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Democratic Governor Endorses Republican Transportation Plan

February 19, 2002
By: Missy Shelton
State Capital Bureau

A Republican transportation plan has the endorsement of Missouri's democratic governor.

Missy Shelton reports.

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Governor Bob Holden announced his support for a Republican transportation funding package during a mass transit rally at the state capitol.

The plan is the work of Republican senator Morris Westfall.

It would ask voters to approve about 475 million dollars in tax increases to fund public transit, road repair adn construction.

The governor says it's a good plan.

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Though the governor says he's pleased with the measure, Westfall says he's reached the breaking point in terms of the amount of a tax increase he's willing to put before voters.

He says he's concerned some senators may raise the tax increases in his proposal.

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The Missouri Department of Transportation has told lawmakers it needs 1 billion dollars a year to meet the transportation needs of the state.

That's why some democrats say Westfall's measure doesn't go far enough.

But the governor says Westfall's 475 million dollar plan is reasonable.

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The governor has faced some criticism for not tackling the transportation issue this year.

Until now, he's been unwilling to endorse any transportation funding plan.

Westfall says that's partially due to the fact that he told the governor to remove himself from the discussion.

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Westfall's proposal recevied committee approval by an 8 to 1 vote.

He says that will improve the chance voters will approve the tax increase proposal if lawmakers put it on the ballot.

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Westfall's transportation funding plan is awaiting debate on the Senate floor.

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