It appears that a motor fuel tax increase proposal is dead in the Missouri legislature.

Senate Floor Leader Ron Richard (photo courtesy; Missouri Senate Communications)

Senate Floor Leader Ron Richard (photo courtesy; Missouri Senate Communications)

Senator Ron Richard (R-Joplin) said there doesn’t seem to be a way for the proposal to get past legislative opposition.

“Even if the Senate passes it, the House said they’re not supportive,” said Richard. “So I’m not sure if I want to waste any time.”

House Speaker John Diehl, Junior (R-Town and Country), has said it appeared a solution for transportation funding would have to wait until the next legislative session that begins January 1.

Without the hike, the Transportation Department is in jeopardy of losing $167 million in federal matching funds. When asked if the legislature will be able to address that problem this year, Richard said, “Apparently not. I guess we are going to close more roads and bridges.”

“We don’t have another solution that we feel confident can make it through,” said Senate President Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles County). “I think we are both supportive. No one has proposed an alternative that we think can get out of the Senate,” said Dempsey.

Richard added, “Even the Governor.”

The measure would have raised the gas tax by two cents in January.  An effort to pass it out of the Senate this week was stalled by a filibuster.