Now that Amendment 7 has gone down in flames, let’s look at highway funding in Missouri.
Amendment 7 would have authorized a 3/4 cent sales tax increase in Missouri. The money was intended for transportation in the broadest sense of the word. Parks with dirt paths qualify, since people can walk on the paths. Even if the bill tightened down the definition of transportation, municipalities and counties would have merely shifted funds to other projects and replaced that money with Amendment 7 taxes. Politicians are masters at moving money around.
I’ve pointed out before that Missouri has great roads. Some of the best in the country. But let’s say Amendment 7’s supporters were right. Say we need more money for roads and bridges and butterfly museums. Now what?
My buddy Ben Evans of Heritage Action has a great idea.** Let the Missouri Legislature pass resolutions advising our Congressional delegation of what to do and how to vote. **
The first resolution I’d propose involves highway funding. The legislature should tell our members of Congress to** co-sponsor and pass the Transportation Empowerment Act**. You can read all about the TEA here.
The Congressional delegation could just ignore the legislature’s recommendation, of course. The resolution could not bind them. But the act of formalizing instructions to members of Congress would make it far more difficult for Representatives and Senators to weasel their way out situations.
Could Roy Blunt really claim he understands Missourians' best interest better than a state rep who lives and works with his constituents? Hardly.
If you like this idea, please let John Diehl know right away. Ask him to fast-track a resolution on TEA in the first weeks of the next general assembly in January. And thank @benevansstl for the great strategy idea.
Note: I’ve fixed the link to John Diehl. If it doesn’t work, here’s his address: John.Diehl@house.mo.gov