State legislators tackle Mississippi transportation issues - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

State legislators tackle Mississippi transportation issues

State representative Scott DeLane says not all roads and bridges in the state were created equally. (Photo Source: WLOX) State representative Scott DeLane says not all roads and bridges in the state were created equally. (Photo Source: WLOX)
JACKSON, MS (WLOX) -

The Mississippi state legislature  passed a bill that would direct online sales tax to road and bridge projects.

The bill passed through the House on Wednesday. It includes a plan that calls for borrowing $50 million due to cover the steep cost of improving the state's aging infrastructure. 

For years, lawmakers have been told roads and bridges in the state need improving. It's a priority not lost on the Governor. 

"Whether it's for infrastructure, education or law enforcement we're going to need extra revenue coming into the state," said Gov. Phil Bryant.  

A possible way to raise that extra revenue would be with higher taxes, which isn't a popular idea with the Republican super majority in the legislature. 

"I'm not in favor of raising the taxes," said Sen. Brice Wiggins.  

"Trying to come up with a way to fund it, that's the issue," said Rep. Greg Haney. "A lot of people aren't on board with raising taxes on gas." 

A recent study by the Senate Transportation Committee found funds generated from gas taxes have steadily declined over the last several years.

House Speaker Philip Gunn decided the best choice was to search for the money in other areas. 

"The solutions that we have searched for and have brought forward to this point all involve taking money out of growth or existing dollars," Gunn said. "We're trying to find existing savings within existing dollars or taking money out of what may come through growth."

According to a report compiled by the Trip National Transportation research group, 25% of rural roads in the state were in poor condition, fifth most in the nation.

State Representative from Biloxi Scott DeLano says another factor complicating the search for a solution is not all roads and bridges in the state are created equally. 

"Roads and bridges is a very complex issue especially for the people of the Gulf Coast because we don't have near the problem with maintenance and the bridges as we do in the rest of the state," DeLano said. "I think we'll come up with a solution working through our transportation chairmen in both chambers to come up with a bill that's going to be good for the entire state, a long term strategic approach."

Also on Wednesday a House panel approved a measure that would allow the state Department of Transportation to make employment changes without following civil service rules.

Copyright 2018 WLOX. All rights reserved.    

  • NEWSMore>>

  • It'll be a soggy Sunday across the coast

    It'll be a soggy Sunday across the coast

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:29 AM EDT2018-04-22 12:29:55 GMT

    The WLOX First Alert Weather team is tracking another storm system that will bring the chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms Sunday.

    More >>

    The WLOX First Alert Weather team is tracking another storm system that will bring the chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms Sunday.

    More >>
  • Kids race across the finish line in annual Soap Box Derby

    Kids race across the finish line in annual Soap Box Derby

    Sunday, April 22 2018 7:52 AM EDT2018-04-22 11:52:55 GMT
    More than 40 kids participated in this year's Deborah Washington Memorial Soap Box Derby in Moss Point Saturday. (Source: WLOX)More than 40 kids participated in this year's Deborah Washington Memorial Soap Box Derby in Moss Point Saturday. (Source: WLOX)
    More than 40 kids participated in this year's Deborah Washington Memorial Soap Box Derby in Moss Point Saturday. (Source: WLOX)More than 40 kids participated in this year's Deborah Washington Memorial Soap Box Derby in Moss Point Saturday. (Source: WLOX)

    Clear skies greeted families Saturday in Moss Point at the 26th annual Deborah Washington Soap Box Derby after the event had to be postponed due to torrential storms last week. 

    More >>

    Clear skies greeted families Saturday in Moss Point at the 26th annual Deborah Washington Soap Box Derby after the event had to be postponed due to torrential storms last week. 

    More >>
  • Coast cities host Earth Day cleanups

    Coast cities host Earth Day cleanups

    Sunday, April 22 2018 7:41 AM EDT2018-04-22 11:41:15 GMT
    (Source: File)(Source: File)

    Earth Day is April 22 and community events are happening across the Gulf Coast this weekend to help clean up communities and be more environmentally-friendly. 

    More >>

    Earth Day is April 22 and community events are happening across the Gulf Coast this weekend to help clean up communities and be more environmentally-friendly. 

    More >>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 4 dead, 4 injured in Waffle House shooting

    4 dead, 4 injured in Waffle House shooting

    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:55 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:55:32 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:19 AM EDT2018-04-22 14:19:09 GMT
    Travis Reinking (Courtesy: Metro Police)Travis Reinking (Courtesy: Metro Police)

    Four people were killed and four others were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch. A white man wearing nothing a green jacket went into the restaurant and started firing a gun resembling an AR-15. Police are still searching for him. 

    More >>

    Four people were killed and four others were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch. A white man wearing nothing a green jacket went into the restaurant and started firing a gun resembling an AR-15. Police are still searching for him. 

    More >>
  • Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Saturday, April 21 2018 11:11 PM EDT2018-04-22 03:11:04 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:23 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:23:15 GMT
    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

    More >>

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

    More >>
  • Delta passenger fined $500 for apple

    Delta passenger fined $500 for apple

    Saturday, April 21 2018 1:01 PM EDT2018-04-21 17:01:03 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 6:45 PM EDT2018-04-21 22:45:42 GMT
    adlock's healthy snack turned into a tough reality to stomach. (Source: KDVR/CNN)adlock's healthy snack turned into a tough reality to stomach. (Source: KDVR/CNN)

    Crystal Tadlock is not happy about the fine she said

    More >>

    Crystal Tadlock is not happy about the fine she said

    More >>
Powered by Frankly