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Boone County officials get ready for 2018 legislative season

The 2018 legislative season at the Missouri Capitol starts Jan. 3, but legislators have been prefiling bills since Dec. 1.

So far, more than 800 bills have been filed.

Boone County commissioners said they have briefly discussed what their 2018 legislative priorities will be. Although they haven’t discussed any specific bills they want to back or oppose, they said there are a few that seem to come up every year and some they want to ask their legislative representatives to file.

Janet Thompson, the Boone County commissioner designated to look at all of the prefiled bills, said transportation and jail funding are two the county always looks out for.

Thompson said legislators seem to keep filing bills that would take away the state funding for letter routes and make the counties pay for maintenance. She said if that were to happen, the county would go broke within the first quarter of the year.

According to past legislative session records, bills taking away funding of letter routes were filed in at least the last two sessions, but were not passed.

Thompson said it’s a similar situation with jail funding. Lawmakers file bills to take away state funding for the prisoners’ cost of living, even though they are the ones writing the laws to keep prisoners in the county jails, Thompson said.

A bill has yet to be filed about taking away transportation and jail funding, but bills can be filed until the session is over in May.

Thompson said if she doesn’t see a bill filed that the county is interested in, she will talk with the legislative representative of the area.

One bill in particular that Thompson said she wants to bring up is a countywide burn ban. She said the weather has been really dry and letting residents conduct open burns can be dangerous. She said she doesn’t want Boone County, or anywhere in Missouri, to look like California.

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