Gas Tax Hike Moving in Missouri
April 30, 2015

(AP) – A measure to raise the gas tax to fund transportation in Missouri is moving forward after a narrow vote in the Senate.
Senators on Thursday voted 18-13 to grant initial approval to a bill that would raise the tax on diesel fuel by 3.5 cents and on all other fuel by 1.5 cents.
Supporters say the added money is needed to fully maintain the state’s roads and bridges.
The proposal comes as Department of Transportation officials are warning of an impending budget shortfall.
Missouri voters last year rejected a proposed three-quarter cent sales tax to fund transportation.
The bill is projected to allow the state to match all available federal funds in 2017. It needs a second full Senate vote before it can move to the House.

The 18-13 roll call vote Thursday by which the Missouri Senate gave initial approval to a measure that would increase the diesel fuel tax by 3.5 cents a gallon and the tax on other gasoline by 1.5 cents.
Voting “yes” were 11 Republicans and seven Democrats.
Voting “no” were 13 Republicans.
Not voting were one Republican and two Democrats.
REPUBLICANS VOTING YES
Mike Cunningham, Rogersville
Tom Dempsey, St. Charles
Bob Dixon, Springfield
Mike Kehoe, Jefferson City
Doug Libla, Poplar Bluff
Brian Munzlinger, Williamstown
Ron Richard, Joplin
Gary Romine, Farmington
Dave Schatz, Sullivan
Wayne Wallingford, Cape Girardeau
Jay Wasson, Nixa
DEMOCRATS VOTING YES
Kiki Curls, Kansas City
Jason Holsman, Kansas City
Joe Keaveny, St. Louis
Paul LeVota, Independence
Jamilah Nasheed, St. Louis
Jill Schupp, Creve Coeur
Gina Walsh, St. Louis
REPUBLICANS VOTING NO
Dan Brown, Rolla
Ed Emery, Lamar
Dan Hegeman, Cosby
Will Kraus, Lee’s Summit
Bob Onder, Lake St. Louis
David Pearce, Warrensburg
Jeanie Riddle, Mokane
David Sater, Cassville
Rob Schaaf, St. Joseph
Kurt Schaefer, Columbia
Eric Schmitt, Glendale
Ryan Silvey, Kansas City
Paul Wieland, Imperial
REPUBLICANS NOT VOTING
Mike Parson, Bolivar
DEMOCRATS NOT VOTING
Maria Chappelle-Nadal, St. Louis
Scott Sifton, St. Louis

What Do Bad Roads in Missouri Cost You?
April 30, 2015

A Washington-based group pushing for more road construction says Missouri is in need of road work.

The report from a group called TRIP says 22% of Missouri’s roads maintained by state or local governments are considered to be in poor condition.

It also says more than half of the major roads in Kansas City are in poor or mediocre condition.

The report says the shape of the roads costs Kansas City drivers $1,327 each year in costs.

The motorist cost, according to TRIP is highest in St. Louis; $1,511.

In Jefferson City the cost to a motorist is $1,316.

In Springfield it is $1,1,34.

Missouri has one of the nation’s biggest road system.

The State Highway Department says it is cutting back on road repairs because of a lack of funds.

MODOT Authorizes Patch Work Repair Program
February 5, 2015

(AP) – Missouri drivers will see limited maintenance on some roads as the state’s transportation department grapples with a budget shortfall.

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission approved a plan Tuesday that will focus its efforts on about one-fourth of the state’s 32,000 miles of roads when the agency’s annual construction budget drops to $325 million in 2017.

The department plans to keep the primary roads used to travel between cities in good shape, while other roads will get only minimal maintenance such as filling potholes.

Commission Chair Stephen Miller says the scaled back plan will result in roads and bridges deteriorating.

Missouri Senate Moves Forward With Sales tax Hike for Roads
March 14, 2013

(AP) — Missouri senators endorsed Wednesday a proposed penny sales tax increase that could raise nearly $8 billion over a decade to pay for state and local transportation projects.
The increase would require voter approval and, if passed, would be resubmitted to the ballot after 10 years for Missourians to decide whether to continue.
Sponsoring Sen. Mike Kehoe, who served on the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission before joining the Legislature, said the state needs to boost transportation funding and that the available options are limited. He said the gas tax would need to be increased by 20 to 25 cents to generate equivalent revenue.
“Missourians realize there is a need for investment in our infrastructure. They recognize the return for that,” said Kehoe, R-Jefferson City. He said the measure could support as many as 270,000 jobs in Missouri over a decade.
The sales tax proposal was given first-round approval Wednesday and needs another affirmative vote before moving to the House. The House Transportation Committee has embraced a similar measure, but Speaker Tim Jones previously has said he would prefer that a sales tax increase be revenue neutral.
Preliminary approval in the Senate for the transportation sales tax came shortly before the Legislature’s annual midsession recess. The weeklong break frequently is a demarcation line for proposals that are advancing and those that have become bogged down.
Under the Senate measure, the state transportation commission would develop a list of projects to be funded before the tax appears on the ballot. If voters pass it, the commission would produce an annual status report for the Legislature and the governor.
Ten percent of the revenue would go to cities and counties for local transportation needs. The remainder would be for state projects and could go to highways, bridges and other transportation needs such as ports, railroads and mass transportation. Senators rejected an effort to reserve a portion of the state’s proceeds for projects other than highways and bridges.
When the transportation sales tax is in effect, voter approval would be needed to change the gas tax rate or place tolls on existing roads and bridges.

Missouri and Kansas Could Lose Millions in Highway Funds Because of Failure to Comply with New Fed DOT Rules
January 3, 2012

(AP) — Stuck in a financial pothole, Missouri’s highway department has been selling equipment and eliminating employees to scrounge up enough money to repair its roads. Unless it also changes state law, it could lose tens of millions of federal highway dollars as a penalty for not adopting new safety requirements for commercial truck drivers.

Though Missouri’s financial predicament may be extreme, it is far from unique. Approximately one-third of states have indicated they may not meet a Jan. 30 deadline for their drivers’ license offices to require interstate truck drivers to provide proof from a medical professional that they are healthy enough to drive, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

States that fail to comply with the federal mandate could lose 5 percent of their highway funds – about $30 million in Missouri’s case. If they remain out of compliance for a second year, that penalty doubles. But noncompliant states could receive a grace period; as long as they submit a plan to obey the mandate, federal officials have indicated they may not start deducting money until 2014.

The federal agency declined to provide a list of the states in jeopardy of missing the deadline. But Missouri’s plight was confirmed by state officials and documents obtained by The Associated Press through an open-records request. Officials in several other states, including Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma, also confirmed to the AP that they will not be able to fully implement the federal requirement by the deadline.

“It’s hard enough to keep our roads in good condition, and this is going to make it more difficult,” said Missouri state Rep. Eric Burlison, a Republican who unsuccessfully sought to bring Missouri in line with the federal requirements.

The federal government already requires interstate truck drivers to get a medical OK from a doctor. Drivers currently carry around their medical certification cards in case stopped by a police officer or inspector. Under the federal requirement that kicks in Jan. 30, truck drivers are to begin submitting their medical approval forms to state licensing offices, which are to enter the information in a nationwide database that also tracks things such as invalid licenses and driving violations.