It was a long week this week. We talked about several tough issues including local control of the St. Louis police department, nuclear power and dog breeding.
Since the Civil War the state has controlled the St. Louis Police Department. I have mixed feelings about this. When I was mayor I would not have wanted the state to control our police department in Farmington, but police officers in the city of St. Louis do not want the control to go back to what they perceive is a corrupt aldermanic government. I don’t think this bill will pass.
We worked for a long time on adjustments to the so called “puppy mill” bill. I have said from the beginning that when the description of this legislation went to the voters that it was not well written and I still feel this way. Some of the provisions in the bill would put unfair burdens on legitimate dog breeders in the state. The majority of people in my district did not vote for it and essentially we can’t limit good breeders who are doing a good job. This is nearly a billion dollar industry and the state can’t be putting businesses out of business.
In the bill we added that veterinarians need to visit these licensed breeders at least two times a year; that the breeder has to have exercise programs for the animals; and the facility and treatment of the animals has to be humane. Our changes actually go further than the original Prop B by going after non-licensed breeders who jeopardize the safety of puppies and dogs. Currently, unlicensed operations go without any regulation. Now our challenge is to enforce this.
On Wednesday night I sat through a seven hour committee hearing regarding the second nuclear plant in Missouri. This is very contentious and it will be very expensive. Every electric provider is supporting the legislation, but we have to have consumer protections to make sure the cost associated with this is justifiable and that the consumers don’t pay an exorbitant amount when the plant is built.
Currently 80% of Missouri’s electric comes from coal fired plants and the EPA is about to crack down even more on emissions. We need some alternative energy sources to protect our future.
Summer may not be right around the corner, but with weather warming, work on our next Missouri State Fair is underway. This week, the entertainment lineup for the fair was announced. You can see some of the recently released details by visiting www.mostatefair.com. There are links to the entertainment, daily highlights, and special events taking place this year from August 11 to 21.
Next week we will be working on the supplemental budget for the current budget year and probably debating Right to Work legislation.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Engler: We can't limit good breeders
Explaining the push to change Proposition B, which was approved by Missouri voters last year, Sen. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, notes perceived flaws in the proposition: