The Latest: Transportation funding plan advances in Senate
Feb. 20, 2018
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on a proposal by Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves to pay for transportation and other infrastructure (all times local):
A plan that could divert existing revenue and would borrow money to spend more on Mississippi's roads and bridges is moving ahead in the state Senate.
The Senate Finance Committee voted to advance Senate Bill 3046 on Monday, hours after Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves unveiled it. The full Senate would next consider the measure.
The measure would divert more than $800 million in future revenue to special funds that would be controlled by the governor.
If all the money were available, the plan could spend more than $1 billion through 2023, including $150 million in borrowing this year.
Some Democrats are attacking the move, saying the plan either diverts money from other state government programs, or redirects existing transportation spending.
However, Republicans are loath to increase fuel taxes, the traditional way of funding road and bridge work.
Mississippi's lieutenant governor wants to borrow and divert existing revenue to provide more money for roads and bridges over the next six years.
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves on Monday unveiled Senate Bill 3046, which he says will increase infrastructure spending more than $1 billion through 2023.
The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to take up the plan Monday.
Reeves would divert leftover money at the end of every budget year to a fund that the governor would control for "long-term strategic infrastructure investments" or to match federal money. The amount could total more than $550 million, but could be less if revenues run short.
Reeves would also divert $180 million from current highway funding to local bridge projects chosen by the governor.
The remainder of the money would be borrowed.