Missouri House Democrats criticize plan to borrow for roads

A top Democratic lawmaker Monday said Republican Gov. Mike Parson’s plan to borrow $350 million to repair bridges across the state is a “nonstarter.”

Rep. Kip Kendrick, the top Democrat on the influential House Budget Committee, told reporters that House Democrats generally oppose using un-earmarked general revenue to fund infrastructure.

Road and bridge work has previously been funded primarily through the state’s gas tax, federal funding and fees.

Under Parson’s plan, the state would repay the $350-million loan with general revenue in $30-million-a-year payments over 15 years. The state would owe an estimated $100 million in interest.

“It’s no disrespect to the governor, he wanted to put a proposal out there that started the conversation,” Kendrick said. “I just think that proposal is a nonstarter.”