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No time for a wrong turn – Missouri transportation leaders to discuss funding woes, need for innovation

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JEFFERSON CITY — Should Missouri raise our fuel tax this year? Would higher tobacco taxes help fix our transportation shortfall? How about more public-private partnerships? Is now the right time to bring back local cost sharing for infrastructure projects? Does the newly-passed federal highway bill solve Missouri’s problems?

For years, Missouri’s transportation leaders have been facing a historic funding crisis. As we begin 2016, they are now confronted with a new issue—parsing a diverse set of fresh proposals intended fix the crisis.

Missouri’s top transportation leaders will learn more about the various ideas under consideration during the Missouri Conference on Transportation, hosted by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Jan. 28. The Missouri Conference on Transportation will be held at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City. Registration opens at 8 a.m. with presentations beginning at 8:30 a.m. Media are invited to attend.

“It’s time to have a conversation about the diverse set of transportation proposals on the table and begin to discuss which plan, or plans, present the best road forward. A wrong turn at this point would be calamitous for Missouri’s infrastructure,” said Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO. “Missouri business leaders are watching these talks closely. The business community remains deeply concerned about the future of our transportation system and our Missouri 2030 strategic plan continues to call for action.”

The day will include updates from Stephan Miller, chairman of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, and Patrick McKenna, director of the Missouri Department of Transportation. Missouri Speaker of the House Rep. Todd Richardson, who recently proposed bringing back cost sharing, will discuss his ideas alongside House Pro Tem Rep. Denny Hoskins. Later presentations will highlight tobacco funding options, public-private partnerships and a keynote address from U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, chairman for the Congressional Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.

Visit mochamber.com for the full agenda, including presentations about Uber, river ports, international trade and other important topics.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is the largest business association in Missouri. Together, with the Missouri Chamber Federation, the Missouri Chamber represents more than 50,000 employers.

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