Missouri’s river ports just received a big boost. After a push by several Legislators with ports in their districts, Governor Jay Nixon has released $3 million for the state’s river transportation system. That was part of $43-million dollars overall, that Nixon had been withholding and released last week.
Chair of the Missouri House Port Caucus, Becky Ruth (R-Festus) tells Missourinet that she’s pleased with this move.
“I think our ports are very important to the economic development of our state,” said Ruth. “With the expansion of the Panama Canal set for 2016 completion, I really believe that Missouri needs to be ready and poised for this. It’s a huge development opportunity for us.”
Ruth says most things being shipped on Missouri’s rivers are agriculture products, which account for about 35%.
Ruth says the state House has included $6 million for ports in the proposed budget for fiscal year 2016 and the Senate is proposing in $7 million. She says that shows how important the state’s ports are to the Legislature.
“I’m thankful the Governor released the funds. I think it’s a shame it took this long for those funds to be released, especially [for] the fact that our river ports have the opportunity to be one of the largest economic development projects in our state,” says Ruth.
Ruth, along with Senators Paul Wieland, Wayne Wallingford, Doug Libla and State Representatives John McCaherty, Tila Hubrecht and Craig Redmon called on the Governor in a news conference last week to release the funds.