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McCaskill: Current Construction Permitting Process Adds Costs, Delays

In this file photo, Sen. Claire McCaskill speaks to reporters during a past visit to Springfield's Transportation Management Center (Photo credit: Scott Harvey, KSMU)

Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill says recently introduced legislation that will allow construction projects to cut through federal red tape will create Missouri jobs. KSMU's Scott Harvey has details.

The bill, dubbed a bipartisan approach to help expedite these plans, is co-sponsored by Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican.

In a column issued Tuesday, the senator from Missouri says she’s been told by employers in the state that project regulations, often from multiple federal agencies, add time and money, which negates job creation and limits business.

McCaskill previewed the legislation last month in Springfield, where she said that any project more than $25 million will be made easier to get from the drawing board to digging dirt.

“And the way you do that is you cut back on how many different agencies have to approve it, you put deadlines on the approval process, you shorten the window for approval processes, you make it much simpler for permitting approval,” McCaskill said.

During that address, she was also critical of the way the Missouri legislature has tackled construction projects, citing a failure this past session to pass a bill which would have allowed voters to decide on a one-cent sales tax to fund transportation projects.

McCaskill said the U.S. transportation system is deteriorating, especially in Missouri, calling the state’s $600 million construction budget to oversee 33,000 miles of roadways a “recipe for disaster.”