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Senate approves a one half billion dollar tax increase for transportation.

April 17, 2002
By: Justin Herndon
State Capital Bureau

Missouri is one step closer to getting a half billion dollar tax increase.

Justin Herndon has the story.

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

After more than six hours of debate that started last week, the Missouri Senate finally gave first round approval to a major sales and gasoline tax increase.

Actuality: taxvote.wav
RunTime:
OutCue:
Contents: All those in favor vote aye and all those opposed vote no...the ayes have it...

And with that, Senator Morris Westfall scored a huge victory for the revenue towards Missouri's roads.

Actuality: westwin.wav
RunTime: 18
OutCue:
Contents: its been a long battle, we overcame a hurdle and we've made some significant progress.

Westfall has been very compromising with the opposition in order to pass his bill but he says after this vote he can't accept too much more.

Actuality: wcomfort.wav
RunTime: 17
OutCue:
Contents: I've had about all that I can stomach, they've got me as much as they can. I'm at the edge of my comfort level.

Even with the victory, Westfall says he remains cautiously optimistic with the time left to pass the bill entirely.

Actuality: Westtime.wav
RunTime: 20
OutCue:
Contents: lets face it, time is of the essence. We all know the deadline is May 17th...in all probability we'll be into the last week on this one, we're on the edge.

The bill still faces one more vote in the Senate before going to the House.

Westfall says he hopes the bill can go to the full House by the end of this week.

If passed it will eventually need the approval of the taxpayers in Missouri.

In Jefferson City, I'm Justin Herndon.