Rowland Report 3.15.12
Greetings from your State Capitol. Spring Break is upon us and I believe everyone is ready to take a short break from all the stress that has been building since we started this session in January. The great weather has also caused a stir in most of us to “get outside” and enjoy Mother Nature and God’s wonderment.
I have received several telephone calls and e-mails about the induction of Rush Limbaugh in the Hall of Famous Missourians. I would like to be able to report that our Representative body has a say in this, but I can’t. The Speaker of the House has that privilege to induct anyone they want without having the House body approve the inductee. At the time of this article, the Speaker has indicated he is going ahead with this induction.
I have also received several inquiries about the electric rates going up in our district if HB 1316 were passed. The following is a response from a representative of the bill sponsor.
Nuclear power may be Missouri’s best option for keeping electric rates low in the long term. Just as importantly, as our existing energy infrastructure continues to age and as federal regulations increasingly drive up the cost of fossil fuels, nuclear power may be the best way to assure that Missourians have the affordable energy they need to power their homes and businesses in the future.
A nuclear site permit will allow Missouri to keep this important option open. The cost of obtaining the permit is approximately $2 per year for the average residence.
The bill contains strong consumer protections. For instance, under the terms of the legislation, the $2 per year can only be collected after a permit is obtained -more than three years from now! And there are caps in the legislation to ensure the cost does not exceed the $2 per year.
Some special interests have tried to mischaracterize the nuclear site permit legislation as a repeal of the law that requires energy improvements to be fully completed and in operation before the costs of the improvement can be included in electric rates. This is a gross distortion of the truth. The bill does not repeal this law and it does not deal with anything other than Missouri’s ability to obtain a site permit from the federal government. But special interests that benefit from other forms of energy-or that have a vested interest in keeping energy policies exactly as they are today – are doing their best to kill the bill by raising false arguments.
Unless Missouri obtains a permit, low cost state-of-the-art nuclear power is likely not an option. We need this legislation to keep our energy options open, so that we can be sure that our energy infrastructure is as reliable and cost-efficient as possible. This is obviously important to present-day consumers. But it is also important to businesses and employers who might consider bringing new jobs to Missouri. Businesses can’t succeed here without reliable low-cost energy. The nuclear sit permit bill is a vital step toward making sure we can provide the energy they need.
The following bills were approved on the House floor this week:
HB 1349 will help attract more business to Missouri by allowing a national bank or trust company created under the laws of this or any other state or nation to complete bulk transfers of irrevocable life insurance trusts. The current law makes it difficult to make any of those transfers as they are completed on a “one-by-one” basis.
HCS HB 1072 will make it easier for doctors to volunteer their services to those in need. It will relieve the need for an additional license or certification for a licensed health care practitioner who voluntarily provides health care services if those services are within his or her scope of practice. This would also require a sponsoring organization to register with the Department of Health and Senior Services for a fee of $50. The fee may be waived if the organization is providing services in the case of a natural or manmade disaster.
HB 1037 will authorize commissioners of road districts to provide compensation for their services of up to $100 per month plus all expenses incurred in transacting business of the district. The compensation of a commissioner cannot change during the time of his or her term of office. Currently, only compensation for incurred expenses is authorized.
HCS HB 1193 will change the laws regarding the dispensing of controlled substances and establishes the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Act. It creates a monitoring program that allows the sharing of information among providers. Some individuals visit numerous medical professionals in order to gain access to multiple prescriptions for controlled substances. The bill provides a tool to help curb and control this current problem in Missouri.
HCS HB 1319, 1045 & 1369 will lower the age at which a person can obtain a concealed carry endorsement from 21 to 18 years of age if the person is a member of the United States Armed Forces, honorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces, a member of a military academy or a member of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps; is a citizen of the United States; and has assumed residency or is stationed in Missouri.
SS SCS SB 572 states that co-employees shall be released from all liability for workplace injuries or death for which compensation is recoverable under the workers’ compensation statutes. However, the employee shall not escape liability when the employee engages in an affirmative negligent act purposefully and dangerously caused or increased the risk of injury. This bill was Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed and now awaits signature of the Governor.
Sorry for the length of this article but needed to report all this information to the district to keep everyone current on what’s happening.
As always it is a privilege to represent you in State Government.