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Mo. Infrastructure Gets C- Grade, Speaker Jones Says It Shows Need For Sales Tax Bill

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

In a new report Wednesday, Missouri received a lackluster grade on its infrastructure. Citing “pressing issues,” the American Society of Civil Engineers graded Missouri as a C- overall.

Missouri’s Speaker of the House, Republican Tim Jones of Eureka, said it proves several goals of the just-ended legislative session were worth focusing on.

“In my mind, it gave me facts and figures to prove that what we were working on was meaningful and the right way to go," Jones said. "We need to work on the electric issue, we need to work on highway funding, we need to work on our water, sewer and roadways in general.”

Funding infrastructure was one of the key goals of the recently-finished legislative session, and it could be on the agenda for next session, too.

In particular, Jones had hoped to  pass a one-cent sales tax to fund transportation. But that bill died in the Senate when John Lamping from Ladue filibustered the bill that his own party leader supported.

Jones says it’ll be back next year, and could include more of Lamping’s changes.

“I have a feeling that’s going to be dusted off and looked at, since he was one of the chief critics, and he’s coming back next year," Jones said. "It’ll be on the front-burner, for sure.”

Lamping says he had reservations about giving such a large sum of money to a government agency without enough restrictions.

The ASCE points out that Missouri’s rating is actually better the national D+, but added that nobody should be happy to bring home a C- .

You can more about the reasoning behind the grade here.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel