No funds for hanger in conference
JOPLIN, Mo. – David Humphreys, Missouri Republican mega donor, released a rare statement to the media Wednesday to say he had no knowledge of a nearly $1 million line item for the Joplin Airport.
Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, has requested the line item for the last two years, which would be used to fund the construction of a new hangar in the Southwestern Missouri city.
Senator Ryan Silvey has suggested Humphreys, the Joplin-based owner of TAMKO Building Products, Inc., had a hand in its inclusion in the state budget as he owns two private jets based in the airport. It had particularly become a sticking point between Richard and Silvey, the latter of whom has criticized the Senate leader for not including him, the Senate Budget Vice Chair, in conference budget committees.
However, Humphreys said Wednesday he was not even aware of the funds for the airport.
“The Missouri Times article today is the first I learned of proposed legislation of state funding for hangars at the Joplin airport,” Humphreys said. “TAMKO already has the leases needed to operate out of the airport for many years ahead. We have modified our hangar to meet our specifications and have no interest in any additional hangars.”
Furthermore, Humphreys said he would personally like to see the line item out of the bill.
“Also, as a taxpayer, I see no need for this project and certainly would support efforts to save these funds for a rainy day (like the one we’ve just suffered),” he said.
Humphreys got his wish as the line item was taken out of the budget Wednesday during conference between the House and Senate.