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Capitol Report January 12, 2013 Update from...
Capitol Report January 12, 2013 Update from Senator Will Kraus
January 12, 2013
Transportation-Related Bills For 2013 Session
State Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit,
recently filed four bills for the upcoming
session related to transportation and automobiles.
Senate Bill 102 will add catalytic convertors to language in previously passed legislation that tracks the sale of potentially stolen property. The bill will require junk dealers to obtain identification from those selling used catalytic convertors, similar to the rules for selling copper wire.
“In 2008, I helped pass legislation to limit the theft of copper wire by requiring a record of all related sales. Now, with the increase in theft of catalytic convertors in the state, it is time to put the same requirements on the sale of these items,” said Sen. Kraus.
Senate Bill 103 will extend a current incentive for building alternative fuel stations and add an incentive for companies to convert their fleets to natural gas.
“The current tax credit for building alternative fuel stations went largely unused, primarily because not enough conversions are conducted. Several states have also incentivized conversions, and I think that could make a significant difference,” said Sen. Kraus.
Senate Bill 104 will remove the requirement to have a front license plate on most vehicles in Missouri. Several neighboring states already have a one-plate requirement.
“Estimates show we could save as much as $2.5 million per year by removing this requirement,” said Sen. Kraus. “I am hopeful that this will be the year we can get this proposal to the floor for a worthwhile debate.”
Senate Bill 108 will send all proceeds of automated traffic enforcement cameras to the local school district where the cameras are located.
“Cities are still adding red light and speed cameras and profiting millions of dollars from these machines. While they say safety is the main concern, studies are mixed on the effectiveness of these devices,” said Sen. Kraus. “This legislation makes sure the cities are really after safety, and not a backdoor revenue increase.”
Bills to Help Military Members and Veterans in Missouri
State Sen. Will Kraus also filed several bills for the 2013 session to make Missouri more military friendly.
Senate Bill 116 will create a new system for allowing military members stationed overseas to vote. This legislation will help ensure each military vote counts.
“It is too easy for service members serving overseas, particularly in war zones, to miss the window to vote by absentee ballot,” said Sen. Kraus. “I voted from overseas while in Iraq, and I know that even a few days delay can invalidate your ballot. We need to make it easier and be more flexible in counting the votes of those who are serving their country.”
Senate Bill 117 will allow veterans who recently returned home to waive residency requirements for in-state tuition at Missouri colleges and universities. Often, veterans returning to Missouri, or veterans stationed here who wish to stay, have to pay the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition under the G.I. Bill.
“Missouri can be a state that welcomes new veterans to our higher education system,” said Sen. Kraus.
“Once they attend school here, they are likely to stay in Missouri and be a productive part of our economy.”
Senate Bill 118 will authorize veterans’ treatment courts and allow jurisdictional transfers so veterans who don’t live in an area with a veterans’ treatment court can move their case. Much like the very successful drug court program, veterans’ treatment courts can focus on the real issues and give the defendant an opportunity to leave the court system in better shape.
“Often, the problems facing veterans who find themselves in the legal system are very specific and very easy to treat,” said Sen. Kraus. “Veterans’ treatment courts have worked well throughout the country and in some areas of our state. This legislation will help create more of these courts and allow those who don’t live near one to easily seek one out.”
Senator Kraus is vice chairman of the Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission.
Please feel free to contact the 8th Senatorial District’s Capitol office with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and trying to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at 573-751-1464, or e-mail at email@example.com.
Polls officially closed at 7 p.m. on the proposed 89-cent tax increase for the Lee's Summit R-7 School District.