The 2017 Missouri legislative session doesn’t begin until January, but hundreds of pieces of legislation have been prefiled and await action in the General Assembly.
In the Senate, which has 34 senators, 178 bills have been filed since prefiling began on Dec. 1.
On top of that, 11 Senate joint resolutions have also been prefiled and are processed a bit differently than a piece of legislation, but still require a consensus of both chambers to pass.
Included in those Senate prefiled bills are three from State Sen. Dave Schatz, R- Sullivan.
His first of 2017 is SB 64, a companion bill with a House counterpart, which would dedicate a bridge over Boeuf Creek on Highway 100 in honor of MoDOT worker and New Haven resident Lyndon Ebker.
Ebker was killed by a motorist while directing traffic on the bridge as crews cleaned it last spring.
The second bill filed by Schatz is SB 65, which “exempts vessels propelled by outboard jet motors and vessels not originally manufactured with adequate guards or railing from the provisions prohibiting passengers from riding in certain areas of a boat.”
Schatz’ third prefiled bill is SB 66 and would “modify provisions of law relating to workers’ compensation.”
Despite its large size, Franklin County is served by only one state senator.
On the House side of the Capitol building, there were 103 bills filed in the first few days of prefiling.
Portions of Franklin County are represented by four different representatives, including Kirk Mathews, R-Pacific, Paul Curtman, R-Union, Nathan Tate, R-St.Clair, and Justin Alferman, R-Hermann.
Since prefiling opened last Thursday, Alferman filed two bills and so has his colleague Kirk Mathews. Both are entering their second term in the House.
As promised last summer, Alferman filed HB 61, which “designates a bridge on a portion of State Highway 100 in Franklin County as the “Lyndon Ebker Memorial Bridge.”
Alferman also filed HB 60, which “changes the laws regarding lobbyist expenditures.”
After teaming up on several bills last year, Kirk Mathews has already struck out on his own for 2017, filing two early bills.
The first, HB 111, “specifies the representation that collective bargaining units can provide within the bi-state development agency.”
His second early bill also deals with mass transportation and “establishes a regulatory system for transportation network companies.”
The 99th General Assembly will begin in earnest on Wednesday, Jan. 4, when al house members, including State Rep. Nathan Tate, R-St. Clair, will be sworn in along with 38 other new House members.
The Republican Party will maintain its overwhelming 117 to 46 majority over Democratic lawmakers.
The Senate will swear in six new members and will also hold a 25 Republican to 8 Democrat majority.
In the legislative branch, Incoming Republican Governor Eric Greitens will be sworn in on Monday, Jan. 9, at 10 a.m.