The Missouri House of Representatives came under scrutiny after a House committee held a meeting at the Jefferson City Country Club. Chair Lyndall Fraker’s Utility Infrastructure Committee was scheduled to meet at the Jefferson City Country Club Wednesday night, but was relocated to one of the House hearing rooms and Fraker told The Missouri Times exactly why.
1. I understand earlier today you chose to move the location of the committee hearing to the Capitol. Can you walk us through your decision?
We decided to bring the meeting back to the Capitol because it had become more about the location and the food rather than what we were trying to accomplish which was getting to know everyone on the committees and learning about the utilities industry.
2. Do you support Speaker Diehl’s decision to end the practice of off site committee meetings all together?
Yes, however, we still hope to take some field trips to visit power plants or other facilities that involve utilities.
3. Going forward will committees be able to hold hearings in other parts of the state as they previously have?
I haven’t spoken to the Speaker about that, but if a regional issue comes up that would require it then I would hope so if it deemed necessary.
4. Are you in favor of including a ban on these types of hearing being included in a ethics reform bill?
All suggestions should be considered and reviewed.
5. Can you explain how bills will move through the utilities committee with the new committee structure?
They will be referred to the standing committees first by the speaker and the first hearing will occur there. Witnesses will testify here. If it passes then it will go to the select committee and be heard again. This should help to make sure the bills are ready to be brought to the floor for debate.
6. What are some of the issues you hope to exec bills out on this year?
So far only three bills have been assigned to our committee. I look forward to advancing legislation that will help the citizens of Missouri in keeping their utility costs as low as possible.
7. Are you and Senator Kehoe working together on legislation or are you both advancing different priorities?
We haven’t discussed our priorities much yet but we will as bills become assigned to our committees I’m sure.
8. What is the first bill or series of bills you expect to send to the floor this session?
I do not have a utility bill yet that has been assigned to our committee that I am pushing at this time but I’m sure bills are coming soon that deal with aging infrastructure.