New funding will help repair state’s bridges
Missouri’s transportation infrastructure remains a major concern for our state’s employers. The Missouri 2030 Gallup survey showed that only 37 percent of the state’s business leaders were satisfied with Missouri’s basic infrastructure. With the state having made little progress on infrastructure in recent years, it’s likely that number has further deteriorated.
After a 2018 effort to pass a fuel tax increase failed, Gov. Mike Parson proposed a new plan to utilize bonding to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for critical repairs. State lawmakers passed the plan in two parts. First, they budgeted $50 million in state general revenue for infrastructure work. Then they passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 14, which authorized the state to bond $301 million for transportation needs if Missouri receives funding through the federal Infrastructure for Rebuilding America program.
“This investment in our state’s infrastructure is an extraordinary step and one that is urgently needed to ensure our roads and bridges remain safe and open for commerce,” said Mehan. “We are very thankful that lawmakers have passed this legislation to allow the Missouri Department of Transportation to begin to address some of the most concerning deficiencies in our system. The passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution 14 is another great example of strong leadership by Gov. Mike Parson and Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz. These two leaders have spent years championing the need for infrastructure investment in our state. The business community greatly appreciates their focus on improving our transportation system. Today’s success in passing Senate Concurrent Resolution 14 is another step forward toward one of the four key goals of our Missouri 2030 strategic initiative, ‘Connecting through Infrastructure.’”
The legislature also passed a bill to protect the state’s pipelines and other critical infrastructure from harmful acts of trespassing and tampering. The bill will create stronger penalties for willfully damaging or willfully trespassing onto critical infrastructure facilities. This language was included in House Bill 355 by Rep. Dean Plocher, a Republican from St. Louis.