Representative Randy Railsback's Capitol Report
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo – Another week in Jefferson City was full of meetings, committee hearings, and intense floor debate.
This week my fellow House colleagues voted to pass House Bill 349, a piece of legislation that would create scholarship accounts for families that wish to pull their children from public schools to place them in privatized institutions. It was a contentious vote with rigorous floor debate, but finally the legislation passed 82-71. As a proud supporter of our public education system, I was one of those ‘No’ votes. My office received several calls and emails from educators and school administrators about this bill, and I agreed with their concerns. I firmly believe that we should not be funding private institutions with tax dollars meant for our public schools. While I understand the intent behind the legislation, I also understand that our schools need financial support to create the best educational programs possible for our communities.
The House also passed House Bill 527. This bill would prevent the use of eminent domain to take privately owned property from Missourians for use by the Grain Belt Express power line. The GBE is a wind-energy power line that would run from Kansas all the way to Indiana; unfortunately, the project was approved to use eminent domain to seize land if the owners refused to sell easements. However, this project is being developed by a private company. My colleagues and I strongly believe that private companies do not have legal authority to use eminent domain to profit off of Missouri citizens; if these companies want Missourians’ property, then they must negotiate in good faith for the legal and fair purchase of it. I was proud to be one of five co-sponsors of this bill, and I was very happy to see my fellow colleagues overwhelmingly support it.
I have filed four bills during this legislative session, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to get them across the finish line. You can learn about these bills, or any other legislation filed in the House or Senate, by visiting my House website. If I can ever be of assistance to you or your family, please don’t hesitate to contact my office by calling 573-751-0246 or emailing me at Randy.Railsback@house.mo.gov. As always, it’s an honor and pleasure to serve you.