"As the construction budget gets smaller every year, projects in the STIP (a list of transportation projects to be completed over five years), must reflect only the most essential transportation needs," said then-Interim Director Roberta Broeker in a press release.
Senator Mike Kehoe said he would focus on funding transportation after being announced as the Senate Majority Floor Leader.
"I think the transportation issue is the state's priority," said Kehoe in September. "I don't think it's just mine. As those issues come up, and if the caucus continues to believe it's a priority like I believe they do... I think transportation will continue to be at the front of what we talk about."
There is a proposed gas tax increase that passed the Senate but has not made it to the House floor. The deadline to pass bills is Friday.The measure would increase the tax from 17 cents to 22.9. If passed by the General Assembly, the bill would also require a majority vote of Missourians.
Kehoe was adamant that transportation funding for Missouri is still a major issue that must be addressed.
"The transportation department is widely known as short of funding, compared to just 7 or 8 years ago, for a variety of reasons," said Kehoe. "I believe everybody understands that we’re short of funding, but nobody can seem to agree on how we make up that funding."
The Senate Majority Floor Leader was open to creative solutions to raise revenue for infrastructure.
"I think everything has to be on the table," Kehoe said. "Most any type of fee, toll, gas tax or sales tax is just unpopular with constituents right now, but it doesn’t mean the problem is going away. Any ideas that are being floated around right now that have to do with transportation funding are going to have to remain on the table until we figure this problem out."
The General Assembly passed a ballot measure in 2014 to create a sales tax focused solely on improving Missouri's roads. However, that tax was soundly defeated by the voters with 59 percent against it.
Another proposal to fix Missouri's roads would have made I-70 a toll road, similar to the Kansas Turnpike. The Missouri Department of Transportation filed an analysis of possibly tolling the interstate in 2014.