Bryant Sees Infrastructure Opportunity

Mississippi Today – January 5, 2017

Gov. Phil Bryant told state business leaders Thursday that the election of Donald Trump provides a “dramatic opportunity” for highway improvements in Mississippi.

His comments came in kickoff remarks to The Mississippi Economic Council, the state’s chamber of commerce, as it held its annual Capital Day.

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State Leaders Ponder Roads and Bridges Funding

Mississippi Business Journal – January 6, 2017

Gov. Phil Bryant and House Speaker Philip Gunn on Thursday told the Mississippi Economic Council that they are open for finding a way to fund a major overhaul of the state’s roads and bridges.

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STATE’S DILAPIDATED INFRASTRUCTURE TOPIC AT MEC CAPITOL DAY

Mississippi Public Broadcasting – January 6, 2017

How to pay for Mississippi’s crumbling roads and bridges took center stage at the Capitol during MEC Day. Republican Speaker of the House Philip Gunn of Clinton, says he’s committed to finding a solution to improving the state’s roads and bridges.  He’s reviewing the state department of transportation’s budget and meeting with agencies. But Gunn says raising taxes or fees is a challenge. He says Mississippi voters want lawmakers to be fiscally conservative. A super majority of the House of Representatives 122 members would have to pass an increase.

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MISSISSIPPI EDITION: FRIDAY, JAN. 6TH

Mississippi Public Broadcasting – January 6, 2017

Putting more dollars into the state’s roads and bridges may be gaining momentum at the capitol. House Speaker Philip Gunn of Clinton, told members of the Mississippi Economic Council the challenge is not raising taxes or fees to fund improvements, which he says are the options MEC has offered. MPB’s Mark Rigsby talks with Scott Waller of the Mississippi Economic Council.  Waller says they’re committed to helping legislators find multiple means of funding infrastructure improvement.

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Reeves: Ignoring Roads ‘Not Conservative Position’

The Clarion-Ledger – January 9, 2017

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves says road and bridge maintenance and repair is a “core function” of government “and it is not a conservative position to ignore the need or desire to maintain the investments we have made.”

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Infrastructure: Can the State Afford to Wait on Trump?

Jackson Free Press – January 10, 2017

Some Mississippi Republican leaders invoked President-elect Donald Trump’s expensive infrastructure plan last week when discussing Mississippi’s crumbling roads and bridges, seeming to believe it will solve the state’s urgent issues with roads and bridges.

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WLOX Editorial: It’s time we pay attention to our highways and bridges

WLOX – November 27, 2016

Many of the bridges and state highways in Mississippi can’t hold up to the traffic and weights for which they were designed. How many? More than 900 bridges and almost 25,000 miles of state roads.

Thirty years ago, our state saw a need and built more than a thousand miles of new four lane roads designed as a boost to the economy. Now the Mississippi Economic Council says it’s time for another boost.

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Analysis: Expect action from Mississippi lawmakers

The Hattiesburg American – November 27, 2016

Mississippi lawmakers could be gearing up for the most productive portion of their current term. And, for better or worse, they’re already discussing parts of an ambitious agenda for 2017.

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Salter: Will lawmakers address crumbling roads, bridges?

The Clarion-Ledger – November 23, 2016

Nothing has changed since last year’s version of the legislative fight over the future of Mississippi’s transportation infrastructure system with the exception of the absolute certainty that neglect combined with a historic drought in much of the state that the state’s highways and bridges are in worse shape now than they were a year ago.

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Mississippi road upgrades proposed

WTOK – November 22, 2016

Wednesday is expected to be the busiest travel day of the year. As many motorists prepare to hit the highway, some state officials in Mississippi say this draws attention to the need for major road improvements.

“They need to fix’em. There are potholes. You can’t keep your car lined-up. I’ve been coming over here for about 15 years, and the roads are just bad,” says Eskio Lake.

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Need for bridge repairs spans state

Mississippi Today – July 5, 2016

Sitting in his office in Aberdeen, Monroe County road manager Sonny Clay explained that depending on which side of the Tombigbee River you build on, a square-foot of road asphalt can remain in good condition for a decade or twice that.

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Tax fears doomed highway spending push

Mississippi Today – July 5, 2016

Improvements to the state highway system were a key priority for state business leaders heading into the 2016 legislative session.

But their pleas came to naught.

Scott Waller, executive vice president and Chief Operating Officer of the Mississippi Economic Council, said that the MEC wanted infrastructure on everyone’s minds as the legislative session began.

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DENNIS SEID: Maintaining, improving infrastructure a no-brainer

The Daily Journal – May 29, 2016

When I was a freshman going to college nearly 30 years ago, the drive from Vicksburg to Starkville took just under three hours. That was going on I-20, taking I-55 north to Lakeland Drive in Jackson, then staying on it until it became Highway 25 to Louisville and on to Starkville. It was during this time that the AHEAD program began – the great four-laning project for Mississippi.

