Although there seems to be general agreement in Jefferson City about the need to find funds for fixing the state’s aging roads and bridges, there is no clear consensus on the best way to do that.
As the second half of the 2015 legislative session begins, no plan has emerged as a favorite for making up the $160 million transportation shortfall state officials have projected. If that shortfall isn’t addressed, the Missouri Department of Transportation’s budget will shrink to the point that only a quarter of the state’s 34,000 miles of roads will get needed upkeep.
Sen. Doug Libla, R-Poplar Bluff, the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, is pushing for a “2+2+2 Plan,” which would raise the state’s gas tax 2 cents per year for three straight years. He says because of the bill’s incremental nature, it wouldn’t need to be placed on a ballot.