Tax Incentives, Bridges, and Jeff City in August
Governor Blunt has just set a date for a special session of the state legislature. It starts on August 20 and will deal with the economic development package that the governor rightfully vetoed, and the issue of bonding requirements for very long-term transportation projects. The economic development part would have gotten all the press if not for the recent tragedy in Minneapolis.
The issue with the performance bonds is fairly straightforward. MoDOT wants contractors to bid on repairing a group of 800 bridges, and then maintaining them for 25 years. As the bid process moved forward, it became apparent that the bonding requirements for the contractors, as currently set by law, would be too enormous in a 25-year project for any contractor to be able to afford it. So the Legislature and Governor Blunt need to make a few changes to reduce the performance bonds for long-term projects such as the Safe-and-Sound Bridge Improvement Plan. This is a great plan for Missouri, and I commend the Governor and Legislature for addressing it seriously.