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Transportation Summit Focuses on Funding

On September 8th, a Transportation Summit in Springfield will give the public a chance to tell Missouri lawmakers and officials from the state Department of Transportation how they feel about transportation funding. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

The purpose of the summit is two fold: to educate the public on the funding crisis facing MODOT and to find out what funding solutions the public supports. The event is sponsored by the Missouri Transportation and Development Council or MTD. MTD is a part of Associated Industries, a group that represents the interests of businesses. Christen Jackson is the lobbyist for MTD.

Jackson says Associated Industries is interested in a variety of funding options but she says a gas tax hike is off the table.

Several meetings similar to the one that's going to be held in Springfield have already taken place around the state. Jackson says there have been discussions at these meetnigs about several possible funding solutions including a sales tax increase and toll roads. She says the goal is to find out what people want in their highway system and then figure out how people want to pay for it. Jackson says it's time for lawmakers to make transportation funding more of a priority.

Jackson says transportation funding is a real problem now and the problem will only get worse.

The perfect storm because in the next four years, federal funding is expected to decrease...there's also going to be a reduction from some funding sources at the state level.

The Transportation Summit will be held in Springfield on September 8th from 10AM to noon in the Plaster Student Union Theatre on the Missouri State University campus. The event is free and open to the public.