It may be a busy six months for State Sen. Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, as he faces a re-election run while setting an aggressive legislative agenda for 2018.
As chair of the Senate transportation committee and spending the summer traveling the state with other lawmakers examining options for the state’s crumbling roadways, Schatz has filed a bill recommending the state gas tax be raised by a dime a gallon.
Schatz calls a gas tax increase simple mathematics and says the increase must be made to maintain Missouri’s largest asset, which is also the seventh largest in the country.
According to the bill language, the current Missouri gas tax is 17 cents per gallon, and that would increase to 27 cents per gallon.
Schatz said the 10-cent fuel tax would generate $400 million plus annually.
“Forty percent of that would be on the backs of nonresidents traveling through our state,” Schatz said. “Kansas, Kentucky and Tennessee have out-of-state travelers paying for their roads and bridges.”
In addition to the fuel tax bill, Schatz has prefiled 21 others for the legislative session which will begin in early January and other may come before the March filing deadlines.
In 2018 Schatz will be entering his final session of his first four-year term in the Senate and already has plans to run for re-election in November and then hopes to be elected Senate Pro Tempore by his peers for the 2019 session if he is successful in his re-election bid.
As last year, several of Schatz’ bills deal with labor, education and business laws including:
• SB599 — Modifies the law pertaining to prevailing wage.
• SB600 — Enacts new provisions relating to professional employer organizations.
• SB601 — Modifies provisions relating to maximum medical fees under workers’ compensation laws.
• SB663 — Allows for an appropriation to cooperate with political subdivisions on land clearance projects related to tourism infrastructure facilities.
• SB664 — Allows retailers of intoxicating liquors to transport products to and from a designated central warehouse.
• SB665 — Modifies the law relating to vacancies in the office of county commissioner.
• SB707 — Modifies provisions relating to vehicle sales.
• SB708 — Increases the minimum motor vehicle liability coverage a driver must carry for others’ property when operating a motor vehicle.
• SB709 — Modifies the process by which travel hardships are granted to public school pupils.
• SB735 — Modifies provisions relating to workers’ compensation premiums.
• SB736 — Creates new provisions related to conditioning eligibility for certain contracts.
• SB750 — Creates the offense of filing false documents.
• SB751 — Repeals the requirement for the Department of Transportation to participate in arbitration as a defendant at the request of the plaintiff in a tort claim.
• SB752 — Exempts vessels propelled by outboard jet motors and vessels not originally manufactured with adequate guards or railing from the provisions of prohibiting passengers from riding in certain areas of a boat.
• SB758 — Modifies provisions relating to discounts offered by manufacturers and retailers for purchasing nonalcoholic merchandise and intoxicating liquor.
• SB759 — Prohibits public higher education institutions from raising the tuition rate charged to Missouri resident undergraduate and graduate students for four years from the date the student enrolls at the institution.
• SB761 — Provides that any person convicted of poaching a turkey, white-tailed deer, black bear, or elk illegally may be required to provide restitution to the state.
• SB762 — Establishes the Narcotics Control Act.
• SB763 — Establishes a workers’ compensation claims database.
• SB764 — Prohibits public higher education institutions from requiring students or potential students complete the free application for federal student aid.
Schatz has gain feld a bill that authorizes the addition of Franklin County to the interstate compact creating the Bi-State Metropolitan Development District.