/Infrastructure funding is an issue with no easy solution

Infrastructure funding is an issue with no easy solution

This story is part of a series of stories that students in the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media’s state government reporting class produced. Fred Anklam Jr., Mississippi Today’s co-editor, and LaReeca Rucker, Meek School journalism professor, will lead the class. JACKSON — Lieutenant Governor. JACKSON — Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves has been a man Mississippi supports through his seven wins in statewide elections. The Mississippi Press Corps interviewed him and he explained why he is so beloved by the voters. Reeves welcomed the class into his office and shared some of his political experiences. Reeves said that he was the only person who believed he could win a state election at the age of 29. He was also the only one smart enough to pull it off in his first run for office in 2003. He is a lieutenant governor and has the responsibility of appointing Senate committee chairsmen. He boasted about the diversity of his committee appointments, noting that they were “diversity in their parties, by race and geographically,” as well as being from different regions in Mississippi. When asked why infrastructure in Mississippi was not up to the same standard as other states, he stated that he agrees that Mississippi should spend more money on infrastructure. However, he couldn’t give an exact answer to that question. According to his figures, Mississippi has spent $7.4 billion on bridge and road maintenance since becoming lieutenant governor. Reeves stated, “Public infrastructure is an essential function of government.” He said that rural areas are particularly affected by a lack infrastructure. Reeves seemed refreshingly honest about the situation in these areas, stating that $375 million to $4oomillion for infrastructure would be more than the Legislature will spend. However, he also made it a point of reiterating his optimism about Mississippi’s future road conditions and said that he “is hopeful to find ways to spend more without raising taxes.” He spoke the next day to Mississippi Economic Council’s Capital Day business leaders. Reeves stated that there is a difference between spending cuts and budget cuts in Mississippi’s current financial situation at the legislative meeting.