Sunday, December 13, 2015

All About Missouri This Week

Bill Prefiled to Ban Texting and Driving

Missouri State Senator David Pearce has prefiled a bill that would prohibit the use by all drivers of hand-held mobile phones to send, read or write text messages. Find out more here.

Gubernatorial Candidates Discuss Tranportation Funding (Just a Little)

So far, Missouri’s candidates for governor have provide few details about how the state will pay to maintain roads. Missouri is 7th among the states in the size of its transportation system, but 47th in state funding.

Candidate Catherine Hanaway suggested that the $200 million annually in state fuel tax revenues that is used to fund the Highway Patrol could be committed to transportation. The Highway Patrol would be funded from general revenue, though Hanaway’s plan does not provide specifics about how other general revenue-funded programs would be cut or how general revenue would be increased. You can find more about Hanaway’s proposal here.

The state General Assembly is also looking at the issue. A prefiled bill (HB 1381) would raise the state fuel tax from 17 cents to 19 cents per gallon.

First Woman Engineering Dean at University of Missouri

My alma mater, the University of Missouri College of Engineering, has named its 11th dean, Elizabeth G. Loboa. She is the first woman to hold the position. Loboa has a background in biomedical engineer. Before coming to Mizzou, she held a joint appointment at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.

Highway Commissioner Appointed

Gov. Jay Nixon appointed Hannibal-area lawyer John Briscoe to serve on the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission. The appointment must be confirmed by the Senate.

Springfield Buying Wind Energy

City Utilities of Springfield announced it will be buying energy from a wind farm to be built north of Oklahoma City, OK. The wind farm is being built by Duke Energy Renewables and is designed to produce 200 megawatts.

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