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Lawmakers looking for money to improve roads

Local governments in Missouri may soon help fund road and bridge repairs. State Republicans want to include 30-million dollars in the budget that would ultimately go to help cities with road repairs.

Some lawmakers are looking at the possibility of reinstating the state’s cost-share program between MoDOT and local cities and governments. MoDOT and cities split the cost of infrastructure projects in that program. The program was suspended in 20-14 because of a decline in revenue.

Cuts from other programs would free up money in the general fund, allowing more money for the program.

Reinstating the program seems to be more appealing to some lawmakers than raising the fuel tax. Senate Republicans and The Speaker of the House are not in favor of raising taxes.

One bill expected to be heavily debated in the Senate next week is the fuel tax increase. The bill would increase the fuel tax on regular gas by 1.5 cents and on diesel by 3.5 cents.

Transportation officials say they need about 160-million dollars in additional funds to maintain the road system, improve bridges, and re-start the cost-share program.

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