Legislators look to widen I 70 among other bills in new session

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JEFFERSON CITY – Pre-filing began Tuesday for the 2016 legislative session and state representatives already have a plan in mind for the new year.

Rep. Travis Fitzwater, R-Fulton said lawmakers will be focusing bills on infrastructure, ethics reform and school funding.

“As the process gets going on, you’re going to see what’s going to get legs and what’s going to move and what we’re going to do to benefit the state this year,” Fitzwater said.

One of the goals Fitzwater said he has in mind for the 2016 legislative session is to widen Interstate 70 to reduce traffic congestion on a daily basis. He said legislators have been talking about this and many other potential bills for weeks.

Fitzwater said he will personally work to create more school funding in his district as well. He said ideas have been circulating through the House of Representatives. 

“This is technically the beginning of the process,” Fitzwater said. “But we’ve already discussed these issues with other legislators, third party entities and others who would be directly affected, almost everyone.”

House Communications Office Director Trevor Fox said the pre-filing happens about a month before session begins every year.

“It gives the legislators a month gap to discuss,” Fox said.

Fitzwater said he expects representatives to file hundreds of bills in the pre-filing period, before the session starts. The legislative session does not officially begin until January 6.

The Missouri House website lists all measures that have been officially pre-filed.