News Briefs

Missouri House approves bill aimed at blocking local EV charging station mandates

By: - February 16, 2023 9:26 am

A bill aimed at local mandates on electric vehicle charging stations won Missouri House approval (Drew Angerer/Getty Images).

A bill that would require cities and counties across Missouri to pay for electric vehicle chargers in order to mandate businesses install them won House approval on Thursday. 

The bill, which is sponsored by Republican Rep. Jim Murphy and heads to the state Senate after Thursday’s 105-36 vote, also says local governments could only mandate five spots, regardless of the size of the lot. 

Murphy introduced similar legislation last year after St. Louis County and the city of St. Louis passed legislation to require businesses install chargers in some situations — such as when they redo parking lots or expand. Proponents of the legislation passed Thursday say requiring business owners to install electric vehicle chargers is an infringement on their freedoms and a mandate they can’t afford.

When the bill passed committee last month, Murphy argued those types of local mandates are potentially misguided.

“We’ve gotten the cart before the horse in many, many ways,” he told the committee. “When we look at electric vehicles, are they the future? Maybe. Probably. But not assuredly.”

State Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis, said that while he understands the sentiment behind the bill, it is far too broad, stepping on local control in a way he couldn’t support. 

“If a local community decides they want to press forward with a requirement that new projects include charging stations,” he said, “whether we disagree with that, they should be able to do that.” 

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Jason Hancock
Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock has spent two decades covering politics and policy for news organizations across the Midwest, with most of that time focused on the Missouri statehouse as a reporter for The Kansas City Star. A three-time National Headliner Award winner, he helped launch The Missouri Independent in October 2020.