“Highlights with Hegeman” for the Week of June 6: Paving a Better Way Through Rural Missouri

As many of you know, I am one of the biggest proponents of working to improve our state’s infrastructure. To me, state government should be the entity that can take care of the infrastructure needs of our population, be it broadband internet, sewer and water, or roads and bridges. This was one of my top priorities during this year’s budget process, especially for rural Missouri.

Part of the budget for Fiscal Year 2023 includes money for improving roads throughout Missouri; moreover, approximately $100 million will go specifically to roads in rural parts of our state. A little more than half of this money is dedicated to roads in northern Missouri. Typically, larger towns and cities see the bulk of attention on these types of improvements, which makes sense since these are the places with larger populations and more traffic. Unfortunately, this also means smaller parts of our state do not see the improvements they need.

With an influx in federal money for the upcoming fiscal year, along with the understanding this is one-time funding, it is imperative we take care of our smaller communities as much as our larger metropolitan areas. We have seen the census data from 2020 and know there are people moving out of the big cities and into rural Missouri, not to mention people who move from other states into the Show-Me State and choose to live in smaller communities. In my opinion, we are past due on fixing a lot of these roads, especially the lettered routes. This federal shot in the arm should go a long way in making these necessary improvements.

Fiscal Year 2023 will start on July 1. It will be nice to see construction crews on our roads and see the improvements made before our eyes over the course of the next year. Granted, people normally tend to not like having to slow down or wait in a construction zone, but we know it will be for the right reasons, and something that will be beneficial for everyone in our state for years to come.

As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is dan.hegeman@senate.mo.gov and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.