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The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

Nixon vetoes transportation bill because of “slave rock” concerns UPDATED

07/11/2013 2:03 PM

07/11/2013 2:04 PM

Gov. Jay Nixon

has vetoed a bill renaming a portion of I-70 in Montgomery County, about 60 miles east of Columbia.

Senate bill 43 would have renamed a part of the highway as “Graham’s Picnic Rock Highway.” A big rock sits in the middle of the I-70 median there.

In his veto message, Nixon says the rock in question has been known as “Slave Rock” because slaves were once allegedly bought and sold on the site.

“This designation would have elevated one history of the site above all others, thereby defining this landmark and its historical significance for generations to come,” Gov. Nixon said in a news release. “This attempt to erase the name ‘Slave Rock’ from this site, without any public debate, cannot become law.”

But SB 43 is about a lot more than just renaming a highway. It’s a transportation bill that, among others things, changes several state DUI and DWI laws.

We’ll take a closer look at those parts and update the story.

UPDATE: The governor’s office says the DUI provisions, and almost all of the other transportation-related parts of SB 43, were included in separate bills that were passed and signed by Nixon.

That means the “Slave Rock” parts of the bill are the focus of the veto.

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