missouri_mapRight to work legislation will be taken up Wednesday, Feb. 11, in the Missouri House of Representatives, Transportation Division State Legislative Director Ken Menges reports.
Menges is asking SMART members in the state to contact their state representatives and ask them to vote against the legislation.
“These so called ‘right to work’ or ‘workplace freedom’ bills aren’t what they seem,” Menges said. “This type of legislation and other divisive laws will financially harm working class Missourians and make our workplaces less safe.”
SMART members and their family members can contact their state representative by visiting the “Find My Legislator” webpage on the Missouri House of Representatives webpage.
After entering their ZIP code, citizens can find the state representative. Click on the legislator’s name to reach his or her contact page containing the legislator’s office telephone number and Email address.
Let you representative or his or her staff know that you are “strongly opposed” to House Bill 582 and HCS House Bill 116.
Today’s legislative session begins at 10 a.m.


Laurine G. Wildhaber, 82, the mother of former Auxiliary of the United Transportation Union International President Carol Menges, died Oct. 14, at the University of Missouri Hospital and Clinics. Carol is the spouse of SMART Transportation Division Missouri State Legislative Director Ken Menges.
Wildhaber was a 1949 graduate of Freeburg High School and later became the co-owner and bookkeeper for Wildhaber’s Marine Sales and Service.
She was a part-time volunteer at St. Mary’s Health Center in Jefferson City, Mo. She was a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and assisted with the congregation’s prayer hour.
She is survived by her husband, Kenneth; sons Kenny (Diane) Wildhaber Jr. and Jim (Lisa); daughters Carol Sue (Kenneth) Menges, Mary “Dee Dee” (Don) Mehmert-Cryderman and Cynthia (Greg) Stokes; a brother; three sisters; 12 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held Oct. 19 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Houser-Millard Funeral Home, located at 2613 W. Main Street in Jefferson City, with a prayer service at 1 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 20, at Immaculate Conception Church, with interment following at Resurrection Cemetery Mausoleum. Expressions of sympathy may be made to Goldschmidt Cancer Center or Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.
Condolences may be left for the family online at www.millardfamilychapels.com.

OSAGE CITY, Mo. – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo Nov. 25 participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for a new railroad bridge that will eliminate the last chokepoint along the line between Jefferson City and St. Louis. The $28 million project received $22.6 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program and was the largest ARRA project in the state of Missouri. Administrator Szabo joined Missouri Department of Transportation Director Dave Nichols, officials from Amtrak and Union Pacific Railroad and other dignitaries at the event.

“Railroads play a key role in our ability to move both people and goods, a need that will only increase in the coming decades,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The Obama Administration is committed to working with transportation leaders like Governor Nixon and Senator McCaskill, to make sure the nation’s rail system is efficient, reliable and supportive of economic growth.”

The new Union Pacific Railroad bridge spanning the Osage River will reduce delays for more than 600 passengers traveling on Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner and the 60 freight trains that currently operate over the 283-mile Kansas City to St. Louis Corridor each day. On the old bridge, passenger and freight trains would often have to wait until a train coming from the opposite direction cleared.

With the addition of the new 1,200-foot structure, located just east of Jefferson City in Osage County, the rail corridor between St. Louis and Jefferson City now consists entirely of two mainline tracks that will allow Amtrak passenger trains and freight trains to pass through the area unimpeded. As a result, the region’s four Missouri River Runner trains will see faster, more reliable service.

“This new railroad bridge is yet another strategic investment in our rail infrastructure that will allow for higher performing passenger rail – while also laying a foundation to invest in faster, more frequent, and even more reliable service,” said Administrator Szabo. “It also advances the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative – a vision Missouri shares with eight other states to connect the Midwest’s 40 largest cities with high-performance passenger rail.”

The Federal Railroad Administration, along with its 32 state partners and the District of Columbia, is laying the foundation for a higher performance rail network. Sixty-five projects worth $4.1 billion in High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program funding are currently completed, under construction, or will soon start construction in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Bringing safe, reliable, convenient, and affordable intercity passenger rail to the U.S. will create jobs, increase economic development opportunities, promote energy efficiency and relieve congestion.

Related story: Missouri legislative director attends ceremony