COLUMBIA — Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, has been trying to grab the attention of voters for weeks. The issue at stake is House Joint Resolution 77.
According to a previous guest commentary written by Kelly, “this is a bill that would allow Missouri voters to decide whether Missourians should dedicate some of the taxes they are already paying to the construction of new major medical and scientific facilities at our public colleges and universities, as well as to make long overdue repairs to crumbling state infrastructure.”
According to Kelly, the bill would allow the state to sell general obligation bonds to raise $800 million, and that money would be used to build new infrastructures at several state schools, including a new cancer research and treatment hospital and new College of Engineering at MU.
House leaders have come out against the bill in recent weeks, saying “there’s not an appetite for it.” A major argument against the resolution is the debt it would add to the state budget. However, Kelly emphasized that this would create capital improvement debt rather than operating debt.
“Just as we incur debt as homeowners and the private sector incurs debt for its capital plant, so too will the state always use debt to build large new facilities,” he wrote in his commentary.
More than 50 House members from both parties have sponsored the bill, but Kelly is urging voters to step to the plate and make their voices heard.
Would you vote for Rep. Chris Kelly’s bond measure to finance capital improvements? Do you think it will garner enough support to pass in the General Assembly?