State lawmakers on opposites sides of aisle seek buyout of homes near West Lake Landfill

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KTVI) – It’s not a sight you see every day in these politically divisive times: a Democrat and Republican lawmaker, both from the St. Louis area, joined together at the state capitol to share their concerns over what they claim is a life and death issue.

State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal and State Representatvie Mark Matthieson are urging St. Louis area citizens to call Jefferson City and light a fire under representatives and the Missouri Speaker of the House to pass a bill that would free some homeowners from a nightmare that dates back decades.

The “Hazardous Waste Home Acquisition Program” would allow the state to purchase 91 homes near the West Lake Landfill that had been contaminated by radioactivity from the Manhattan Project decades ago.

The homes would be purchased using $12.5 million in state funds.

The bill already passed the state senate by a 30-3 margin.

Lawmakers said there’s little time to get it the job done. There are only about three weeks are left in the session.

“When Missourians are hurting, we all are hurting, so it is my sincere hope the Missouri House will follow the Senate and turn our words into action,” Chappelle-Nadal said.

Matthiesen added that Governor Greitens’ aides have been learning about the bill and he’s hopeful the governor will sign it if it gets to his desk.

“I’ve gone door-to-door in this neighborhood, talking to people, listening to their stories, hearing their ailments, yet the government does nothing to help,” Matthiesen said.