Hello Friends and Family,
Many of you received a survey from our office this week. Please take a few minutes to reply as the more information I have the better I can represent you, address our concerns and protect what is important to the 155th district. I thank you in advance for providing your responses. When the results are gathered we will notify you of them.
The Capitol was very busy this week with several groups meeting with their legislators. The White River Valley Electric Cooperatives was one of the groups in attendance. It’s such a pleasure to work with rural electric board members and staff who are dedicated to our rural co-ops. Pictured from left to right is Lyle Roland, Jim Kyle, Cy Murry, Jeff Hyatt, Cassie Cunningham and Devin Fisher.
The House of Representatives work included legislation to prohibit cell phones in prison (HB 1296) and improving security at the Capitol (HB 1521). We also debated two retirement system bills (HB 1934 and HB 1467). HB 1934 exempts information pertaining to the salaries and benefits of the executive director and employees of the Board of the Public-School Retirement System of Missouri from being confidential. HB 1467 would expand the available contribution options by allowing employers to additionally elect a 2 percent or 6 percent contribution rate that all eligible employees would make to help pay for the retirement benefit.
In addition, we gave initial approval to a plan that would help make Missouri the first state in the nation to develop a high-speed Hyperloop system (HB 1963). This legislation will allow adding “tube transport system” to the list of projects that are eligible for public-private partnership.
Hyperloop is a new mode of transportation that is meant to move freight and people quickly and safely. Passengers or cargo would be transported in a Hyperloop pod and accelerate via electric propulsion in a low-pressure tube. The pod would float above the track using magnetic levitation and glide at speeds in excess of 600 miles per hour. A Hyperloop system in Missouri would allow users to travel from St. Louis to Kansas City in approximately 30 minutes.
Last year House Speaker Elijah Haahr formed the Special Blue-Ribbon Panel on Hyperloop to study the viability of developing the tube-based transportation system in Missouri. The panel produced a report that outlined specific steps to establish Missouri as the global epicenter for research and development of the core Hyperloop technology. The bill passed by the House is one of the steps necessary to allow Hyperloop to become a reality in Missouri.
The bill’s sponsor said, “This is an opportunity for our state to be innovative and forward-thinking on transportation. This is a chance for Missouri to put themselves on the map in the transportation innovation space.” The bill would enable the state to partner with private organizations for the project. An amendment added on the House floor would ensure the power of eminent domain is not used to obtain land for the construction of the Hyperloop system.
Supporters hope to build a 15-mile track to test the feasibility of Hyperloop transportation, which would take 3 to 5 years to build. If successful, Missouri could begin construction on a full commercial route between St. Louis and Kansas City in 7 to 10 years.
The bill now requires another vote in the House. If it is given final approval it will move to the Senate for consideration.
As always, if you have any questions, or just want to visit please call. It is always nice to hear from home. Thank you for the opportunity to represent the great 155th District.
Please contact me at:
201 West Capitol Avenue
Jefferson City, MO 65101-6806