First, some good news this week! Missourians will be able to use their Missouri-issued identification cards to fly domestically and visit federal installations until August of 2019. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently granted an extension to the state that will allow existing Missouri driver licenses and identification cards to be accepted by federal agencies until Aug. 1 of next year.
The grace period that was previously extended by DHS had been set to expire in January of 2019. Missouri requested an additional extension in order to have time to make new REAL ID-compliant licenses available. The state anticipates having the new driver licenses ready by March of 2019, so the extension until August will ensure Missourians are able to travel without interruption. After next year, this issue should finally be put to rest!
Statewide Ballot Measures
On Nov. 6, the citizens of Missouri will have several legislative/constitutional issues to decide. As Election Day approaches, I will recap the several statewide ballot measures approved to appear on the ballot this November. This week, I will cover Proposition D.
Proposition D Official Ballot Title:
Shall Missouri law be amended to fund Missouri state law enforcement by increasing the motor fuel tax by two and one half cents per gallon annually for four years beginning July 1, 2019, exempt Special Olympic, Paralympic, and Olympic prizes from state taxes, and to establish the Emergency State Freight Bottleneck Fund?
If passed, this measure will generate at least $288 million annually to the State Road Fund to provide for the funding of Missouri state law enforcement and $123 million annually to local governments for road construction and maintenance.
· Nineteen and one-half (19.5) cents per gallon beginning July 1, 2019;
· Twenty-two (22) cents per gallon beginning July 1, 2020;
· Twenty-four and one-half (24.5) cents per gallon beginning July 1, 2021;
· Twenty-seven (27) cents per gallon beginning July 1, 2022.
The amendment will also increase the tax on alternative fuels used for motor vehicles (including compressed natural gas, liquid natural gas, and propane gas). The amendment will increase the rate from seventeen (17) cents to twenty-seven (27) cents per unit equivalent to a gallon of gasoline or diesel beginning Jan. 1, 2026. The amendment will require the state auditor to audit the state’s use of the revenue generated by these taxes every two years.
Additionally, the amendment will allow a state income tax deduction for the value of any prize or award won in the Olympics, Paralympics, or Special Olympics; and it will create an “Emergency State Freight Bottleneck Fund” for major highway intersections subject to congestion, and will free up financing for road maintenance and improvement projects in the state.
A “yes” vote will amend Missouri statutes to fund the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s enforcement and administration of motor vehicle laws and traffic regulations. The source of the funding will be revenue from an increased state tax on motor fuel (including gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, and blended fuel). The current state motor fuel tax rate is seventeen (17) cents per gallon. A “no” vote will not amend Missouri statutes to increase the motor fuel tax, exempt certain prizes from state taxes or establish the Emergency State Freight Bottleneck Fund.
(Above) is a helpful chart that breaks down some statistics and facts about Prop D
It is an honor to serve the 51st District in the Missouri House of Representatives. Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our state government and the quality of life for all Missourians. My telephone number is 573-751-2204 or you may contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for working with me to make Missouri a great place to live.