State lawmakers react to President's infrastructure plan - - The News for South Mississippi

State lawmakers react to President's infrastructure plan

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

The infrastructure plan leaves a large financial burden on state and local governments.

Some state lawmakers had previously said they'd like to wait and see what the feds did with infrastructure funding, but now that the President's plan is out, there is agreement across the aisle that a state plan should move ahead.

"Now we know here in the Mississippi legislature that we can't expect the federal government to come through with any money for infrastructure," said Rep. David Baria. "So that means we have to do it ourselves. So I hope that it means folks in this building are very serious about how we're going to take care of our crumbling roads and bridges around our state."

"It's very important that we move forward this session with getting an infrastructure plan in place and hopefully it will be a multi-year program so it's not just a Band-Aid or short-term patch," noted Sen. Joey Fillingane.

Senator Terry Burton notes the state can't afford to completely wait on new federal dollars either.

"The federal budget year begins October 1," said Burton-R. The state fiscal year begins July 1. There's difference in those two numbers. So, we'll have to try to look at it and see if we can foresee the future and make a determination about what we want to do with infrastructure."

But the logistics of how much the states would need to put up, have some worried about the federal plan.

"We can't come up with 85 percent of these big infrastructure programs that need to be funded by our federal government," added Baria.

While none of the lawmakers thought the match would be easy to meet, some see a silver lining.

"In the past, it was a higher federal dollar amount but they pretty much controlled how everything rolled," noted Fillingane. "And now it appears there will be a larger state and local match but we'll have more discretion as to what type of projects and where those projects will be located."

Both Governor Bryant and Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs were with President Trump as he announced the infrastructure plan in Washington.

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