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MEC and House of Representative push for transportation funding

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Thursday in the House, a bill regarding Mississippi’s failing roads and bridges was passed by a vote of 109-7.

In a press conference at the Capitol after the vote, the Mississippi Economic Council and members of the House of Representatives discussed the approval of Senate Bill 2939. It proposed an outline for improving the failing infrastructure of deteriorating roads and bridges across the state.

The proposed outlines include:

  • $50 million in bonds: $25 million to counties, and $25 million to cities for bridge repairs.
  • Allocating the use tax Mississippi is already receiving through voluntary payments on out-of-state purchases by Mississippi residents: 50% to MDOT if they internally reallocate $25 million in their existing budget to prioritize road and bridge repair, 25% to counties and 25% to cities for road and bridge improvements.
  • That if federal law changes, allowing for the collection of use tax from out-of-state sellers, Mississippi will spend up to $200 million of that money on road and bridge improvements.
  • When our state general fund revenue grows more than 2% in one year, 50% of those dollars beyond the 2% growth (up to a max of $100 million) will be devoted to road and bridge improvement under the same formula.

“I’m proud of the House for once again stepping up to provide a solution to the needs of our roads and bridges in Mississippi,” said Speaker of the House Philip Gunn. “The House has demonstrated it is serious about beginning to address the need this year.”

The bill outlines a package that is estimated to spend between $150 and $175 million on infastructure beginning in July.

Following the press conference Sen. Hob Bryan jumped in with a different opinion.

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