The Buzz

Uber, guns and term limits on the agenda in Missouri Capitol

The Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City.
The Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City.

Everything from regulating new methods to hitch a ride across town to whether you should be able to tote a pistol while using the old methods to hitch a ride across town are on the agenda this week at the Missouri Capitol.

Here are five issues we’re watching in the days ahead.

Monday

Last year, vehicle-for-hire companies like Uber and Lyft tried to convince lawmakers to set statewide standards for things like fees and safety requirements. They fell short after Kansas City leaders struck a compromise with Uber on a local ordinance. But now, both companies have hired an army of lobbyists and Missouri legislators are once again contemplating state standards that would undo Kansas City’s local ordinance. The House Emerging Issues Committee will hold a public hearing on the bill, HB2330, Monday evening upon adjournment.

Tuesday

The Legislature’s continuing effort to clean up after a year of scandal continues Tuesday morning, as the Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee holds a public hearing on a pair of ethics reform measures. The first, HB2203, would prohibit elected officials from investing campaign funds in anything except short-term treasury instruments or short-term bank certificates. While not typical, after House Speaker Steve Tilley resigned his seat in the legislature to become a lobbyist and political consultant he invested $900,000 of his campaign funds in a bank in his hometown of Perryville.

A second ethics proposal, HB2226 would impose requirements for personal financial disclosure and restrictions on conflicts of interest to private advisers of executive branch appointed by the governor. Both will be heard Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Also Tuesday, the House Elections Committee will consider a bill expanding term limits to include all statewide officeholders. Currently, only the governor and treasurer are prohibited from seeking office after serving two terms. This bill, HJR88, would extend that to include attorney general, lieutenant governor and secretary of state. The hearing is scheduled for 8:15 a.m.

Wednesday

The Senate Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety will consider a pair of bills barring texting while driving. Both bills, SB569 and SB821, would expand current prohibitions on using hand-held devices while driving for those under 21 to everyone. The hearing is scheduled for 8:15 a.m.

Also Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence will hold a public hearing on legislation that would allow concealed weapons on public transportation systems and unloaded guns on public buses. The bill, SB782, does prohibit a loaded gun on a public bus and does not apply to Amtrak or any partnership that Amtrak engages in. The hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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