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Bridges: Mississippi’s crumbling infrastructure
WDAM – April 27, 2016

 

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OUR OPINION: Legislature twiddles while highways crumble
The Daily Journal – April 3, 2016

Barring an unlikely recognition that funds are required to adequately maintain Mississippi’s highway system, the Legislature appears likely to exit the 2016 session without acting on any kind of reasonable proposal to increase maintenance revenues and save our state’s hard-win four-lane system from being shaken apart by more traffic than ever and less necessary repairs compared to need.

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House ponders infrastructure, taxesdrivers billions
The Daily Journal – April 1, 2016

The House leadership huddled behind closed doors much of Thursday as the chamber faces deadline this coming Tuesday to pass legislation to raise revenue for road and bridge improvements.

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Mississippi roads report reignites tax debate
The Sun Herald – March 26, 2016

Driving on Mississippi roads has become more costly, and more deadly, over the past three years, a Washington think tank says in a new report.

And, the Mississippi Economic Council, the state chamber of commerce, is using the report to try to convince lawmakers to put hundreds of millions of dollars more into the state road and bridge program. But another free-market lobbying group in the state questions the report and the need for tax increases to pay for better roads.

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Report: Bad roads cost Mississippi drivers billions
The Meridian Star – March 26, 2016

Roads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Mississippi motorists $2.25 billion statewide annually – as much as $1,879 in some areas – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays.

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NEW STUDY: MS DRIVERS UNSAFE ON DEFICIENT ROADS
The Daily Journal – April 1, 2016

Mississippi motorists are spending two-and-a-quarter billion dollars per year on extra vehicle operating costs from driving on roads that need repair. A new study also says the deficient roads are unsafe and could cost more if ignored. MPB’s Maura Moed reports.

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Report shows bridges and roads in disrepair are costing drivers billions
WJTV – March 23, 2016

 

A report from TRIP, a national transportation research group, shows 13% of bridges in the state are structurally deficient and 7% are obsolete. The report shows roads are also in bad shape. 22% of roads locally and state-maintained are in poor condition.

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Mississippi has worst highways in the nation, study says
WAPT News – March 23, 2016

 

 

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Senate keeps alive possibility of tax hike
The Daily Journal – March 17, 2016

 

The Senate leadership kept alive Wednesday afternoon legislation that could be used as a vehicle to increase taxes to address state and local infrastructure needs.

 

The bill, referred to as a “dummy bill” during more than three hours of debate, does not actually make any changes to existing state law. But it contains various code sections that would allow six legislative leaders to reach agreement on a package to produce additional revenue, such as through a gasoline tax increase, at the end of the session.

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Sanderson: New road funding needed
The Clarion-Ledger – March 5, 2016

 

Mississippi is at a crossroads when it comes to preserving our transportation system.

 

The choice is simple. Make the necessary commitment to protect the investment made in our infrastructure or allow the system to continue to deteriorate.

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Economic leader touts increased infrastructure spending
The Commercial Dispatch – March 7, 2016

 

Blake Wilson, President and CEO of the Mississippi Economic Council, told the Columbus Rotary Club on Tuesday that Mississippi’s economic health and road infrastructure are directly linked.

 

He spoke of the urgency in need for increased funds to repair the deterioration of hundreds of bridges and thousands of miles of road across the state. Without them, Wilson said, Mississippi’s competitive advantage will be threatened.

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Lawmakers hear from MEC on infrastructure
The Clarion-Ledger – February 25, 2016

 

The Mississippi Economic Council pitched its $375 million infrastructure funding plan to lawmakers Thursday, February 25.

 

The state chamber of commerce group didn’t specify a funding mechanism, but rather provided 10 options of taxes and fee increases to fund new revenue for road and bridge improvements in the state.

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Older Stories

 

OUR OPINION: MEC proposes sweeping new infrastructure plan
Tupelo Daily Journal – December 20, 2015

Task force: $375 million more a year needed to fix state’s roads and bridges
Sun Herald – December 19, 2015

 

Business leaders: Raise taxes, fees for roads, bridges – Release Story
The Clarion-Ledger – December 18, 2015

 

Salter: Major infrastructure initiative needed
The Clarion-Ledger – December 20, 2015

 

PENDER: Business leaders push taxes for crumbling roads
The Clarion-Ledger – December 19, 2015

 

MEC unveils plan to improve roads, bridges
Daily Journal – December 19, 2015

 

Business group seeks $375M-a-year boost to transport funding
Associated Press – December 19, 2015

 

 

Bryant will require tax cuts to offset new road, bridge taxes
Mississippi Business Journal – December 18, 2015

 

 

County bridges among those called deficient in MEC report
Vicksburg Post – December 19, 2015