It was a deadly holiday weekend for motorists in Missouri.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol says 17 people were killed between 6 p.m. Wednesday and just before midnight today. An additional 157 people were injured, and state troopers arrested nearly 200 people in for driving while intoxicated.
Both those numbers are significantly higher than last year's totals, but troopers only tallied 30 hours worth of data last year. This year's count was nearly three times as long.
A group of Republicans in the Missouri Senate has blocked a proposed constitutional amendment that would create a one-cent sales tax to help fund the state’s transportation needs.
The tax would require voter approval and would expire after 10 years unless voters renew it. Five percent of revenues raised would be designated for cities and another five percent for counties to pay for local transportation needs. Those factors were not enough to sway several Republicans, including Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph, who conducted a filibuster Tuesday night.
When it comes to successfully or unsuccessfully governing and managing communities, leadership decisions can make or break a city or region.
St. Louis has been cited as a city “that let greatness slip away over the 20th century.” That’s the contention of Colin Gordon, Professor of History at the University of Iowa, in his book, Mapping Decline…St. Louis and the Fate of the American City.
Updated: 4/1/13 at 4:12, after the meeting took place.
Transportation advocates say that by 2018, 1 out of every 3 miles of roads in Illinois will be of unacceptable condition, unless there are new sources of revenue. The Transportation for Illinois Coalition held a meeting with business leaders and state lawmakers in O’Fallon Monday to discuss what can be done.
Cars are becoming more fuel efficient – it’s good for drivers, who get to save more money, and it’s better for the environment. What it isn’t good for, however, is transportation funding.
Some concerns have been raised in the Missouri Senate over a proposed constitutional amendment that would create a temporary one-cent sales tax to fund transportation needs.
The one-penny sales tax is expected to raise nearly $8 billion over ten years. All money raised would go directly to the Missouri Dept. of Transportation (MoDOT), and that provision is not sitting well with some Senators. Republican Kurt Schaefer of Columbia says lawmakers should have at least some say into how that money would be spent.
The proposed constitutional amendment would create a one-cent sales tax that would expire after 10 years. It’s co-sponsored by State Senator Mike Kehoe (R, Jefferson City). He says the one-penny tax would not be levied on groceries, prescription medicine or fuel.
A panel appointed by the Missouri House to study the state’s transportation needs released its final report today, one day before the start of the 2013 legislative session.
It states that Missouri needs an additional $600 million to $1 billion a year – for several years – to maintain roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure. The report lays out several options for meeting that gap, but doesn’t recommend any specific funding methods. Retired Democratic State Senator Bill McKenna co-chaired the Blue Ribbon Citizens Committee on Missouri's Transportation Needs. He says some of the options won’t appeal to the Republican majority.
Some Metro Transit riders saw new fare boxes as they boarded buses today.
The agency is testing the new fare boxes, which look a little like vending machines, on 40 of its buses.
The new fare boxes don’t allow customers to drop all of their money into the machines at the same time, and Metro Transit spokeswoman Dianne Williams said that change has been the source of most early complaints.