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Politics

Coalition Celebrates Legislative Successes

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/coalitionc_808.mp3

Members of the Springfield-Branson Regional Coalition met this week to celebrate the end of the legislative session. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

Members of the Springfield-Branson Regional Coalition met this week to celebrate the end of the legislative session.

The coalition agrees on legislative priorities and then makes the case for its priorities by holding a number of events including one known as Salute to Legislators.

The coalition consists of 17 government and private agencies in Southwest Missouri including the cities of Springfield, Branson and Hollister, Taney and Greene Counties, Springfield Public Schools, Ozarks Technical Community College, Missouri State University and several chambers of commerce.

Jim Anderson is president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

He says the coalition had several legislative successes this year including procuring economic development training funds.

Anderson says it makes a powerful statement to lawmakers when a coalition of diverse groups comes together and agrees on a common legislative agenda.

The coalition has rules for developing its priorities...quite simply, all members of the coalition must agree on the issue.

Anderson says as the coalition has grown, finding agreement has become more of a challenge.

In terms of numbers, Springfield and Branson have the most organizations in the coalition.

But Rick Ziegenfuss, Hollister City Administrator says his city is respected by other coalition members.

Organizations must contribute a sponsorship fee to be a part of the coalition.

Ziegenfuss says it's a worthwhile investment for the city of Hollister.

The coalition gets high marks from state lawmakers.

Republican Representative Jim Viebrock was at the coalition's luncheon this week.

He says the coalition has captured the attention of lawmakers from all over the state.

The Springfield Branson Regional Coalition has been in existence for about 20 years.