The Missouri House Transportation Committee chair says there will not be a major transportation bill this year.
While House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Reiboldt (R-Neosho) says a major bill won’t happen this year, he predicts lawmakers will pass legislation this spring establishing the “21st century Missouri highway system task force”.
“We’re going to ask the governor (Eric Greitens) to have a representative on this task force, and then from there we’re going to lay out a strategy and a plan moving forward,” says Reiboldt.
Under State Rep. Kevin Corlew’s (R-Kansas City) House Concurrent Resolution 47, the task force would have nine Missouri residents, along with two state senators, two House members, and designees from the Governor’s office, MODOT, the Missouri Highway Patrol and the Department of Economic Development.
Reiboldt, who emphasizes the importance of having everyone “on board”, plans to introduce comprehensive transportation legislation in January.
“This time we’re going to lay out a good plan that will work and we want the governor and as much bipartisan support as we possibly can,” Reiboldt says.
The Neosho Republican confirms he’s working on the plan.
“That’s our goal and I think that’s pretty much what everyone would tell you,” says Reiboldt. “I’m not trying to kick the can down the road, but I am getting something together that we can all support.”
Reiboldt says options include a sales tax, toll roads or a gasoline tax increase. Reiboldt tells Missourinet he’s looking at a gas tax increase, saying that Missouri has the nation’s lowest.
Missouri currently ranks 47th in the nation in revenue per mile.
Missouri’s fuel tax hasn’t been raised in 21 years. The last increase was part of a bipartisan 1992 six-cent gas tax increase backed by former Governor John Ashcroft (R) and state lawmakers. Ashcroft worked on the issue with then-Speaker Bob Griffin (D-Cameron) and the overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature.
Missouri has 33,884 miles of roadway, making it the nation’s seventh-largest state highway system. Rep. Corlew notes Missouri also ranks sixth nationally in bridges with 10,394.
Governor Greitens (R) has proposed a $2.3 billion budget for the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT).
The agency has said that the minimum cost to reconstruct and expand I-70 in Missouri is $2 billion.