Missouri HHG mover bill advances to governor; other bills of note fail passage

| 6/4/2007

Before lawmakers in Missouri wrapped up their regular session last month they sent a bill to the governor’s desk that is intended to aid household movers. Several other bills of interest met lesser fates.

The Senate unanimously approved a bill that would allow common carriers of household goods to file applications to the State Highways and Transportation Commission for approval of rates to reflect increases and decreases in the carrier’s costs. The House previously approved it.

Sponsored by Rep. Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, the bill – HB28 – would repeal “the exemption that currently allows household goods movers to operate wholly in municipalities, between contiguous municipalities, or commercial zones” without having to obtain operating authority from the Missouri Department of Transportation. Currently, household movers are exempt from the rules and regulations if their operations are restricted to those described areas.

Among the bills of interest that failed to gain passage before lawmakers headed home for the year was an effort that included the same provisions but also would have prohibited indemnity agreements in motor carrier transportation contracts that claim “to indemnify a party against loss from negligence or intentional acts void and unenforceable.” The bill – SB45 – was awaiting approval of House changes on the Senate floor when the session ended.

House changes included a requirement that CDL written examinations be offered only in English. Applicants’ ability to understand traffic signs and signals written in English also would have been required. They would have been prohibited from using interpreters or translators while taking the test.

Another failed effort would have required all shipments of radioactive waste in the state to be assessed fees. Shippers who fail to pay fees or notify the Department of Natural Resources about shipments would have faced penalties up to 10 times the amount of the original assessed fee.

The bill would have exempted from the fees and notification requirements radioactive waste being shipped by or for the federal government for military or national defense purposes. The provisions in the bill – SB205 – would have sunset after six years.

A separate bill that met its demise would have prohibited the expungement of records for commercial driver’s license holders convicted of or pled guilty to an offense where the person’s blood alcohol content is 0.04 percent or above.  The bill – SB50 – included a provision about driving while out of service.

First offenders would have been prohibited from driving a commercial motor vehicle for six months. Existing Missouri law calls for a three month ban.

Anyone found in violation a second time within a period of 10 years would have faced a two-year ban from driving truck. Existing rules call for a one-year suspension.