Legislators say transportation funding a priority, don’t commit to fuel tax hike

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

The leaders of the state House and Senate confirm that finding a way to pay for the needs of Missouri’s transportation infrastructure will be a priority in the 2016 session, but both say that won’t just mean talking about fuel tax increases.

Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard calls transportation the most important and most talked about issue heading into the new session, but says he can’t predict what funding solution the legislature will support.

House Speaker Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) said fuel tax increases won’t be the only ideas considered. He said the legislature is “committed to holding the line on taxes.”

And amidst talk of highway dollars and fuel taxes, the Missouri Department of Transportation has also hired a new director, Patrick McKenna, who is being briefed by transportation committee members on the state’s transportation picture and its needs. One of his early tasks is to work on proposals for Missouri lawmakers.

Richard said he believes something will get out of the legislature in 2016.

Read more from Missourinet and St. Louis Public Radio

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