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  • AIM Team

Bill to require DNR to "show their work" on fine calculations clears Senate Committee

February 22, 2021 - The Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee, chaired by Sen. Mike Bernskoetter, today advanced SB 40, filed by Sen. Eric Burlison.

The bill, supported by Associated Industries of Missouri, would require the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to disclose their calculations in determining the amount of a fine or penalty, along with the reasoning upon which the fine or penalty is based.

The bill also removes the authority for the DNR to use a stakeholder process to increase fees for the various environmental programs. However, the current expiration date of fees that were increased using the process would remain unchanged and would expire in 2024 under current law.

"The Missouri Department of Natural Resources needs to be responsive to the legislature like all other agencies," said AIM President/CEO Ray McCarty in testimony before the Committee. "You have control of most other agencies, except the ones that have dedicated fees, such as MoDOT and the MDNR. Those agencies are supported by dedicated fees, meaning the money cannot be used for anything else, and you therefore lose the accountability that exists with other agencies that depend on you to appropriate money from General Revenue. This bill would restore the process used before the stakeholder process was initiated, meaning all fee increases would need to be passed by the legislature following open hearings, just like all other bills. This will make the agency more accountable to you and your constituents," said McCarty.

The bill will be reported to the full Senate for further consideration.

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