Senate blocks transportation bill – You can help!

MapofstatefundingfortransitAs CMT announced yesterday, the Missouri House passed SJR 16 and sent it back to the Senate for one final up/down vote.  Getting the bill to the floor of the House took significant effort by the members of the coalition supporting its passage.  THANK YOU for your calls, letters, emails and even trips to Jefferson City to promote its passage.  CMT members and friends played a vital role.

However, rather than the Senate just taking a final vote on the bill, it was filibustered for several hours by a handful of Republican Senators including John Lamping, Ed Emery and Rob Schaaf before the motion to accept the bill was withdrawn from the floor ending debate without a vote.  Senator Kehoe laid the bill back on the calendar without bringing it to a vote at 12:30 am.

Sen. John Lamping is from St. Louis County. 

We need to generate activity in Sen. Lamping’s office.  Please contact Sen. Lamping TODAY with our pre-drafted letter below.   If you are actually a constituent of Sen. Lamping’s, I would ask that you take a moment and CALL HIS OFFICE at 573-751-2514 to deliver the following message:

  • I respect your opposition to SJR 16 and am not asking you to change your position on the bill.
  • Transportation funding is critical to Missouri’s economic vitality.
  • I am respectfully asking that you allow SJR 16 to come to a vote before the Senate body.

The filibuster did serious harm to the likelihood of passing this bill.  However, there is still time for the senate to vote on this bill prior to the end of session at 6:00 PM this Friday.

Sen. Lamping’s email:  john.lamping@senate.mo.gov

SAMPLE LETTER:

I am contacting you today regarding your filibuster of SJR 16 last night in the Senate. I respect your opposition to this legislation and am not asking you to change your position.  Increasing Missouri’s transportation funding is critical to Missouri’s economic vitality.

I respectfully ask that you allow members of the Senate, and therefore the citizens of Missouri, to vote on SJR 16.

Additional Talking points for a phone call or email

 * Please let voters decide: Please allow SJR 16 to come to a vote in the senate and to come before Missouri voters.

* If the Senate does not vote on SJR 16, private interests will gather signatures and present a similar proposal to voters as a referendum.  But those private interests are interested in their own welfare, and not the welfare of the people of Missouri.

* If the private interests don’t like bicycling and walking, they might drop those from the referendum. If they don’t like transit or OATS, they might drop that from the referendum. They may make many other changes that benefit private interests rather than the people of Missouri. Private interests shouldn’t be setting Missouri transportation policy.

* It’s the Missouri General Assembly’s job to guide transportation and tax policy in Missouri, with the approval of Missouri voters. If SJR 16 is filibustered, that means the General Assembly has failed to do its job and is deferring its hardest but most important responsibilities to private parties.

Missouri last raised gas taxes in the 1990s.  Because gas taxes are set by the gallon, their buying power goes down every year–inflation, improved gas mileage, and reduced driving each take a toll.

That means that within just a few years, Missouri’s transportation fund will have just half the buying power it did in the mid 1990s.  Missouri’s transportation funding has historically been for roads and bridges only.  By the constitution, MoDOT can’t spend those dollars on transit, biking, or walking.