House resoundingly defeats anti-bicycle amendment; Victory of the decade for bicycling in Jefferson City

Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

By Brent Hugh

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An anti-bicycle amendment was resoundingly defeated on the floor of the Missouri House today.

The amendment, introduced by Rep. Paul Curtman of Pacific, would have removed bicycling from the major transportation funding proposal that will appear before Missouri voters this November, if approved by the General Assembly this spring.

The controversy over the anti-bicycle amendment, which erupted Thursday, had stalled progress on the Missouri transportation funding proposal.  Once the anti-bicycle amendment was defeated today, the full transportation funding proposal passed the House.  It now moves on to the Senate.

Thousands of cyclists lit up capitol switchboards, email, and social media in the past few days in opposition to the amendment. Dozens of organizations from across Missouri joined in the effort to fight the anti-bicycle amendment, as did major national bicycle, pedestrian, and trails groups.

That and the personal visits by individual cyclists and representatives from bicycle and pedestrian groups from around Missouri at Bicycle and Pedestrian Day at the Capitol yesterday served to turn the tide against the bill.

Work by our lobbyist, Jim Farrell, opposition to the amendment by MoDOT, opposition to the amendment by transportation funding bill sponsors, the coalition supporting the transportation funding bill, and legislative leadership of both parties helped seal the fate of the amendment.  It is our united work over the past years to build key partnerships with these groups, combined with the support of thousands of cycling supporters across Missouri, that allowed such a powerful coalition in support of Missouri bicycling to come together.

The final voice vote on the amendment was overwhelmingly against, with only a few lone voices voting in favor.

Who led the effort in the House to defeat the anti-bicycle amendment?

Representatives Chris Kelly (D-Columbia) and Jeremy LaFaver (D-Kansas City) spoke up on the floor of the House Thursday when the amendment was introduced with no advance warning. Thanks to their work, debate on the bill was halted and we gained time to ramp up our statewide grass roots effort in support of bicycling.

Key leadership in opposing this amendment was provided by many Representatives from across the political spectrum.  Representatives who had heard from their constituents were fired up to defend bicycling, and did so with eloquence and passion. 

For their leadership, we would especially like to thank Jill Schupp (D-Creve Coeur), Genise Montecillo (D-St. Louis), John Rizzo (D-Kansas City), Jacob Hummel(D-St. Louis), Dave Hinson (R-St. Clair, sponsor of the transportation funding proposal in the House), Dave Schatz (R-Sullivan), Ed Schieffer (D-Troy), Karla May (D-St Louis), Nate Walker (R-Kirksville), Jeff Justus (R-Branson), Michael Frame (D-Eureka), and John Diehl(R-Town & Country).

What you can do now

Please take moment to write or call your own Missouri state representative a note of thanks for their support of bicycling.  At least 85% of representatives voted to defeat the amendment, so you can assume your representative opposed the amendment.

Even supporters of the amendment were gracious enough to not push the issue and allow an amicable resolution to the issue.  So thanks are due all around.

Look up your own Missouri State Representative’s contact information here and write a quick thank-you note.  

The most important victory for bicycling in Missouri in 10 years–and perhaps 100

Defeating this anti-bicycling amendment today was easily the most important victory for bicycling in Missouri in the past ten years.

If the new transportation funding plan is approved by Missouri voters in November 2014, it will become the biggest victory in 100 years.

Since the institution of the gas tax in Missouri and the creation of MoDOT–so for about the past century–we have not been able to spend any Missouri road tax dollars on bicycling or walking.

This new transportation funding proposal will change that.  By including bicycling and walking as essential parts of Missouri transportation funding, it will change everything for bicycling and walking in Missouri.

Thanks so much for the legislators from every part of Missouri and every end of the political spectrum who stood up for bicycling today.

Thanks so much for each and every person who took the time to contact your own legislator to ask them to support bicycling.

Thanks SO MUCH to every legislator who opposed the anti-bicycling amendment–we’ve been able to mention only a few of them in this articles.

Together, we made a HUGE difference for bicycling in Missouri today!

Rep. Jill Schupp of Creve Coeur Rep. Jill Schupp of Creve Coeur

Rep. Jeremy LaFaver of Kansas City Rep. Jeremy LaFaver of Kansas City

Rep. Chris Kelly of Columbia Rep. Chris Kelly of Columbia

Rep John Rizzo, Kansas City Rep John Rizzo, Kansas City

Rep. Dave Hinson, St Clair Rep. Dave Hinson, St Clair

Rep. Dave Schatz, Sullivan Rep. Dave Schatz, Sullivan

 Rep. Ed Schieffer, Troy Rep. Ed Schieffer, Troy

 

Rep. Jeff Justus, Branson Rep. Jeff Justus, Branson

Rep. Nate Walker, Kirksville Rep. Nate Walker, Kirksville

Karla May, St. Louis Karla May, St. Louis


Rep. Jacob Hummel, St Louis Rep. Jacob Hummel, St Louis

John Diehl, Town & Country John Diehl, Town & Country

Michael Frame, Eureka Michael Frame, Eureka

Rep. Genise Montecillo of St Louis Rep. Genise Montecillo of St Louis

 

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