2019 CCAM Resolutions

The County Commissioners Association of Missouri has adopted the following resolutions as their legislative priorities for the 2019 Legislative Session. They were adopted at the 2018 MAC Annual Conference during the CCAM business meeting. 

 
 

Resolution #1

RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE FULL REPEAL OF THE PREVAILING-WAGE LAW IN MISSOURI

WHEREAS, the federal government enacted the Davis-Bacon Act in 1931, which established the requirement for paying the local prevailing wage on public works projects; and

WHEREAS, Missouri enacted similar legislation in 1957, Chapter 290, Section 250 of the RSMo., to incorporate setting the local prevailing wage performed by each type of worker in the locality it is performed on construction projects that use public funds; and

WHEREAS, the Missouri Department of Economic Development sets the prevailing wage for specific labor on public works projects on a county-by-county basis; and

WHEREAS, in accordance to state law, any publicly funded construction project in Missouri must pay the prevailing wage performed by each type of worker; and

WHEREAS, the cost of construction projects may fluctuate every year based on locality, as well as other factors, including but not limited to, labor, materials, liability and health insurance; and

WHEREAS, local contractors may not be able to bid on public work projects in their area because they may not be able to comply with state law which requires them to pay the prevailing wage, leading to a lack of competitiveness in the bidding process that can drive up the costs on projects and put a strain on the budgets of local governments; and

WHEREAS, construction projects that are built without the assistant of any public funds may have a more competitive bidding process because these types of construction projects do not have to comply with the state’s prevailing-wage law, thus saving money on construction projects; and

WHEREAS, if Missouri’s prevailing-wage law was fully repealed, it may lessen the budget burden of the state, counties, municipalities and others that use public funds on public works projects by not having to pay the prevailing wage, and may lead to a more competitive bidding market by allowing contractors to bid on projects in their area because they no longer have to comply with the prevailing-wage law;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the County Commissioners Association of Missouri does hereby go on record in support of legislation that calls for the full repeal the prevailing-wage law in Missouri.

 

Resolution #2

RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF A TRANSPORTATION FUNDING PACKAGE THAT ADDRESSES MISSOURI’S DIRE INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS

 WHEREAS, Amendment 3 funding ended in 2009, reducing significantly the amount of funding available for maintenance and repair of our current system and leaving virtually no new money for Missouri’s transportation needs beyond our current system, and

WHEREAS, our transportation funding system is broken, all linked to the reality that Missouri has the seventh largest system in the nation and we rank 47th in funding, with Missouri’s gas tax at 17 cents per gallon — among the lowest in the country; and

WHEREAS, federal funding for state and local transportation has prompted disagreement in Congress and could possibly be expected to diminish in future years; and

WHEREAS, Missouri currently has the 9th highest number of deficient bridges in the nation, and has the most major bridges of any state with 53 bridges crossing the Mississippi or Missouri Rivers, and

WHEREAS, in addition to Missouri’s 10,400 state-owned bridges, there are 14,000 bridges on the off-system and counties are responsible for 91 percent of these, as well as the 73,476 county-owned road miles; and

WHEREAS, in 2017, legislation was proposed to allow for the conveyance of portions of state-owned lettered highways and routes to the county and local governments in which those roadway miles reside; and

WHEREAS, the state’s strong agricultural industry relies more than ever on our roads and bridges to transport grain, livestock, and other goods, and Missouri is within a 10-hour drive of half of the country’s population and the state’s vast river ways make it ideal for shipping both domestically and internationally; and

WHEREAS, if Missouri’s road and bridge systems can be improved and river ports and rail be better utilized, the state could become a central distribution point, which would bring many new jobs to the state; and

WHEREAS, if new revenues are considered, they should be required to be allocated to transportation projects and not be diverted for other needs; and

WHEREAS, the conveyance of state-owned lettered highways and routes to counties is not a solution to Missouri’s transportation funding problems, as it would be an additional financial hardship on county government, and could also be especially detrimental to the agricultural economy of Missouri; and

WHEREAS, Missouri’s transportation future is uncertain and will remain so until stable, reliable long-term funding is put in place;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the County Commissioners Association of Missouri does hereby go on record in seeking the General Assembly’s support for a transportation funding package that will address Missouri’s dire infrastructure needs, without the conveyance of any state-owned lettered highway or route to county government.

