MRPC News Release

For immediate release
April 18, 2016

For more information, contact
Tammy Snodgrass at (573) 265-2993 or tsnodgrass@meramecregion.org

MRPC Chairman T.R. Dudley (center) and Chad Eggen, executive director of the Boonslick Regional Planning Commission, Warrenton, Mo., (left) meet with Tracy Henke of Sen. Roy Blunt’s office while in Washington, D.C. for the National Association of Development Organization’s (NADO) Washington policy conference April 4-6.


MRPC delivers federal legislative priorities to D.C.



WASHINGTON D.C.—Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) Chairman T.R. Dudley and Assistant Director Tammy Snodgrass recently returned from a trip to the nation’s capital where they presented the region’s congressional delegation with the organization’s federal legislative priorities for the year.

Each year, the MRPC board develops a list of priority issues impacting the Meramec Region. Those priorities are divided into seven categories–transportation, economic development, health care and social services, energy, homeland security and emergency preparedness, education and local government issues.

MRPC board members are given the opportunity each year to suggest items to be included on the report and the board then participates in a survey to determine which issues are priorities for the organization.

Once the board approves the priorities, a report is generated, and Dudley and Snodgrass hand-delivered the report to congressional leaders representing all or portions of the region at their Washington D.C.offices. This year, the pair visited with staff from each office, including Jason Rauch and Sarah Sherwood from Sen. Claire McCaskill’s office; Tracy Henke from Sen. Roy Blunt’s office; Ryan Shrum from Rep. Vicky Harzler’s office; Trey McKenzie from Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer’s office; and Kevin O’Keefe from Rep. Jason Smith’s office.

This year’s top priorities include:

· Provide enhanced and sustainable funding for the nation’s highway, aviation, prioritized freight routes and transit needs and find a means to fund the Federal Highway Trust Fund.
· Make adjustments to the Davis-Bacon Act to allow small, rural communities to waive prevailing wage requirements for all projects costing less than $250,000.
· Equalize Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates for rural and urban hospitals.
· Aggressively encourage construction and use of nuclear power with safe, economical disposal of spent fuel. Continue to support research and development of small modular nuclear reactors.
· Support for continued funding and expanded missions for Fort Leonard Wood.
· Encourage greater emphasis on reading, writing, math and science competency. Also encourage the emphasis of reading and writing as they relate to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
· Eliminate unfunded federal mandates to states or provide funding options/opportunities to states and/or local governments to fully fund them.
· Encourage all parties to work together for the betterment of our country. Congress should work together with other office holders to move the country forward and not allow another session of gridlock. There must be more compromise.


For a copy of the full 2016 federal legislative priorities report or for more information about MRPC and its program, visit meramecregion.org.

While in the nation’s capital, the pair also attended the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Washington Policy Conference April 4-6.

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 23, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion.

 

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