How Missouri’s Legislature Can Increase Highway Funds

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Now that Amendment 7 has gone down in flames, let’s look at highway funding in Missouri.

Amendment 7 would have authorized a 3/4 cent sales tax increase in Missouri. The money was intended for transportation in the broadest sense of the word. Parks with dirt paths qualify, since people can walk on the paths. Even if the bill tightened down the definition of transportation, municipalities and counties would have merely shifted funds to other projects and replaced that money with Amendment 7 taxes. Politicians are masters at moving money around.

I’ve pointed out before that Missouri has great roads. Some of the best in the country. But let’s say Amendment 7’s supporters were right. Say we need more money for roads and bridges and butterfly museums. Now what?

My buddy Ben Evans of Heritage Action has a great idea. Let the Missouri Legislature pass resolutions advising our Congressional delegation of what to do and how to vote. 

The first resolution I’d propose involves highway funding. The legislature should tell our members of Congress to co-sponsor and pass the Transportation Empowerment Act. You can read all about the TEA here.

The Congressional delegation could just ignore the legislature’s recommendation, of course. The resolution could not bind them. But the act of formalizing instructions to members of Congress would make it far more difficult for Representatives and Senators to weasel their way out situations.

Could Roy Blunt really claim he understands Missourians’ best interest better than a state rep who lives and works with his constituents? Hardly.

If you like this idea, please let John Diehl know right away. Ask him to fast-track a resolution on TEA in the first weeks of the next general assembly in January. And thank @benevansstl for the great strategy idea.

Note: I’ve fixed the link to John Diehl. If it doesn’t work, here’s his address: John.Diehl@house.mo.gov


9 Comments

  • Bill Hennessy

    August 9, 2014

    Thanks, Frieda.

    I’m afraid that St. Louis County Republicans are in trouble, and I think part of it can be blamed on the RNC and the Republican Establishment. Guys like Mitch McConnell have been telling grassroots, free-market conservatives they’re not wanted.

    We have two posts that should be ready Sunday afternoon showing that the St. Louis County GOP is facing a fight for its life as a growing number of Tea Partiers accept that we’re simply not wanted in their party.

  • Frieda Keough

    August 9, 2014

    I like Ben’s idea. But I am thinking that we need to defeat Diehl. Did you see how close his opponent got in the vote count? It could be done.

  • notforsale

    August 7, 2014

    I like the idea and tried to use your link for Diehl (It’s not working). Since we haven’t done away with the 17th Amendment – it may be a way to rattle the chains of our US Reps and Senators. Since you mentioned Blunt, that reminds me . . . we really have to start looking for his replacement.

    • wiliamthennessy

      August 8, 2014

      Thanks for beta test. I shall fix that faulty link.

    • wiliamthennessy

      August 8, 2014

      And, yes on the need for a new Senator. Not to be Blunt.

  • Doug Aegerter

    August 7, 2014

    “Toll” me a story about “London Bridges falling down”. Just “don’t taxxx me, bro”!

  • Lee Presser

    August 7, 2014

    In 2017, when MoDOT is forced to shut down Missouri bridges (that is going to happen unless there is additional funding made available) and therefore Missouri roads, it will be too late to discover our roads are not so great after-all. Bill, I’m sure your proposal above to involve more gutless, ineffective members of the political class will be great comfort to those who will have to go all the way around to get to the other side of the bridge.

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