The Latest: Senate approves road aid to cities, counties
Aug. 24, 2018
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on a special session of the Mississippi Legislature (all times local):
Mississippi senators are passing their own version of a bill to send a share of the tax on internet sales to cities and counties.
The state Senate voted 48-3 Friday to pass House Bill 1 after making some minor changes. The bill, which returns to the House, is meant to help improve road and bridge conditions.
Legislative leaders say the plan would provide $110 million annually to cities and counties in 2022 when fully phased in.
Counties could spend the money only on roads and bridges, while cities could also spend money on water and sewer work.
The bill also would authorize the state to borrow up to $300 million mostly to be spent through an emergency bridge repair fund. It would earmark proceeds from sports betting to state highways for 10 years, and would impose additional yearly taxes of $75 on hybrid vehicles and $150 on electric vehicles.
The Mississippi House has passed its own version of a bill to create a state lottery — but there's more work to be done.
The lottery bill passed the Senate Thursday, and the House made several changes to the bill before passing it Friday. The House vote was 71 in favor and 43 opposed.
The bill returns to the Senate, which would either accept the changes or seek final talks on it with the House.
Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has called on lawmakers to create a lottery to help generate money for roads and bridges. Legislative leaders estimate a lottery could bring the state $40 million in the first year and $80 million in later years.
Legislators are meeting in special session and are also considering other transportation funding proposals.
The Mississippi House is working to put more accountability into a bill that would create a state lottery.
When the bill passed the Senate Thursday, it said a Mississippi lottery corporation would not be subject to state laws on government transparency.
The House Gaming Committee changed that Friday to say the corporation would have to abide by the state Open Meetings and Public Records laws. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant said he wanted the change.
The updated version of the bill moves to the full House for more debate.
Bryant called legislators into a special session that started Thursday. He is asking them to put hundreds of millions more dollars into state and local roads and bridges. Creating a lottery would generate an estimated $40 million in the first year and $80 million in later years.
Gov. Phil Bryant says that if Mississippi creates a state lottery, the public should have access to information about the group that operates it.
Reporters asked the governor Friday about a lottery bill that legislators are debating during a special session.
The bill passed Thursday by the Senate says a Mississippi lottery corporation wouldn't be subject to state laws on government transparency. Bryant said: "Of course it needs to be open records and open meetings." Bryant says the bill should be changed.
The special session started Thursday. Bryant is asking legislators to put hundreds of millions more dollars into state and local roads and bridges. One bill being considered would send cities and counties a portion of money that the state collects from sales tax on catalog and online sales.