Propane prices are still an issue all over our state, and Missouri government is responding. Representative Jay Houghton has offered a resolution calling on the United States Department of Justice to investigate allegations of price gouging.
Shortly after it was filed, Speaker Tim Jones referred HCR 18 to the House Utilities Committee where it is expected to be heard next week. The resolution specifically calls on the justice department to investigate the price increase of propane, the price disparity of propane among storage facilities, and the supply shortage of propane available to consumers.
"The huge, unexpected price increase has been an enormous burden on many Missouri families and farmers who want nothing more than to have access to affordable heating during these bitterly cold months," said Jones, R-Eureka. "We want to take every action possible to protect Missourians from what many fear is blatant price gouging. We know our local suppliers are not at fault, but we want the Justice Department to get to the root of this problem as quickly as possible."
The prompt action by the Missouri House comes in response to a dramatic spike in propane pricing that resulted in per gallon rates tripling in the span of a week. The Speaker and Representative Houghton wasted no time in the emergency situation and moved the resolution quickly. The House Utilities Committee heard the resolution yesterday and voted it out Do Pass.
Also, Governor Nixon announced an additional $14.9 million in federal funds through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. This will allow the administration to double the amount each household can receive for propane assistance from a maximum of $450 per year to a maximum of $900 per year.
Approximately 245,000 Missouri households, or 10 percent, rely on propane to heat their homes.
Tuesday morning I presented HB 1468 to the House Veterans Committee. This bill will add 501 (c) 19 veteran organizations to the short list of exempted groups required to provide workers compensation. Under this exemption, volunteer workers will not be included in workers compensation coverage.
As we know, many of the local veteran organizations around the state operate on small budgets. Many people volunteer their time to further the goals of the organizations and enjoy the fellowship with the veterans. They certainly seek no compensation, nor wish to be a burden on their local group. HB 1468 insures this will not be a burden that results from the good deeds of volunteers.
Fortunately, this passed out of committee, Do Pass and as a consent bill. A consent bill cannot be amended on the floor, only presented, debated, and voted up or down. I am confident it will be approved by the House and sent to the Senate for approval, all in quick order.
Unfortunately, we are in the midst of some winter weather that is inconvenient at times. Please be careful when driving, leaving your house, or shoveling snow. MoDOT is working diligently to keep our major roads open, and I know the county highway departments in the 51st District are also working hard and long hours to keep traffic moving. Just remember to slow down and allow for some extra time when you are on the road. Safety is a necessity!
It is an honor to serve the 51st District in the Missouri House of Representatives. Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our
state government and the quality of life for all Missourians. My telephone number is 573-751-2204 or you may contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for working me to make Missouri a great place to live.