Coalition Report

By Ed Smith
Policy Director
Missouri Coalition
for the Environment

Legislative Wrap-up: Attacks on Solar Industry Stopped & More

A major priority of the House of Representatives was to increase the cost of solar panels for no good reason. House Bill 340 was drafted to allow your electric provider to increase your fixed cost rate by up to 75% if you owned or purchased solar panels. It was eventually amended to remove the retroactive punishment to current solar users and eventually died in the Senate.

Year after year, Senator Munzlinger introduces legislation that would block a corporation from nuisance lawsuits if it has an operating permit from the Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Agency, or Army Corps of Engineers. Senate Bill 76 was intended to stop lawsuits against factory farms by neighbors whose quality of life is undermined due to constant foul odors and beyond. MCE continues to oppose this likely unconstitutional legislation and we’re happy to report it did not pass.

MCE thanks Sen. Chappelle-Nadal for her leadership in securing $1,000,000 in the budget sent to Governor Greitens for a buyout of homes closest to the smoldering and radioactive West Lake Landfill. Unfortunately, Senate Bill 22 that contained the enabling legislation for the buyout did not pass. The buyout bill was amended to require the sale of three new state parks and parcels of land intended to expand Onondaga Cave State Park, Taum Sauk State Park, Johnson’s Shut Ins State Park and more. An attempt to repeal the sale of the state parks failed and the underlying bill also didn’t pass.

A bill that did pass is Senate Bill 35, which requires excessive public notice if the DNR or Office of Administration acquires land anywhere in the state. The excessive part includes written notice to every single elected official representing any part of a county the land is to be purchased; including anyone from an elected county coroner to the President of the United States. Our concern with the excessive public notice is that it could drive up cost of acquiring land for the state and making it more expensive for taxpayers. The bill was made more reasonable by waiving the excessive public notice requirements for land purchases that do not exceed $250,000 or 60 acres.

MCE thanks everyone who engaged during the legislative process.

It’s not too late to pick up the phone to defend clean water, support urban agriculture, or
help families surrounding the smoldering and radioactive West Lake Landfill.
Visit our website at www.moenvironment.org to see how you can make a difference today!