The state legislators are back to work in Jefferson City and community advocates throughout northwest Missouri are ready to share their priorities this year at Great Northwest Day at the Capitol February 6 and 7.
This event, focused on raising awareness of Northwest Missouri to State Legislators and departments, features an introduction on the House and Senate floors, a regional luncheon, informative roundtables and an educational breakfast. The Mardi Gras-themed main event on Tuesday night provides an opportunity for community representatives to promote their communities to legislators and others who are invited to attend.
“The Great Northwest Day committee works hard to listen to all in the region and find out priorities that benefit the region as a whole,” Micah Landes, 2018 steering committee chair, said. “Collaborating and speaking as a unified voice has proven to be powerful.”
This year’s priorities include:
• Rural Broadband: Great Northwest Days supports new, creative ways and technologies to connect citizens to the global marketplace, like HB 1872 and SB 922 that develop funds to make this a reality.
• Transportation and Infrastructure: Great Northwest Days encourages lawmakers to make an investment in the region through the roads and water projects; these projects are vital to the economic future of the region. Great Northwest Days opposes plans that would return fiscal and maintenance responsibility of state lettered routes to local county governments.
• 911 Funding: Imagine there is an emergency while someone is driving through a rural area and when they call 911, dispatchers don’t have a way to find them. This is a reality for many in the region, as funding for 911 centers that has long been tied to landline surcharges dries up. Great Northwest Day at the Capitol leaders will ask state legislators to give control back to local governments, giving them the opportunity to find new funding mechanisms to support these critical services.
• Education: Great Northwest Day officials ask legislators to continue investing in education for the region, knowing that the employers, communities and the future depend on it.
Participating counties that both sponsor and plan to attend the event include: Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Caldwell, Carroll, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Linn, Livingston, Mercer, Nodaway, Sullivan and Worth.
The cost for Great Northwest Day is minimal thanks to corporate sponsorship. This year’s sponsors in no particular order include: Touchstone Energy, Mosaic Life Care, KCP&L, Spencer Fane, Cameron Regional Medical Center, Allstate Consultants, Smithfield Hog Production Missouri, Olsson and Associates, Snyder & Associates, Missouri American Water, Missouri Western State University, North Central Missouri College and Northwest Missouri State University.
For more information on the event or how you can attend, contact Nodaway County Coordinator Lily White, maryvillechamber.com/great-northwest-day.html, or visit the website at greatnorthwestday.com.