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Democrats Unveil Their Plan to Finance Road Repair

January 25, 2000
By: Missy Shelton
State Capital Bureau

Missouri democrats want to hold the Missouri Department of Transportation accountable for their spending.

Missy Shelton is in Jefferson City with the details.

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A proposal from Democratic lawmakers would give the legislature more power over the Hghway Commission's ability to issue bonds.

This is the latest in a series of plans to get funding for fixing the state's highway system.

Under the democratic proposal, the legislature would have to approve the amount of the bond and the projects being financed before MODOT could move ahead with repairs.

But the top Republican in the Senate, Steve Ehlmann says he's not sure that's legal.

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Ehlmann says he's pleased to see some consensus...There's support from both parties to finance road repair with bonds.

But he says working out the details could prove problematic.

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Congressman Jim Talent, the likely Republican candidate for governor wants to allow up to 10 billion dollars in bonding while Democratic lawmakers want it limited to 2 billion.

House Speaker Pro Temp Jim Kreider says the democrat's proposal will ensure the state keeps its good bond rating.

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Senator Jim Mathewson, a democrat from Sedalia says it's critical for Missouri to keep a good bond rating.

He says he's comfortable with 2 billion dollars in bonds but he says he'd be hesitant to approve more than that.

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The likely Democratic candidate for governor, State Treasurer Bob Holden says he supports the plan laid out by democratic lawmakers.

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