Dismantling MoDOT and Plundering Amendment 3
June 20, 2011
The ballot language for Missouri's 2004 Amendment 3 said "Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to require that all revenues from the existing motor vehicle fuel tax (less collection costs) be used only for state and local highways, roads and bridges, and also require that vehicle taxes and fees paid by highway users be used only for constructing and maintaining the state highway system (less collection costs, refunds and highway patrol law enforcement costs), except that up to half of such vehicle taxes and fees, phased in over four years, will go into a state road bond fund to repay state highway bonds?" The Amendment was passed by voters with an overwhelming 78.9% majority. Would we have the same results if the ballot additionally said "The highways and transportation commission shall have authority to issue state road bonds for the uses set forth in this subdivision"? Those words were in the full text of the Amendment. I bet most voters didn't realize they were voting to allow more government debt when they voted in favor of Amendment 3. And if the ballot language had explained
"MoDOT will use the state road bond fund to get into several billions of dollars of new debt to launch a Five Year Construction Spree, to take the whip to their employees and overpay their contractors to highly accelerate the projects, in order to attempt to impress Missourians into providing additional funding to meet transportation needs. If additional funding does not materialize, MoDOT will cut 1200 of their 6300 employees, close 131 buildings, sell 740 pieces of equipment, reduce their number of districts from 10 to 7, and will then provide "good" service with what's left"
would Amendment 3 have passed? Because that's what's taking place. And the ones losing out are the taxpayers of Missouri and MoDOT's rank-and-file workers, while the $90,000 to $160,000 administrators who conjured up this strategy are keeping their jobs and laughing all the way to the bank.
In response to:
Job cuts, service at center of debate
Opponents of the state Transportation Department’s downsizing plan argued last Wednesday it created substantially more job and service cuts in the northeastern and southeastern regions of Missouri than in the two metropolitan areas.