A proposed one-cent sales tax for Missouri highways and other transportation projects could create thousands of jobs, Sen. Ryan McKenna (D-Crystal City), told approximately 750 union members in attendance at an infrastructure rally in St. Louis April 18, sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute and hosted by the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council.
McKenna, a member of Laborers Local 110, co-sponsored the measure in the Senate. It recently won approval from the House Transportation Committee.
The measure, Senate Joint Resolution 16 (SJR16) would generate about $8 billion for transportation projects over a decade, McKenna said, and generate about 270,000 jobs.
“If we had a business moving to Missouri and they told the Missouri legislature that they’re going to create 270,000 jobs, our heads would explode,” McKenna said. “That’s what this bill is going to do.”
That’s welcome news, Jeff Aboussie, executive secretary treasurer of the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council, said, particularly since the highway transportation projects would all fall under prevailing wage.
“Anytime we get a chance to put our members back to work, it’s a win,” Aboussie said.
The measure cleared the Senate in March. If approved in the House, it would go before voters in November 2014.
McKenna urged union members to contact their representatives to show their support for the proposal.
You can find your representative and his or her contact information by visiting www.house.mo.gov.