Missouri Senate passes highway safety bill to avoid funding loss

Thursday, January 26, 2012 | 12:42 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Senate has passed legislation that could avoid the loss of tens of millions of dollars for road construction by bringing the state into compliance with federal highway safety laws.

The bill approved 29-4 Thursday would change Missouri's laws for drunken driving sentences and commercial truck drivers.

The bill now goes to the House. Passage there cannot occur in time for Missouri to meet a Monday deadline to comply with a federal mandate that interstate truck drivers provide states with proof they are healthy enough to drive. But Missouri may still avoid a $30 million penalty by coming into compliance after the federal deadline.

Missouri already had about $20 million of federal funds redirected from road construction to highway safety efforts because its DWI laws don't meet federal standards.

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