Are bonds way to pay for state maintenance?

Many businesses and some lawmakers are talking this spring about the need to repair and upgrade many of Missouri’s roads and bridges, and rebuild some of them, like Interstate 70.

State Transportation officials estimate that need at $20 billion — $1 billion a year for the next two decades.

And lawmakers this year are trying to heat up the discussion of how to pay for those repairs and replacements — whether it should be tolls for I-70, or a sales tax or fuels tax increase.

State officials also have another facilities concern — how to pay for improving and speeding up the maintenance of the Capitol, other buildings in Jefferson City’s Capitol Complex and, really, stateowned facilities throughout Missouri.

State Rep. Chris Kelly, DColumbia and a former chair of the House Budget Committee, thinks Missouri should sell bonds to pay for state building projects.

But, when interviewed last week, Kelly acknowledged he doesn’t think it’s going anywhere this year.

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