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Senator Rupp: College Aid, Fireworks and Privacy

Local legislator offers opinion on issues.

(State Sen. Scott Rupp, R-, publishes a weekly newsletter. The opinions expressed in the column are those of Sen. Rupp and do not reflect the views of the Wentzville Patch. —Ed.)

Within a span of days, several bills have been signed into law that will help our state become a better place to call home. As a state senator and as a person who is proud to be a Missouri citizen, I’m glad to see beneficial laws take shape that will improve the lives of our families, schools, and businesses.

A bill signed by the governor on June 7, HB 1042, presents Missouri students with more opportunities to receive college degrees. There’s no doubt, especially in this unsteady economy, that obtaining a higher education degree can be time consuming and expensive. Earning that diploma can be even more difficult when students transfer to other learning establishments and they have to repeat classes they have already taken at a previous institution, much to students’ annoyance and expense.

The legislation, among other provisions, authorizes the Coordinating Board for Higher Education to require higher learning establishments to create 25 core courses that need to be transferable between all public two- and four-year colleges in the state. This will help make the transition of transferring courses to another higher education institution easier and less expensive for the student. The bill takes effect Aug. 28.

Another measure addresses firework displays. The Fourth of July, which will be here before we know it, is a holiday when we can be thankful for our country’s unique freedoms and spend time with our loved ones. The icing on the cake is always the fireworks toward the end of the day. These large-scale fireworks shows can continue without any legal hiccups thanks to SB 835, which was signed by the governor on June 11. As the legislation contained an emergency clause, the bill took effect immediately upon the governor’s signature.

By mirroring Missouri’s statutes regarding the size classification of larger commercial fireworks displays with federal standards, we can continue to enjoy the fireworks shows that bring joy to our families and business to our state. 

Also this week, on June 14, the governor signed HB 1549, which allows cell phone numbers to be placed on Missouri’s No-Call List. Currently, only landline telephone numbers can be placed on the list. In addition, telemarketers can no longer send certain communications to numbers on the No-Call List, including text messages and video communications. I sponsored a similar bill in the Senate (SB 484) that also addressed the state’s No-Call List. I’ve firmly stated that Missourians should not be forced to foot the bill for these unwanted calls. With the governor’s signature, Missourians will be able to add their cell phone numbers to this important, all-inclusive list, which will take effect Aug. 28. In addition, passage of this crucial measure ensures citizens that their elected officials value their time and hard-earned dollars.

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this legislative column. I’ll continue to keep readers up-to-date on bills slated to become law, as well as news on the governor’s actions toward these measures. If you have any questions about legislation, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me or contact my Capitol office at (573) 751-1282

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