Missouri leaders are now a month into the 2018 legislative session, and there’s a long list of potential laws under consideration.
It’s a wide range of bills that Southwest Missouri lawmakers proposed. They touch on everything from school holidays and how long crimes can be prosecuted to highway traffic and driverless cars.
“I passed a gentleman on the interstate and just happened to glance over, and he’s reading a book. And I thought man he needs to be in an autonomous vehicle if he’s going to read a book,” says MO Rep. Bill Reiboldt-R.
It prompted Rep. Bill Reiboldt to sponsor House Bill 2267 which would add rules governing automated driving systems to state law. Highway traffic is also a focus for Rep. Charlie Davis who proposed a measure allowing semi truck platooning.
“It’s basically the lead truck controls the braking and accelerator for the subsequent vehicles so it’s not any different than cruise control in a car, there’s still a driver behind the seat there’s still a truck driver that’s in control,” says Charlie Davis.
Meanwhile another bill from Rep. Bill Lant would eliminate prevailing wage as a requirement for some construction projects. Carthage State Rep. Cody Smith proposed a measure that would allow Missouri voters to cast an absentee ballot without giving a reason. And a bill from Rep. Mike Kelly would give public schools permission to display scenes and symbols traditionally associated with winter and spring holidays.
Higher ed would also be impacted if HB 2348 changed the current cap limiting increases in college tuition to the Consumer Price Index, a move Missouri Southern leaders are interested in.
“We haven’t been able to raise tuition any more than CPI for ten years now, and there were a few years we were,” says MSSU Pres. Alan Marble.
There are dozens of bills from Southwest Missouri lawmakers under consideration. It’s still pretty early to know which have a chance of success – and there’s still more than three months to go in the session.