Perspective: Momentum builds for nuclear bill

Another proposal aims to close sex offender loophole

Last week, I presented SB 250 in front of the Judiciary Committee.

Senate Bill 250 is a common-sense measure that would increase public safety by closing a loophole that could allow incarcerated sex offenders to be granted parole or conditional release without completing the nine month Missouri Sex Offender Program (MOSOP).

Senate Bill 250 simply states that sex offenders cannot be eligible for parole or conditional release until they complete MOSOP. Any incarcerated sex offender that does not complete MOSOP will remain behind bars for the full length of their sentence.

This common-sense bill will enable the Probation and Parole Board to deny parole or conditional release to offenders that do not complete MOSOP and will help to make Missouri safer by ensuring that paroled and conditionally released sex offenders have completed this program.

Last Wednesday, I was pleased to welcome business and community leaders from across the state that came to the Capitol in support of building a second nuclear plant and which would be possible with SB 321. These business and community leaders spoke to senators and representatives and revealed again and again their firm belief that clean, affordable, and reliable baseload power is critical for businesses already in Missouri and for those that may look to relocate here, and that nuclear power is likely to be the least expensive option going forward.

I was encouraged that it was announced to the gathering of business and community leaders that there will be a nuclear bill on the floor of the Senate. I will present Senate Bills 50 and 321 in front of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs, Emerging Issues, Pensions and Urban Affairs Committee this week.

I believe that SB 321 represents compromises agreed to over months of meetings and appropriately balances business needs and realities with substantive consumer protections.

Since I began this process, I have repeatedly said that I don’t care who gets the credit, I just want to see a nuclear bill that makes business sense passed, signed into law, and, ultimately, a second steam tower at the Callaway site.

My request of Senate leadership remains the same: 1) hear and vote SB 321 out of committee, and 2) bring SB 321 to the floor of the Senate for discussion by the whole Senate.

I and my 19 bi-partisan cosponsors look forward to this happening, and appreciate Senate leadership’s commitment to making this a reality. On the last day for filing bills in the Senate, a new nuclear power bill was introduced on the floor.

Missourians want to keep things simple and I am concerned that this new bill goes from three pages to almost nine pages, adding additional complexities and containing none of the compromises represented in SB 321.

I do look forward to working with the sponsor of this new bill to make appropriate modifications, fashioning it into a bill that creates a framework that allows the group of utility companies involved to know that their investment will be cost effective, while remaining protective of Missouri consumers.

After such refinements are made, I anticipate a bill that makes business sense and provides consumer protections being voted out of committee and discussed on the floor by the whole Senate.

On Friday March 11, I will be at the Pioneer Restaurant in Versailles for coffee from 7-8 a.m. Please stop by and give me some feedback on what I am doing well, what I am not doing well, and what I am not doing that I should be doing. I am in this office to serve the constituents of the 6th Senatorial District. Please contact us at (573) 751-2076 if my office or I can be of any assistance to you or if you have questions.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sen. Kehoe’s column, normally published on Monday, was delayed this week because of a glitch in communications.

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