The City of Springfield has identified major priorities on matters to come before state and federal lawmakers. These priorities have been approved by members of Springfield, Missouri City Council.
The following priorities are established for the 2013 legislative session:
- Economic development and fighting poverty
- Protecting the natural environment
- Maintaining local control and avoiding unfunded mandates
- Improving public health
- Maintaining public safety and Improving the Criminal Justice System
Protect the Natural Environment
Promote the efficient use of energy, seek alternate energy sources, and promote local food protection.
Protect our Air and Water Resources
We endorse the efforts of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, oppose cuts to their budget, and oppose any effort to further reduce funding to DNR that would result in unfunded mandates being placed on cities. The City supports enforcement of current environmental laws, with consideration given to the economic feasibility and affordability of such regulations. The City supports efforts to develop/assure a long-term regional water supply and infrastructure.
Maintain Local Control & Avoid Unfunded Mandates
Maintain Local Control
Preemption of local laws, including local taxing authority, limits the ability of local governments to deal quickly and effectively with problems which are of concern to local citizens. Decisions on which revenues should be collected should be left to local voters and officials who are the most accountable to the constituencies paying the tax and receiving the services.
Avoid Unfunded Mandates
The City requests that the State not impose any unfunded mandates on local governments. While the State will likely be tempted to force unfunded mandates on local governments and other entities as it wrestles with budgetary shortfalls, please consider that all of these entities are also grappling with their own budgetary shortfalls.
Red-Light Cameras & Efficient Traffic Enforcement
The State should allow municipalities the latitude to decide whether and how to enforce red-light traffic cameras and other traffic enforcement initiatives. The requirement of reasonable, technical, and legal standards by the State, however, is encouraged.
The City encourages the legislature to ensure that State funds are distributed fairly throughout the State. To assist in covering the anticipated State budget shortfalls and fund other needed programs, the City supports the following revenue enhancement initiative:
• Eliminate discounts for timely payment of taxes and change from a 2% on-time-payment discount to a 2% late-payment penalty.
The City opposes any attempts by the State to preempt local zoning and building or fire codes, particularly with regard to billboard regulations and right-of-way uses.
The City opposes any attempt by the State to preempt or change the current meet-and-confer law. The City should have final say regarding all personnel issues associated with its employees.
The City opposes any additional presumption clauses relating to certain injuries or illnesses that have a negative impact on the City's liability. The City believes the current State statutes provide adequate guidelines and remedies for work-related illnesses and injuries.
Hazardous Materials Cost Recovery
The City opposes the State usurping municipalities' ability to recover costs for providing hazardous materials responses.
Second Injury Fund
The City supports the Second Injury Fund remaining in existence, but becoming more limited in scope, and a reasonable funding mechanism being created to address pending claims and existing awards. The State legislature should statutorily fix the Second Injury Fund, rather than deferring to a mandated resolution from the judiciary.
Preemption of local franchise agreements, with the resulting limitations upon a municipality's ability to make local taxation decisions, franchise fee determinations, and customer service standards has resulted in local concerns of access, public awareness, and responsiveness. This area is rapidly changing due to technology and market forces. As such, decisions should be influenced by input to state and local governments on policy and legislative actions.