JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — House Republican leaders have said they want to look to the state budget for a way to fund roads and bridges, there are no details to reveal so far.

The state Senate could soon debate an increase in Missouri’s fuel taxes, but Speaker Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) has said a tax increase is not what he would prefer.

“What I wanted to do is have something that we could work on as a House effort to try to get the ball rolling and get some projects done, and that was the cost-sharing proposal. Obviously we’ve got to find some revenue to put into that program and we’ll work through that with the budget process,” said Richardson.

The Transportation Department suspended a cost-sharing program in 2014 that saw local governments match state funds to support local improvements. Major highways are rarely part of such projects.

Richardson says if a tax increase proposal comes from the Senate it will be considered.

“We’ll see what they send over and if they send something over then we’ll take a hard look at it and evaluate it, and talk about it as a leadership team in caucus,” said Richardson.

Legislators started last week working on the budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

(Mike Lear, Missourinet)