/Roads funding plan hits dead end

Roads funding plan hits dead end

Rep. Charles Busby (R-Pascagoula), who heads the House transportation committee, proposed a plan to increase the state’s fuel taxes and eliminate the 4 percent income tax bracket in late January. In an interview with Mississippi Today, Busby said that he was not going to go along with the idea. He stated that there isn’t enough time to write a bill and present it before the Feb. 21 deadline for taxation and spending bills. “I am hopeful that we will get on with this program quickly and not put it off and that we will hold a special session during the summer. Busby said that the governor has indicated that he would call a special session and that he will deal with it when he does. Busby stated that legislative leaders would likely examine details of President Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan. This could lead to Gov. Phil Bryant, a close ally of Trump, will call a special session to discuss an infrastructure spending plan. The White House proposes spending $1.5 trillion in federal transportation funds, while the states and local governments will provide the remainder. Following comments made by Gov. Bryant suggested that Bryant might call for a special session in a Clarion-Ledger article. “The lawmaking process in Congress must run its course. Bryant stated that it was prudent to wait for the federal plan’s finalization into law, as it is still too early. Bryant also said the Clarion-Ledger. Reeves spokeswoman said that she had no information on a special session. Numerous reports in recent years suggest that the Legislature should allocate between $375 million to $400 million more annually for the state Department of Transportation. Busby acknowledged that the state still has a long way to go before it can address its infrastructure problems, even with federal assistance. Busby stated that the tax swap idea would not generate revenue and that other options included the state entering into public private partnerships or using toll roads. Busby said that the challenge of coming up a plan for infrastructure funding would be difficult and would not require the Legislature’s approval. He also added: