Rock Island Trail: What happened in Jefferson City this legislative session - What was lost, what was gained, what's next?

If you have followed Rock Island Trail news in Missouri, you know that the new Rock Island Trail State Park has run into very significant headwinds in the Missouri legislature in 2022 and 2023. 

In 2023, Governor Parson asked for $69 million funding - which passed the Missouri House with east but was stripped in Missouri Senate, due to opposition from a couple of key Senate budget leaders. 

Earlier in 2023, we and a number of allied organizations issued an alert that $2.9 million in federal economic development funding that Governor Parson had earmarked for the trail would be lost forever unless the Senate chair reversed his position and allowed the funding to move forward.

So what happened and why is there suddenly such strong opposition to the Rock Island Trail in the Missouri legislature?

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After more than a decade of trying, Missouri legislature finally passes Siddens Bening Hands Free Law, prohibiting texting and electronic device use while driving

Thursday, May 11th, the Missouri House & Senate finally passed SB 398, including the "Siddens Bening Hands Free Law" which prohibits texting and other electronic device use while driving. 

Missouri is one of just two states still lacking a law prohibiting texting while driving.  The Missouri Legislature has been working to regulate electronic device use while driving since the late 2000s - passing a law that applied only to those 21 and under in 2009,  but otherwise unable to move any legislation forward thanks to opposition by a few key senators.

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Present a Session at the 2023 Missouri Active Transportation Summit

The 2023 Missouri Active Transportation Summit is Friday, August 11th, 2023 a hybrid conference again this year - in person in Jefferson City & also broadcast via Zoom! 

Would you like to tell the story of your bicycle, pedestrian, active transportation, active tourism, outdoor recreation, or trails program, project, or success? Or present on any topic related to bicycling, walking, trails, or active transportation/active tourism in Missouri?

Note that all sessions will be presented in person at the Jefferson City Municipal Complex.

Please feel free to propose a session.  You can check with first to see where we stand for the 2023 Summit.

Presentation requirements and suggestions

We are particularly interested in sessions that include panel presentations or otherwise provide a variety of viewpoints on a particular topic or issue.

We are particularly interested in sessions that speak to one or more of our identified Summit themes:

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MoBikeFed is a statewide group of people like you, working together for better bicycling, walking, and trails in Missouri. When you join our advocacy network you receive occasional important advocacy alerts and bicycle, pedestrian, and trails news from around Missouri.

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