Mississippi House passes road and bridge funding proposals - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi House passes road and bridge funding proposals

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi lawmakers are putting transportation on a fast track this legislative session. Some of the issues were debated and passed on the House floor Thursday afternoon.

Speaker Philip Gunn made it clear to a room full of business leaders Thursday that the House is wasting no time to take action on roads and bridges.

"Second day of the session, three of my committees in the House met and passed out some of those ideas and we're going to continue to meet," said Gunn.

At the end of the last session, the House tried to force discussions on new money for roads and bridges. They're back to trying again this year.

"We're trying to propose ideas, all of which, take money out of existing dollars through savings or the redirecting of existing dollars or out of growth," added Gunn. "We think they are solid ideas that deserve some consideration."

The proposals include $50 million in bonds and redirecting 50 percent of the growth in years the economy grows by more than 2 percent.  Another would devote a portion of voluntary online sales tax collections to roads and bridges. That's an idea the Governor is in favor of.

"I think if you've got additional revenue that can be generated for roads and bridges without new taxes, that's the first step you ought to take," noted Governor Phil Bryant. "Use the money that you currently have and we have not done properly."

But Senate Transportation Chairman Willie Simmons isn't sure the ideas are enough to meet the needs.

"Some money is better than none but when we're looking at the needs for our transportation system, you can send the wrong message to the general public," said Senator Simmons. "You can send a message that you're fixing the problem and it's not fixed."

All the proposals still have a long way to becoming law. We will continue to follow all the developments.

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