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Opinion: Taking steps to end the costly border war with Kansas

Recently, the Missouri Senate approved Senate Bill 182, commonly referred to as the “border war bill.” This legislation reinstates the ban on certain economic incentives for businesses moving from Douglas, Johnson, Miami or Wyandotte Counties, to the Kansas City Metropolitan area, and vice versa. By banning these incentives, we are helping end a costly border war between states fighting for businesses that are simply shuffling across state lines looking for a tax break. By moving a matter of miles or even less, these businesses are making millions, and we cannot allow this disastrous policy to continue. The border war has cost Missouri $151 million over the past decade, preventing real, sustained economic growth and draining our state of valuable economic incentives with no net new jobs to show for it.

Senate Bill 182 will now begin to move through the Missouri House of Representatives. I believe passing SB 182 is imperative to ending a burdensome and costly economic development scheme that has done little to benefit our state. I look forward to working to pass SB 182 out of the Missouri General Assembly in the near future.

Additionally, I would like to bring to your attention that the lieutenant governor’s office is accepting nominations for their 2019 Senior Service Award. The lieutenant governor’s Senior Service Award began in 2005 to promote the positive accomplishments Missouri’s senior citizens have made in their local communities. Hundreds of seniors have been honored with this award, and we hope to continue to honor exceptional seniors this year as well. In order to be nominated, individuals must be at least 60 years old and volunteer a minimum of 25 hours per year. A nomination form can be found here, and the deadline to submit is March 28. I encourage you to nominate a qualified senior citizen in our community, and I look forward to recognizing some of our state’s best senior volunteers for their hard work.

Lastly, I wanted to make you aware of some upcoming construction work in our area. MoDOT will begin work at the I-435 and I-70 Interchange beginning March 10. This new configuration will provide an opportunity to make additional safety improvements, including full bridge replacements, removal of left exits, improvements to loop ramp configuration and congestion relief. While construction goes on, motorists can expect to see significant ramp closures and lane width reductions. Beginning in March, crews will close the following ramps until December 2020:

· Westbound I-70 loop ramp to southbound I-435 – the signed detour will use westbound I-70 to Manchester to turn around on eastbound I-70 to southbound I-435.
· Eastbound I-70 loop ramp to northbound I-435 – the signed detour will use US 40 starting near 31st Street to northbound I-435.
· On-ramp from Manchester to westbound I-70.
· I-70 eastbound exit ramp to Manchester.

Traffic will be impacted along northbound I-435 to westbound I-70, southbound I-435 to eastbound I-70 and Blue Ridge Cutoff. Construction may impact your daily travel, so drivers are encouraged to plan ahead and leave early. Remember that all work zones are no phone zones, and you will need to slow down and pay attention while driving in these areas.