Mo. Gov. wants money for roads, bridges

Looks like Missouri might be getting some new road and bridge improvements.

Gov. Mike Parson wants state lawmakers to fund another year for a program that helped cities and counties with infrastructure improvements for roads and bridges.

The governor pointed out that the program lawmakers passed last year was a legislative success and it should be funded again for this year. The governor was speaking at a meeting of the Missouri Asphalt and Pavement Association.

That deal included $50 million in matching state funds for cities and counties that share the cost of improving their roads and bridges.

More details on the dollar amount are expected in Parson’s State of the State speech.

In December, the governor’s office announced $50 million in matching state funds for some 20 projects.  This would amount to a total of $131 million in upgrades to roads, bridges and intersections.

Last year’s deal saw the matching funds come from the state’s general fund, rather than from fuel taxes.  The program came after voters rejected in November 2018 an increase to the state’s 17-cent fuel tax.

Neither the governor nor the legislature seems to want to push for a tax increase this year.  However, one senator has filed legislation to increase the gas tax by 2 cents. Diesel taxes would go up 6 cents. Neither increase would be put under the public’s vote with a question on the ballot.  There are a few other Democrats in the House who have filed bills to increase the fuel tax.

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