Devastating job losses could occur in Missouri and Kansas if Highway Trust Fund not renewed

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - In about two weeks, states could lose big bucks if the Highway Trust Fund isn't renewed. Not only would infrastructure be in jeopardy, but also local construction jobs could be drastically cut.

Mary Sullivan, CEO of Amino Brothers, said she is, “very concerned.” Most of the work she contracts is through MODOT and KDOT.

"If this fails and we don't get a reauthorization or we don't get additional funding construction will come to a halt, and I mean all infrastructure," Sullivan said.

Congress has until August first to pass legislation and if it doesn't, The White House reports Kansas could lose more than 6,000 jobs and more than 800 projects could be in jeopardy. Missouri could lose more than 15,000 jobs and could slow or stop more than 2,000 projects.

"For every dollar that is spent on infrastructure, it is giving back $5.47 cents to the economy, meaning that's in taxes, that's in disposable income," Sullivan said.

She said her “medium sized” company of about 125 workers could have to cut by more than half to between 50 and 75.

"You're talking 10-20 million dollars,” she said. “That’s huge.”

Right now, the Republican-controlled House has passed a stop gap measure, but Sullivan said that's just kicking the can down the road. The states need to find a permanent solution.

"We obviously need a long term funding source," Sullivan said. "If a band aid approach is put on this, and it would halt a project in the middle, whether it's in the bidding phase or a construction phase, that is a huge, huge impact."

The Secretary of Transportation has sent letters to MODOT and KODOT. 41 Action News got one of those letters. It reads in part, "The federal highway administration will no longer make "same-day" payments to reimburse states.” It goes on to say, “We will distributing incoming funds in proportion to each state's federal formula." 

That is in the event Congress does not pass legislation.

Twenty-five percent of KDOT’s funding comes from the federal government and 40 percent of MODOT’s funding is from government money.

The Senate is expected to vote in the coming days.

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