Lott Pushes State Road Funding

Senator Trent Lott applauds Governor Ronnie Musgrove's economic development plan that he's pushing in a special legislative session. Lott told members of the Gulfport Business Club Tuesday that the legislature needs to "think big" if Mississippi is going to compete with other states for major businesses.

One thing a company looks at when deciding where to locate is the condition of a state's roads. Lott says that's where Mississippi falls short he says our roads need a lot of help. That's why Lott says he hoped the special session would address the Department of Transportation's budget troubles. He says the state needs to fund the transportation department to guarantee getting millions of dollars in matching federal money. Lott says the money will have to be available over the next three years and could total as much as one hundred to two hundred million dollars of federal money that the state could lose because they don't have matching funds. Lott says state lawmakers still have a little time, but they need to begin to have the money next year and each year they'll need to budget a little bit more.

The governor says he wants to take a closer look at how the transportation department spends its money before he agrees to give the department more.