Missouri must take action on several priority issues in 2019 for our rural areas to remain vibrant and grow into the 21st century.
Free & Fair Trade
Missouri’s elected representatives should advocate increased foreign market access and support free and fair trade. Missouri’s agricultural economy exports massive amounts of products to foreign countries. This trade brings billions of dollars back to our economy. Representatives should push to enact the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). They should work to open new markets and fix existing issues with our trading partners.
Broadband Internet Access
Broadband internet access is essential for tomorrow’s economy. Missouri should appropriate at least $5 million to the Missouri Rural Broadband Development Fund in 2019. This would empower the state to coordinate efforts that will bring Missouri up to modern standards.
Transportation & Infrastructure
Missouri’s transportation system needs more funding. Our rural farm-to-market roads and bridges need it the most. Missouri should approve Governor Parson’s proposal to issue bonds to fix our worst bridges. We must also create a workable plan to achieve a permanent funding increase.
Wind / Solar Farm
Taxes paid by wind and solar farms will now stay in the local community, thanks to the Missouri legislature’s passage of HB 220. Local schools, fire departments, libraries and more deserve these revenues, and they will no longer be shipped away to the state coffers.
Animals deserve to be cared for under rules based in science, not reactionary regulations. The Missouri legislature passed SB 391, ensuring animal agriculture regulations will be governed by the Department of Natural Resources, not a patchwork of unscientific county rules.
Opioid abuse or overdose has affected one in three Missouri families. Medical professionals need information to make informed decisions about these drugs. We need a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) database that protects privacy but prevents doctor shopping and over-prescription of medications.
Initiative Petition Reform
Rural Missourians deserve to have their voices heard in the initiative petition process. Missouri law should ensure that all parts of the state are adequately represented in signature collection.
Clean Water Rule
Clean water is critical for Missouri, and clear rules help farmers follow the law and keep water clean. The EPA’s Clean Water Rule provides clarity for farmers and should be fully enacted.
Feral hogs are a growing threat to Missouri, destroying crops, pastures and forests. Missouri must continue to develop and accelerate a unified plan to eradicate this pest from our state.
Eminent domain powers should only be used for proven public needs. Private investors who do not serve Missouri citizens should not have the power of eminent domain. Projects like the Grain Belt Express, as currently proposed, should not have eminent domain power.