 

Resolution #3

RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATIVE ACTION TO RECOVER COSTS TO COUNTIES FROM THE STATE OF MISSOURI FOR HOUSING STATE PRISONERS

WHEREAS, the County Commissioners Association of Missouri asks for the Missouri General Assembly’s consideration of the financial burden that state mandates have on county government and the corresponding impact they have on a county’s ability to provide other necessary and essential services to Missouri citizens; and

WHEREAS, county governments prepare their budgets based on a calendar year and the “ups and downs” of appropriations are based on the state’s fiscal year, all of which make it difficult to forecast anticipated reimbursements; and

WHEREAS, prisoners are held each year in county jails on behalf of the State of Missouri on state criminal charges; and

WHEREAS, county governments bear the burden of funding and providing housing, food, clothing, and transportation for state prisoners in county jails; and

WHEREAS, the cost of operating county jails consumes a significant portion of county budgets; and

WHEREAS, it is commonly known that the average daily cost for counties to house one state prisoner is $45, which excludes expenditures for inmate medical care, as well as for prisoners who are not adjudicated (actually sentenced to be confined in a state prison and sent to a state facility); and

WHEREAS, over the years, increases in the prisoner per diem by the General Assembly has been gubernatorial restricted before settling in at $22.58 per day for FY 2018 and FY 2019, which is well below the daily average and far from the $38.50 cited in state law; and

WHEREAS, even with a low appropriated reimbursement rate, the state is still behind in its reimbursement payments of bill costs to counties by millions of dollars; and

WHEREAS, the current $22.58 per diem is still an insufficient reimbursement by the State of Missouri and contributes to the financial hardship of county governments;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the County Commissioners Association of Missouri does hereby go on record in support of legislative action to recover costs to counties from the State of Missouri for housing its state prisoners.

 

CCAM Resolution #4

RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION TO COLLECT SALES AND USE TAXES FROM PURCHASES FROM OUT-OF-STATE BUSINESSES AND ONLINE RETAILERS IN ORDER TO PROMOTE A FAIR AND COMPETITIVE MARKETPLACE IN MISSOURI

WHEREAS, the growth of online sales has not only put pressure on local retailers to compete for sales, but it has also made it extremely difficult for state and local governments in Missouri to capture sales and use taxes that help pay for services provided to citizens; and

WHEREAS, Missouri law requires businesses to collect sales tax on online sales only if they have a physical presence in the state, and it also requires vendors or consumers to pay a use tax on purchases of $2,000 or more made through a remote vendor or online retailer; and

WHEREAS, Missouri vendors and consumers file separate use tax forms and are responsible for remitting use tax instead of the seller, which can make the enforcement of the use tax difficult for the taxing jurisdiction; and

WHEREAS, local businesses are a valuable component of the economic health and quality of life in Missouri, but are put at a significant competitive disadvantage by following state law and collecting sales tax; and

WHEREAS, an erosion of the state and local tax base because of uncollected sales and use taxes on purchases made from remote sellers is having a negative impact on the budgets of our state and local governments; and

WHEREAS, the 2018 ruling in the South Dakota v. Wayfair case has allowed South Dakota to begin collecting sales tax revenue for online vendors that do not have a physical presence in their state; and

WHEREAS, other states in the country are positioned far ahead of Missouri with regard to collecting online sales tax based on the Wayfair decision; and

WHEREAS, the General Assembly has not passed any legislation that will allow Missouri to collect sales tax from businesses that do not have a physical presence in Missouri or has not enacted laws enabling it to participate in the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA), with which South Dakota is a member; and

WHEREAS, since it is unknown if federal legislation will be enacted to close this sales tax loophole after the Wayfair decision, Missouri must reform its tax laws in order for it to capture sales tax from remote sellers;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the County Commissioners Association of Missouri does hereby go on record in support of legislation to update Missouri tax law so the state can begin collecting sales tax from out-of-state businesses and online purchases in order to promote a fair and competitive marketplace in Missouri for all local and remote businesses; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the County Commissioners Association of Missouri does herby support action by the General Assembly to enter into the SSUTA.

 

CCAM Resolution #5

RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF PRESERVING THE PROTECTIONS PROVIDED BY MISSOURI REVISED STATUTE 229.100

WHEREAS, Missouri state law, Section 229.100 RSMo., ensures that utility companies cannot begin erecting poles for electric lights, power lines, or lay and maintain pipes, conductors, mains and conduits for any purpose along, through or under public roadways in any county without obtaining assent of the county commission; and

WHEREAS, this statute has successfully and effectively withstood the test of time after being enacted in 1909, and has no known challenges or objections to the authority granted therein to the state’s counties until more than 100 years later when Clean Line Energy Partners of Houston and Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI) recently voiced displeasure with Section 229.100 RSMo.; and

WHEREAS, over the years, the utility companies operating in Missouri have been able to successfully construct a robust power and transmission system which meets or exceeds all national standards for reliability while complying with Section 229.100 RSMo.; and

WHEREAS, the creation of the Public Service Commission in 1913 and the powers delegated to the commission was not intended to abrogate or alter the authority of the counties under Section 229.100 RSMo., since the law has remained in place and essentially unchanged for more than 100 years; and

WHEREAS, despite claims to the contrary, Section 229.100 RSMo., does not pose an insurmountable obstacle to the construction of new long-distance electric transmission lines in Missouri as demonstrated by a recent legal case involving ATXI, which sought a certificate to build a line through five counties in northeast Missouri; and

