I have been a member of the Transportation committee for the past 5 years and have heard hours and hours of testimony regarding the funding shortfall. I am totally convinced we have a serious problem and while there is still some obvious waste within MoDot, we are far short of what we need to do the job correctly. I've seen several opinion columns in the papers where people expect the Legislators to come up with a fix to the problem. The Hancock amendment provides that any tax increase over about $54 million dollars has to be approved by the voters. I believe this is rightly so, but whether from a lack of understanding the problem or just an aversion to any tax increases, the voters soundly defeated the 3/4 cent sales tax proposal last year. I'm sure there will be discussions in next year's session about various ways to provide the needed funds and I will keep you updated on the different proposals. If you have any thoughts or suggestions on different approaches, I will be glad to get them.
Veto Session begins next week and the primary focus for many will be overriding the Governor's veto on Right to Work. What it means is you can join a union, join a competitive union, or not join a union at all. I have compared statistics from 2001 to 2011 and Right to work states gained 1.7 million jobs while non RTW States lost over 2 million. Twenty-Two of the top 25 states with the best economic outlook are RTW States. Twenty-Three of the bottom 25 are forced union states with Missouri ranking 42nd. Without economic growth and the added jobs that it brings, Missouri has no chance to provide more money to Education, raise teachers and social workers salaries from the poorest in the nation, and keep our children and grandchildren in our state after they finish their education. Those reasons are enough to get my support.