I spoke to state Rep. Jim Lembke this evening about the emissions program.
I told him it is not working and needs to be fixed. After being told the senator in St. Peters would not let it come out of committee, he asked me how I would correct the problem.
The program covers the city of St. Louis and four counties — St. Louis County, Washington, Jefferson and St. Charles.
Lembke says the state has a $4 million lawsuit looming over its head if it withdraws from the program. Many states have already ended the program with no repercussions; only Arkansas, according to Lembke, paid a minimal fine.
The taxpayers from all these counties could put up $5 — one time — in escrow if the state is sued. The money will be returned if not used instead of paying $24 every two years, plus multiple repair bills.
Lembke said he would support this plan. My dad spent almost $800 on his Crown Vic and still could not get a waiver because they said the car didn't show improvement.
The program is going to be up in August of 2007. Anyone running in the next election cycle should be precise about being for or against emissions testing.
Follow the money, clean air has nothing to do with it because if it did, all cars coming into these counties would need inspections and you couldn't pay more money to get heavier tonnage license plates.
Lembke said to call him at (314) 845-8508. The problem needs to be fixed. He has tried for three years. Someone needs to take the bull by the horns in Jefferson City.