Threat of further filibuster kills transportation sales tax for session

State Sen. Mike Kehoe reluctantly admitted defeat this morning on his proposal for a 10-year, one-cent sales tax to pay for transportation improvements.

"No one has denied the problem we have," Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, told colleagues as he acknowledged that asking for a vote by the full Senate would be blocked by the same senators who filibustered the measure for four hours Tuesday night.

During that filbuster, Sen. John Lamping, R-Ladue, suggested that the sales tax supporters easily could get the issue on the November 2014 ballot by circulating an initiative petition.

But Kehoe told colleagues he's not certain that will happen.

And Sen. Ryan McKenna, R-Crystal City — whose father, former Highways and Transportation Commission chairman and former state Senate President Pro Tem Bill McKenna — said this morning: "This is going to cost business a lot of money to put it on the ballot."

But, Kehoe told reporters, while he doesn't know, yet, what will happen next with the proposal, waiting to have the Legislature discuss it next year likely is too late.

Any initiative petition would have to be turned in to the secretary of state's office next May, before next year's General Assembly session was finished.

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