House Republican leaders have said they want to look to the state budget for a way to fund roads and bridges, there are no details to reveal so far.

House Speaker Todd Richardson (photo courtesy; Missouri House Communications)

House Speaker Todd Richardson (photo courtesy; Missouri House Communications)

The state Senate could soon debate an increase in Missouri’s fuel taxes, but Speaker Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) has said a tax increase is not what he would prefer.

“What I wanted to do is have something that we could work on as a House effort to try to get the ball rolling and get some projects done, and that was the cost-sharing proposal. Obviously we’ve got to find some revenue to put into that program and we’ll work through that with the budget process,” said Richardson.

The Transportation Department suspended a cost-sharing program in 2014 that saw local governments match state funds to support local improvements. Major highways are rarely part of such projects.

Richardson says if a tax increase proposal comes from the Senate it will be considered.

“We’ll see what they send over and if they send something over then we’ll take a hard look at it and evaluate it, and talk about it as a leadership team in caucus,” said Richardson.

Legislators started last week working on the budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.