as you don’t block the property owner’s access to or from their private dock.
STATE OF THE STATE
The highly anticipated State of the State Address was held as scheduled this week, but not in its usual venue. Instead of speaking before a joint legislative session in the House chamber, the governor delivered his remarks in the Senate chamber. Despite the location change, the governor presented an optimistic assessment of Missouri’s current state and future prospects.
The governor outlined his priorities for the coming year and touched on highlights of his proposed $36 billion state budget. Workforce development, job creation and infrastructure investment will remain his focus in 2021. The governor’s budget fully funds Missouri’s elementary and secondary education programs and includes additional money for universities, scholarships and technical education. The Legislature has also been asked to fund increases for early childhood education.
As chairman of the Senate Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee, I was pleased to see the governor renew his call for road and bridge improvements. He’s also proposed more money for rural broadband infrastructure and asked the Legislature to fund improvements and much-needed maintenance projects at state parks and government facilities.
It’s my honor to serve as your senator for the 16th District. If you have questions or need any assistance, please call my office at 573-751-5713 or log onto my webpage at https://www.senate.mo.gov/brown for more information.