Action Alert: Your Voice Needed ASAP Re Mo Legislation

The Missouri Prairie Foundation, an affiliate member of the Conservation Federation of Missouri, urges citizens to let their voices be heard regarding three pieces of proposed state legislation:

1. CONSERVATION SALES TAX HEARING:  HJR 18
Proposes a constitutional amendment to require that the conservation sales tax be renewed by voters every six years.

The Missouri Prairie Foundation opposes this legislation.

Action: Attend hearing Monday, April 29, at 7:00 p.m., in House Hearing Room 7 in the state Capitol in Jefferson City. If you cannot attend, voice your opposition by contacting members of the Conservation and Natural Resources Committee. (Click on the Conservation and Natural Resources Committee). In the case of time changes, please check the Hearing Schedule.

If the Conservation Sales Tax is put on the ballot and not renewed, the need to cover the lost revenue would negatively impact General Revenue dollars currently allocated to other state programs and services. If General Revenue Funds were not made available to maintain the Missouri Department of Conservaton (MDC) budget; the loss of funds would lead to the elimination of many beneficial and popular conservation services including:
  • County partnerships through MDC’s County Aid Road Trust Program and In Lieu of Tax Payment Program
  • Closure of MDC Nature Centers and staffed shooting ranges
  • Closure of fish hatcheries and elimination of most fish stocking
  • Elimination of partnerships with approximately 450 rural fire departments 
  • Closure of MDC boat accesses and partnership through the Community Assistance Program for close to home fishing access and reduction in urban forest programs
  • Elimination of partnerships (e.g., outreach programs, cost share for private landowners, cooperative positions, and habitat work) with many conservation groups
  • Elimination of financial assistance (Landowner Assistance Program) and MDC staff technical assistance to landowners interested in habitat work on their property
  • Significant reduction in habitat work on conservation areas and elimination of dove field program
  • Reduction in nuisance wildlife assistance for Missouri farmers, landowners and homeowners
  • Reduction in outreach programs and grants for the Discover Nature Schools and Missouri Archery in the Schools Program
  • Most outdoor skill classes and events for citizens will be canceled 
  • Unforeseen changes to the Missouri Conservationist and Xplor magazines
  • Significant reduction in efforts to control invasive species such as feral hogs
  • Limited support for the Share the Harvest Program

 

2. POACHING LEGISLATION:  HB 260
Sponsored by Rep. Jered Taylor HB 260 will be taken up for debate any time the week of April 22.

The Missouri Prairie Foundation supports this legislation.

ACTION: Please contact your State Senator and urge their SUPPORT so Missouri can increase fines for poaching turkey, whitetail deer, paddlefish, bear and elk by voting aye! 

"252.042. 1. In addition to the penalties provided in section 252.040, the court may order a person found guilty of chasing, pursuing, killing, processing, or disposing of wild turkey, paddlefish, white-tailed deer, black bear, or elk in violation of methods, seasons, and limits as defined and permitted by commission rules and regulations to make restitution to the state in an amount of:
  • Not less than five hundred dollars and not more than one thousand dollars for each wild turkey;
  • Not less than five hundred dollars and not more than one thousand dollars for each paddlefish;
  • Not less than one thousand dollars and not more than five thousand dollars for each white-tailed deer;
  • Not less than ten thousand dollars and not more than fifteen thousand dollars for each black bear or elk. 

Moneys collected under this section shall be transferred to the state school moneys fund established under section 166.051 and distributed to the public schools of this state in the manner provided under section 163.031."

State Senators contact information



3. ELEVEN POINT RIVER STATE PARK:  HCB 1 & HB 1237
The House of Representatives amended two House bills relating to land conveyance to force the state to sell the state park property on the Eleven Point River.  

The Missouri Prairie Foundation opposes this legislation.

ACTION: 
Call your Senator to let him or her know you OPPOSE the sale of the property known as Eleven Point State Park by REMOVING this amendment from the bills when they come up for debate in the Senate

  • This site was purchased legally from a Superfund settlement using no significant state tax funds.  
  •  $40 Million specifically went for cleanup in the area where the damages happened. Then the approximately $35 million additional dollars were to be used only for natural resource protections by acquiring equivalent resources.
  • According to the Oregon County Collector, taxes on the parcels comprising the more than 4,000 acre park were $4,542, so the boost far outweigh the loss of the property tax revenue. 
  • Local economies will flourish as our state parks have an annual economic impact of $1.7 billion dollars, and every dollar Missouri spends on their state parks, the economy sees a $26 return. 

 
State Senators contact information

More information on all this can be found on the CFM Legislative Action Center.