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Legislative Notice: Missouri SJR 19 and Kansas SB 425

Missouri SJR 19 - from the Missouri Prairie Foundation

The Missouri State Senate recently passed Senate Joint Resolution 19 (SJR19), which, if passed by the Missouri House of Representatives, would ask Missouri voters to amend the Missouri constitution to increase the number of Conservation Commissioners from 4 to 6. In addition, Commissioners may be reappointed, but may not serve more than one term in 12 years.

During Missouri Senate debate, no Senator questioned the good work of the Commission and Missouri Department of Conservation across the state. The Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) believes that SJR19 is unnecessary and threatens the future of conservation as we know it. SJR19 would ask voters to amend the constitution to change the structure of the Conservation Commission by adding two additional members to the four-member Conservation Commission. MPF believes that this proposed legislation would in fact regionalize conservation efforts, rather than retain the current structure of each of the four commissioners making state-wide decisions in the best interests of all Missouri citizens and wildlife resources.

The efforts of four Governor-appointed, and Senate-confirmed, volunteer Conservation Commissioners have provided Missouri with an 80-year proven track record for citizen-led conservation. Our state's nationally recognized system of conservation remains effective, in part, due to the efficiency of a small Commission, each member having statewide responsibilities, that remains committed to balancing the needs of all Missouri citizens with science-based decision making for Missouri's wildlife resources.

MPF urges Missouri citizens to voice opposition to SJR19. The bill has not yet been assigned to a committee in the House, so no hearing is scheduled. However, your prompt action now could help curtail passage of this legislation. Find your legislator in the Missouri House of Representatives.

Kansas SB 425 - from the Kansas Land Trust

Senate Bill 425 transfers authority to regulate conservation easements from the State of Kansas to county commissions. SB 425 threatens a landowner's ability to exercise rights of control and management of private lands. SB 425 was assigned to the Senate Natural Resources Committee on February 10. SB 425 is scheduled for a hearing and possible action on Thursday - Feb. 18 - at 8:30 am in Room 159-S. Testimony on SB 425 must be to the Committee Assistant - Toni Beck (785-296-7694) by noon on Wednesday - February 17. Please contact Senate Natural Resources members about why conservation easements are an important tool to preserve our natural and agricultural heritage. Please ask these Senators to vote NO on SB 425. Please visit Kansas Land Trust's website for contacts and more information on this threatening legislation to the mission of every land trust in Kansas. For continual up-to-date information on SB 425, please stay tuned to Kansas Land Trust's website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.

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