MDOT unhappy after BRIDGE Act passes Senate less than 24 hours a - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

MDOT unhappy after BRIDGE Act passes Senate less than 24 hours after being made public

Mississippi is one step closer to getting a new funding plan for its roads and bridges. Source: WLBT Mississippi is one step closer to getting a new funding plan for its roads and bridges. Source: WLBT
Mississippi is one step closer to getting a new funding plan for its roads and bridges. Source: WLBT Mississippi is one step closer to getting a new funding plan for its roads and bridges. Source: WLBT
Mississippi is one step closer to getting a new funding plan for its roads and bridges. Source: WLBT Mississippi is one step closer to getting a new funding plan for its roads and bridges. Source: WLBT
Mississippi is one step closer to getting a new funding plan for its roads and bridges. Source: WLBT Mississippi is one step closer to getting a new funding plan for its roads and bridges. Source: WLBT
Mississippi is one step closer to getting a new funding plan for its roads and bridges. Source: WLBT Mississippi is one step closer to getting a new funding plan for its roads and bridges. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi is one step closer to getting a new funding plan for its roads and bridges.

The 300 page bill, made public Monday by Lt. Governor Tate Reeves, has already passed the senate and will move on to the house -- a big move made in less than 24 hours. 

READ MORE: Lt. Governor and senators unveil road and bridge funding plan

"We tried to wait as long as we could, so we could make sure we understood as much of the federal infrastructure proposal as possible,” said Senator Joey Fillingane. “That way we don't get ahead of the federal government, so that we can utilize those federal draw downs."

The bill calls for a transfer of power in how and where MDOT money is spent. Those decisions typically come from the three elected commissioners but under the new bill, they would come from the Governor and a governor-appointed committee.

MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath says this transfer of power would be a mistake, since the commissioners ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and equally.

"I do know that on a daily basis, that each of the three commissioners go around the state and they meet with civic clubs. They meet with locals. They meet with business owners,” said McGrath. “Their thumb is on the very heartbeat of what is going on in this economy."

Other bill amendments that seemed to spark debate included $25 million that would be taken away from MDOT's budget and the stipulation that they no longer hire outside engineers for projects.

McGrath says they've only had to do that because engineers they hire, leave for better paying jobs.    

Many members of the House sat in the wings of the Senate gallery listening to the differing opinions of lawmakers. They will get the chance to weigh in before deciding if the Governor will have much more power over how money is spent on Mississippi roads.

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