Missouri lawmakers are putting the brakes on any talk of transforming all or parts of Interstate 70 into a toll road.
As part of a budget proposal moving through the Missouri Legislature, wording has been inserted into the document that would bar the Missouri Department of Transportation from using any money for toll-related purposes.
The prohibition includes even studying whether tolls could be a solution to fixing the heavily traveled cross-country route. And, it’s not just limited to I-70.
“No funds shall be used for any costs associated with the tolling of interstate highways,” the amendment reads.
The ban, which was added into the budget late Tuesday, comes as Missouri has been seeking ways to finance an upgrade of I-70 in the midst of a reluctance by lawmakers to raise the motor fuel tax.
Rep. Bryan Spencer, R-Wentzville, said he introduced the language because his constituents, many of whom live on both sides of the highway, are against the idea of tolls. However, he acknowledged that Missouri’s roadways are in need of repair.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch