Democrats try to add gas tax to transportation bill, get shut down

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Democratic Minority Leader Jacob Hummel tried to add a gas tax bill as an amendment to another transportation bill Tuesday morning, saying action was needed to help fund the state’s infrastructure.

Discussion on the bill, HB 2345, was ended after Republicans moved the previous question before Hummel, D-St. Louis, could offer his amendment.

Hummel
Hummel

“All year, House Republicans have failed to offer a realistic plan to fix Missouri’s crumbling roads and bridges,” Hummel said in a statement. “For the majority party to block a discussion of this serious problem from even taking place is nothing short of cowardly.”

However, Transportation Committee chair Glen Kolkmeyer, R-Odessa, who sponsored HB 2345, said that discussion would come soon. SB 623, the legislation Hummel tried to add to the bill, will be heard in Kolkmeyer’s committee next Tuesday upon adjournment.

While Kolkmeyer has expressed support for SB 623, he said an amending it to a bill on the floor was not the proper time to bring up the legislation.

Kolkmeyer
Kolkmeyer

“I think it should be heard in a committee and go through the normal procedures before it comes to the floor,” he said.

SB 623 would raise the statewide gas tax by 5.9 cents, if approved by voters. Both Hummel and Kolkmeyer expressed their support for the bill on the April 7 #moleg podcast.

This was not the first time Hummel tried to amend gas tax legislation to a transportation bill, but in the past he’s been rebuffed as offering an amendment beyond the scope of the bill. He could have been successful with HB 2345, which would have allowed for rules to be created for technology that would improve fuel economy for trucks by letting them link together and draft off of each other.