Gov. Bryant issues declaration ahead of Tropical Storm Gordon


CLARION LEDGER – Lawmakers finally cut knots on road funding: Analysis

When Mississippi lawmakers met in special session to deal with transportation funding, they agreed relatively quickly on issues that had been tangled in arguments for months or years.

They voted to create a state lottery, over objections of Baptist and Pentecostal groups that usually hold considerable influence in conservative politics.

They agreed cities and counties will receive a portion of sales tax revenue the state collects when people shop online. They also agreed that taxes the state collects on sports betting in casinos will be used, until 2028, to help pay for highways and bridges.

Legislators passed a bill to divvy up hundreds of millions of dollars that Mississippi is collecting after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, with most of the money going to the six southernmost counties.

They also authorized the state to issue $50 million in bonds to create a Transportation and Infrastructure Improvements Fund to pay for local roads, bridges and “other projects that are economically beneficial.” Legislators approved the first list of projects, with critics calling it a “Christmas tree” because it had goodies for 63 of the 82 counties.

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GULFLIVE – BP bill includes money for immediate projects in Jackson County

With the Mississippi Legislature finally passing the long-awaited BP bill that will direct 75 percent of the $750 million BP settlement money to the coast, Jackson County will soon see funding for some long-awaited projects.

Sen. Brice Wiggins, who introduced the original BP bills into the Senate, said several Jackson County projects will be funded through the BP money and that the payments BP will make to Mississippi over the next 15 years will continue to benefit the area.

“This is going to mean a lot to Jackson County,” Wiggins said. “In terms of infrastructure, there’s going to be funding for a number of Jackson County projects that have been in the works for a while.”

Among the projects already approved and set to receive funding:

  • $500,00 for Ocean Springs water and sewer improvements
  • $500,000 for improvements to the Gautier Town Green
  • $2 million for the North Rail Corridor
  • $2 million for the East Bank Access Road in Pascagoula

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WXXV – $68 million revitalization project awarded by Ingalls Shipbuilding