Mayors, cities and counties across Missouri endorse local control, oppose HB 722

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ST. LOUIS MAYOR Francis Slay signs a bill on Aug. 28 to raise the city's minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2018 as the bill's sponsor Shane Cohn and supporters look on. – Phillip Deitch photo

Jefferson City – In all corners of Missouri, mayors, city councils, and civic leaders are voicing opposition to House Bill 722, which would take away the power of cities and voters from making decisions that fit their needs.

HB 722 was vetoed by Governor Nixon, however, the legislature is considering overriding the veto when the body reconvenes for its annual Veto Session.

The following mayors and county executive have signed a joint statewide letter against HB 722, sent to legislators:

  • Mayor T.R. Dudley, Potosi
  • Mayor Nick Guccione, Wentzville
  • Mayor Sly James, Kansas City
  • Mayor Bob McDavid, Columbia
  • Mayor Len Pagano, St. Peters
  • Mayor Thomas Schneider, Florissant
  • Mayor Francis Slay, St. Louis
  • County Executive Steve Stenger, St. Louis County
  • Mayor Michael Todd, Grain Valley

 

From the Letter:

“As mayors of cities and towns across Missouri, we are writing to request that you sustain the veto of House Bill No. 722 (HB 722).  HB 722 is a misguided bill that interferes with local decisions on worker wages, employee benefit policies, and limits on plastic bags at grocery stores.”

In addition, the following mayors and councils have expressed public opposition, in the form of resolutions or letters, to HB 722:

Kansas City Mayor Sly James and
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay on June 5

“HB 722 is an attempt to limit freedom and deprive local government of the ability to adopt laws that reflect local priorities.”

Springfield Mayor Robert Stephens
June 15 letter to Governor Nixon

“The city of Springfield has consistently voiced its concern that local control currently allowed by state law be retained. Local governments are closer to their constituents and, as such, should retain authority to reflect the views of their constituents. ”

Grain Valley Mayor Mike Todd
letter to Reps. Jeanie Lauer
and Donna Pfautsch, Aug. 18

“As local elected officials, we are held accountable by our citizens and act on behalf of them to set policies that best suit our community. Our citizens are best served when those closest to the people have the ability to govern. The Grain Valley Board of Aldermen is much more responsive to the needs of the people.”

Blue Springs Mayor and City Council
resolution in opposition, passed on Aug. 24

“The City Council hereby requests the General Assembly to honor the intent and letter of the Missouri Constitution, as well as Missouri’s long history of local governance, and not enact legislation which impinges and diminishes the people’s rights of self governance.”

City of Kirksville Mayor and City Council
letter to Rep. Nate Walker

Kirksville passed a resolution in opposition to HB 722 on Aug. 31.

“We encourage you to support local control, and know that you understand should we make decisions our community does not support, we will not be re-elected. That is the power of democracy. Your support for local representation is needed.”

Columbia City Manager
To Governor Nixon

“For the record, in March, the City Council considered and withdrew a proposal to ban plastic shopping bags at some stores. Council members listened to the public, weighed the evidence, and said ‘no.’ Our local process worked. The larger question is: What’s the next-level target for state control?”

City of Arnold Letter to Missouri legislators

“The decisions you make can have dire consequences to how municipalities operate and function. Our citizens are best served when those governing closest to the people have the ability to do just that, govern. The local municipal or county government should be much more responsive to the needs of the people because, quite frankly, we govern closest to the people. "

Missouri Municipal League

“We believe it is not the role of the state legislature to limit   a municipality's ability to establish their own policy decisions."

(Progress Missouri)

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