Last week, the Blue Ribbon Citizens Committee on Missouri’s Transportation Needs presented its final report to a committee in the Missouri House of Representatives. On this committee is Brookfield IDA Director Becky Cleveland, who provided a copy of the report to the LCL.
The report, compiled over the course of seven meetings in 2012, detailed how the Missouri Department of Transportation is funded, and how it should be funded in the future. While the committee made no solid recommendations about MoDoT’s funding, they instead presented options to the Legislature.
According to the report, there was a total of 818 citizens attending these meetings, where 208 separate individuals testified before the 22-person committee. After these seven statewide meetings over the course of a year, six themes became a common part of their discussions:
1. The existing system must be maintained
2. Safety must continue to be a priority.
3. Missouri’s transportation needs are multi-modal.
4. Missouri does not have the financial resources to strategically expand the transportation system.
5. A healthy and improved transportation system is critical to the state’s future economic growth.
6. MoDoT is well regarded by the state’s citizens.
Looking at these six themes, the committee recommended five solutions to the Legislature:
1. The State of Missouri needs to invest an additional $600 million to $1 billion annually in transportation.
2. MoDoT cannot cut its way to meeting the needs of the future.
3. Meeting these needs will require a combination of solutions.
4. Missouri should adopt a solution that is fair, accountable and transparent.
5. Any new revenue should be directed to transportation.
The report’s conclusion goes even further than this, as far as a recommendation, and reads as follows:
“The committee recommends that our elected state officials in the Executive Branch, as well as in the House and Senate, take ownership in the incredible investment this state currently has and must make in its infrastructure. And we encourage them to work together for the future of Missouri.”