There was a lot of activity last week in Jefferson City with regards to transportation in Missouri.
Senator Kehoe filed SJR 16. Upon voter approval, the bill would call for a temporary one-cent sales and use tax to bolster the creation and maintenance of city, county and state transportation needs by raising $7.9 billion in new transportation funding generated during the 10-year life of the sales and use tax. This tax would not be collected on medicine, groceries or gasoline, and would prohibit the establishment of any toll roads on existing highways. In addition, the joint resolution would require the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission to submit an annual report detailing projects, budgets and timelines regarding the use of the new transportation revenue.
In addition, the House Appropriations committee on Infrastructure and Job Creation heard HJR 14 Tuesday evening. The bill is sponsored by Speaker Tim Jones as well as 80+ co-sponsors.
Upon voter approval, this proposed constitutional amendment authorizes the General Assembly to issue up to $950 million in bonds to provide funding for Higher Education including improvements, construction, and transportation infrastructure. Of this amount, $250 million would be allocated to state buildings and facilities with $40 million of this allocation set aside for restoring state parks, and $105 million would be directed to community colleges. Jones stated multiple times the bill is a starting point and would inevitably need to be married to the proposal coming from the Senate. He further noted the state’s AAA bond rating should not be put on a shelf, but should instead be put to good use.