April 21, 2014

Transportation needs study says transportation has needs (AUDIO)

The Blue Ribbon Citizens Committee that spent three months conducting hearings in seven cities, listening to more than 200 people talking about the financial needs of Missouri’s transportation system has produced a report saying the state transportation system has financial needs.  

Much of the report says things that have been discussed for years. “As good as the roads are, people have a lot more needs,” says co-chairman Bill McKenna, a former leader of the state senate. .Former House Speaker Rod Jetton, the other co-chairman, says the report will help legislators make a decision.

 The committee estimates the state has about $600-million to one-billion dollars worth of additional needs every year.  The committee says it will take a 20 to 30-cent per gallon fuel tax increase to reach those levels.  But a one-cent sales tax on fuel would do the job.   Of the eight scenarios laid out, the commtitee seems to lean more favorably toward the sales tax but it makes no recommendations for legislative action.  

The committee was appointed by former Speaker of the House Steven Tilley, who resigned last year.  Current House Speaker Tim Jones says he’ll refer the report to the House transportaiton committee. “We’ll take this under consideration, analyze it, and I believe we will come up with a proposed solution for Missourians to consider,” he says.  But he makes no commitments anything will happen this year.

Any solution will need a statewide vote

AUDIO: New conference highlights 16:58