Despite recent developments that don’t look promising, The Missouri Department of Transportation is holding out hope for a gas tax increase proposal this legislative session.
Senate President Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles) and Senate Floor Leader Ron Richard (R-Joplin) say they don’t think agreement between the House, the Senate and the Governor can be reached this session, and they don’t plan to spend any more time on a bill.
The Department’s Chief Financial Officer and next Director, Roberta Broeker, says she’s still hopeful.
“I think years and years of public debate about better transportation funding for the State of Missouri has taught us that there are multiple solutions, there are multiple ways to approach this,” Broeker told Missourinet. “Certainly I realize that time in session is growing short, but I don’t want to count ourselves out until May [15th] at 6 o’clock when everything else is done.”
The Senate spent several hours last week debating a bill that would have raised the gas tax two cents per gallon, but a lengthy filibuster led to that proposal being shelved. That would have raised enough for Missouri to keep from losing about $167-million in federal matching transportation funds.