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A bridge too far? Bonding proposal may be in trouble

Governor Mike Parson proposed issuing $350 million in bonds to immediately begin to repair some of the worst bridges in Missouri. Associated Industries of Missouri and the Missouri Transportation Development Council have supported that plan. Legislators appear to have a different idea.

The original proposal would have required about $30 million in payments for 15 years, resulting in about $100 million in interest.

An alternative plan, sponsored by House Budget Chairman Cody Smith and unveiled this week, would use $100 million in state General Revenue funds for road and bridge improvements. Aside from public transit, this would be the first time General Revenue would be used for highway projects.

We will continue to review the plan and report on its progress. AIM and MTD have both supported multiple funding options for transportation improvements, including another bill that was heard this week, HB 822, sponsored by Rep. Steve Butz. That bill would raise the fuel tax by 10 cents in five equal steps and equalize the tax on alternative fuels and electricity.

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