Eight counties | 36 cities | one region

a voluntary council of local governments
serving the missouri meramec area.

State legislators visit MRPC

For immediate release

For more information, contact
Bonnie Prigge at (573) 265-2993

ST JAMES—The Meramec Regional Planning Commission board was joined by five state legislators serving constituents within the region for its December 11 meeting.
Sen. Dan Brown, Rep. Paul Fitzwater, Rep. Tom Hurst, Rep. Steve Lynch and Rep. Keith Frederick each spoke to the board about their views on current legislative issues, and the board shared its 2015 legislative priorities.
Each year, the MRPC board compiles a list of legislative priorities it considers important to the region and delivers those priorities to the legislators who serve residents of the region.
The top priorities for 2015, as voted by MRPC board members are:

• In regional transportation: If new construction funds becomes available, MRPC encourages the development of statewide corridors and supports the four-laning of highways 63 and 50, and MRPC encourages legislators to explore all options of state and federal funding for transportation projects.
• In regional economic development: MRPC supports financial incentives to encourage the expansion of existing industries and entrepreneurship and to attract out-of-state and foreign businesses to Missouri.
• In health care and social services: MRPC supports legislation that allows school districts and other governmental entities to join employee pools for health care.

• In environmental issues: MRPC encourages the state to expand and continue state loan and grant programs to improve water system and sewage and treatment facilities and encourages the Department of Natural Resources to make available additional funding mechanisms for small, rural communities as well as on-site systems for homeowners.
• In education: MRPC requests that the state legislature ensure rural areas receive their fair share of education dollars.
• In local government: MRPC supports full funding of state mandates of local governments.
The board approved the full list of priorities during the board meeting. A report detailing all of MRPC’s legislative priorities will be delivered to all legislators representing residents of the region in early February.
Topics discussed by area legislators in attendance included Medicaid expansion, the importance of state support for Fort Leonard Wood, a statewide patient information database among doctors and medical facilities and transportation funding.
In other business, the MRPC board:

• Approved a ranking of transportation needs within the region, as recommended by the Transportation Advisory Committee;
• Approved a ranking of Transportation Alternatives Program requests as recommended by the TAC;
• Agreed to move the February 2015 meeting of the TAC and MRPC board to Feb. 19 to avoid conflict with a statewide county commissioner training;
• Agreed to move the MRPC Annual Dinner to the third week in October in 2015; and
• Were encouraged to complete the federal legislative priorities survey as federal congressional leaders are invited to attend the January meeting.
Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 21, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.
To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion.