The Missouri House this week is scheduled to consider a proposed constitutional amendment that would raise the state sales tax by a penny to bridge any anticipated transportation budget shortfalls over the next 10 years. Most of the money would be for roads and bridges, but 10 percent could be earmarked by local governments for alternative forms of transportation including bicycle, air, rail and pedestrian projects.
On Thursday, a legislator sparked a debate by introducing an amendment removing bicycles from the list, arguing that bike trails should be handled on the local level. Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, opposed the amendment and delayed a vote on the bill until this week. Kelly has argued that consensus is widespread among Missourians for devoting more money to bicycling infrastructure.