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Safe and Sound Bridge Improvement Program to Repair Six Douglas County Bridges
On Thursday, Feb. 10, the Missouri Department of Transportation held a public informational meeting in Ava about bridge replacements in Douglas County. I attended the meeting to hear about the six bridges that are scheduled to be replaced in 2011. While the new bridges are under construction, they will be closed to traffic so that the old bridge can be taken down and the new one can be built. For more information on the upcoming road closings in the area click here or visit www.modot. com/springfield.
One issue we are working on addressing is making sure that the bus routes for local schools are not negatively affected by the road closings. I have been working with the Ava superintendent of schools and MoDOT officials to make sure that students can easily get to school while this important construction is taking place. I know that shutting these roads down will not be convenient for residents in the short term, and I am ready to work through any issues that may come up so that we can have safer bridges in the quickest way possible.
These bridge replacements are part of the state’s Safe and Sound Bridge Improvement Program, which will replace or repair 802 bridges across the state through 2013. MoDOT will replace 23 other bridges in the region (a 12-county area that includes the 20th District). In addition to the projects in Douglas County, two projects have been completed in Greene County, and bridge replacements are planned in Webster, Greene, and Christian counties. A list of bridges that are scheduled to be a part of the program are listed here.
Employment Opportunities for Young Missourians
The State Parks Youth Corps is now encouraging Missourians ages 17-21 to sign up for its summer youth program. The experience allows young Missourians to gain work skills, experience Missouri’s beautiful outdoors, and earn some money at the same time.
This program has been popular in the past and employs hundreds of young people in the state. Job duties can include building trails, leading tours, excavating historical sites, and designing marketing campaigns.
Visit www.thinkoutside.mo.gov to sign up or find out more information.
Welcome to Your State Capitol
I was pleased to welcome several groups of visitors to the Capitol this week. These included:
* Local school board members and superintendents
* Gary Don Letterman, the Webster County Recorder and Cheryl Dawson, the Greene County Recorder
* Several local pastors visiting through the Capitol Commission, a national Christian organization
Common Sense Legislation Moving Forward
While we are spending more time on the Senate floor debating legislation, a lot of our work is still completed in committees. I serve on the Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee. This week, we talked about several common sense bills focusing on insurance.
Senate Bill 92 is legislation that would make it easier for employers to find the most cost-effective health insurance policy. The bill would create uniform insurance application forms to be used by all insurers for group health insurance policies (except small employer health plans). This provision would make it easier for employers to apply for group health insurance policies, which often require different, complicated application forms. By creating a uniform application process, employers would be able to find the best deal for the best price.
Senate Bill 181 is legislation that would apply to motor vehicle insurance. The bill would reinstate the Motorist Insurance Identification Database program, which expired on June 30, 2007. The reinstated database program would be a program used by the Missouri Highway Patrol to verify compliance with the motor vehicle financial responsibility laws. The program would help Missouri Highway Patrol officers quickly and easily identify uninsured drivers and get them off the road.
On the floor of the Senate this week, we discussed Senate Bill 108. The bill would extend a provision already in law that is set to expire. The General Assembly passed a measure in 2009 to require home builders to offer buyers an option for the installation of fire sprinklers, allowing the consumer the choice to install or decline to install fire sprinkler systems. Without the legislation, the 2009 International Residential Code would have mandated the installation of fire sprinklers in all newly constructed homes, increasing home building costs in a time when the market was hurting. Senate Bill 108 would extend the current law, giving consumers the option to install sprinkler systems until Dec. 31, 2019.
If you have any questions or comments about this or any other matter regarding your state government, please feel free to contact me at (573) 751-1503; you are also welcome to e-mail me at email@example.com.