Seven Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to Gov. Jay Nixon Tuesday asking him to continue funding the Tour of Missouri in 2010.
The race, which lures bicyclists from all over the country in world, is in the last year of its 3-year contract. Nixon's administration flirted with withholding funds from this year's race, due to the dire budget situation.
"With a complete realization of the continued recession that our state is facing, we believe that a 14-to-1 return on the state’s $1.5 million commitment to the Tour of Missouri is a wise investment, especially during these difficult economic times," wrote the Democratic lawmakers, including the Senate and House minority leaders.
"The last two years, the Tour of Missouri brought in nearly $60 million in tourism dollars throughout the state. In 2007 and 2008 combined, an estimated 802,000 people saw the race. Another 22 million watched the event on television and viewers in 150 countries viewed live streaming coverage of the event via the Internet. We will continue to work closely with you and our legislative colleagues in ensuring that we are making smart financial decisions for the families of Missouri. We believe that continuing to fund the Tour of Missouri is a wise investment for communities and tourism across our state," the letter continues.
Sen. Victor Callahan, Rep. Paul LeVota, Rep. Jason Grill, Rep. Tom McDonald, Rep. Jamilah Nasheed, Rep. Chris Carter, Rep. Michele Kratky were the seven who signed the letter.