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Special session looming for roads and bridges funding

A refusal to adopt committee reports for two bills on the House side may lead to the need of a special session before July 1.

The Mississippi House of Representatives voted unanimously to recommit House Bill 1509, which is the Appropriations bill for the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT). Without an Appropriations bill, MDOT is not reauthorized or appropriated with the necessary funds to run the agency after July 1.

This move will force the Governor to call a Special Session.

The House, led by Speaker Philip Gunn, has made numerous attempts to begin addressing Mississippi’s roads and bridges need.

According to a statement from the Speaker, the Senate has rejected all of the House’s attempts to provide funds dealing with this subject.

“Maintaining roads and bridges is a fundamental role of government,” said Speaker of the House Philip Gunn. “The House has prioritized roads and bridges time and time again. We have worked tirelessly to find a solution to start addressing the needs of our roads and bridges.

“We have adjusted our offers each time to meet the concerns of the Senate,” he continued “We have not been presented with any public policy reasons why our ideas are not worthy of discussion. The House is determined to have a conversation about our state’s infrastructure.”

A Special Session will be called by the Governor at his discretion.

The Senate voted on a resolution to extend the 6pm deadline to 8:30pm, but no movement was made on the House side before that time.

According to the Lt. Governor, the move was to wage an additional tax.

“The question that must be answered… do House Republicans want to raise your taxes so badly they’re willing to kill the budget agreement?” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “Are they willing to risk $1.2 billion in spending on roads and bridges so they can pass an unconstitutional tax?”

News Mississippi will continue to follow this story.



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