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Legislature passes bill providing more funding for utility training programs

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Senate truly agreed to and finally passed a House bill that would provide additional funding for utility training programs through the purchase of specialized license plates Wednesday afternoon. 

State Rep. Greg Sharpe

Championed by Republican Rep. Greg Sharpe, HB 831 allows Missourians to purchase specialty license plates with an Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives or Missouri Association of Municipal Utilities emblem for $25 per year in addition to the state’s one-time $15 fee for personalized plates. That money would be used to create or facilitate training lineman or utility worker training programs.

Sharpe said he “appreciated the Senate passing this” and specifically thanked Sen. Justin Brown “for helping it along.” Brown has sponsored a similar bill in the Senate.

“It’s not costing the state anything, and I thought it’s a good way to help them solve a problem, and it’s not going to cost taxpayers any money,” Brown previously told The Missouri Times.

As the legislative session draws to a close, tensions between the two chambers briefly escalated. Members of the Conservative Caucus in the Senate launched filibusters two days in a row, decrying two particular House committees for blocking Senate legislation while simultaneously stalling on a bill from the lower chamber regarding a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP).

A Senate version passed out of the House Rules – Legislative Oversight Committee earlier Wednesday — a fact that was not lost on the conservative senators.