WHEREAS, after the courts ruled against ATXI for not seeking the assent of the county commissions in accordance to state law, all the parties to that proceeding endeavored to work out a settlement of the matter, and all needed counties have now granted their consents for the construction of the line; and

WHEREAS, Section 71.520 RSMo., is comparable to Section 229.100 RSMo., in that it allows cities and towns in Missouri to authorize the construction of electric lines and other utility facilities within their city limits; and

WHEREAS, Clean Line has repeatedly said that if it cannot obtain the necessary permission from Missouri authorities to build its electric transmission line for the Grain Belt Express, then it may instead seek such authority from the federal government; and

WHEREAS, Article VI Section 7 of the Missouri Constitution states that county commissions are given the authority to “manage all county business as prescribed by law,” which includes the decision to grant or deny the construction of high-voltage electric transmission lines through the state’s counties;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the County Commissioners Association of Missouri does hereby go on record in seeking the General Assembly’s support for the preservation of Section 229.100 RSMo., knowing that the commissioners of each county have the most thorough knowledge and understanding of how these projects will affect their counties.

 

CCAM Resolution #6

RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF ADEQUATELY FUNDING THE STATE MANDATE OF NOT DETAINING JUVENILES IN COUNTY JAILS OR ADULT DETENTION CENTERS

WHEREAS, Missouri counties are committed to developing effective and efficient criminal justice policies that enhance public safety while maintaining fiscally responsible budgets for its citizens; and

WHEREAS, under a Missouri law that was passed in 2018, housing a juvenile, who is under the age of 18 and has not been certified as an adult by a court of law, is forbidden in county jails or adult detention centers; and

WHEREAS, the current law may cause counties to spend additional funding on expanding juvenile detention centers, trained personnel or contracts with surrounding counties if a county cannot detain juveniles due to a lack of juvenile detention facilities; and

WHEREAS, county budgets are already burdened with a number of unfunded or underfunded state mandates;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the County Commissioners Association of Missouri does hereby go on record in support of legislation that would adequately fund the state mandate of not detaining juveniles, who are under the age of 18, in county jails or adult detention centers.

 

 

CCAM Resolution #7

RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION FOR A PROGRAM THAT ALLOWS LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO APPLY FOR FUNDS FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECOVERY AND REBUILDING FOLLOWING NATURAL DISASTERS

WHEREAS, the state of Missouri needs to establish a “disaster recovery fund” or short-term loan program in order to provide counties with the funds to respond to damages cause by natural disasters; and

WHEREAS, in the past, the state has restricted portions of its budget in other areas in order to pay the costs for recovery and rebuilding from damage caused by natural disasters without having a fund or program in place, which puts strain at the local government level if funds are restricted for other programs or reimbursements; and

WHEREAS, natural disasters can have lasting effects on a government’s ability to provide services to its residents during the recovery and rebuilding process if governments cannot access emergency funds to begin those processes;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the County Commissioners Association of Missouri does hereby go on record in support of legislation to create a “disaster recovery fund” or short-term loan program for local governments that can be utilized for recovery and rebuilding proposes after natural disasters.

 

CCAM Mission Statement

 THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ASSOCIATION OF MISSOURI STANDS IN OPPOSITION TO THE PRE-EMPTION OF LOCAL CONTROL/AUTHORITY

The passage of Amendment 1 in April 1995 deleted the “uniformity” provision in the Missouri Constitution which required that a law applicable to a county in a class apply to all counties in that class.

The repeal of that provision further requires non-charter county officials to seek state legislative approval for individual laws to help solve local problems – all due to the perceived inability to effectively deal with them at the county level.

The Missouri General Assembly should not be allowed to “micro-manage” county government from Jefferson City due to the lack of local authority to deal with local issues.

Missouri county officials have expressed their opposition to the erosion of local authority which would allow counties greater flexibility in dealing with truly local issues and problems.

An example of the pre-emption of local authority by the Missouri Legislature occurred in Sec. 72.080, RSMo, relating to the incorporation of a village, a law which was subsequently and fortunately repealed.

Missouri's county officials also believe it is critical to protect the citizens they represent when large scale developments infringe upon their constituents’ way of life, including compliance with local planning and zoning and other ordinances.

County officials further believe that the local portion of any state-imposed sales tax exemption be exempt or – at the very least – local governments be given the chance to “opt-in” to the sales tax exemption.

More recent development along the lines of the pre-emption of local control include (1) the Legislature’s failure to allow county commissioners of non-charter counties to appoint persons to vacated county offices, (2) another attempt to disallow counties from entering class-action lawsuits, and (3) state action on salary increases and retirement benefits for Missouri’s 68 full-time county prosecuting attorneys.

In summation, the pre-emption of local authority is of prime concern and one that the County Commissioners Association of Missouri will closely scrutinize in the 2019 legislative session.