White was appointed to lead MDOT in June of this year.
On Monday, President Joe Biden signed into law the the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Included in the Act is the reauthorization of funds and the addition of new funds for numerous agencies including the Mississippi Transportation Department of Transportation (MDOT).
MDOT Executive Director Brad White joined Y’all Politics on Thursday to give a brief overview of the Infrastructure Act (see interview below). He noted that the funds will flow through Federal Highway programs.
“What this is not, is a fourth economic stimulus package to be compared to the CARES Act, CRRSSAA funds or HARPA money that is delivered to the states with an infrastructure focus,” said White. “All of this money will be put through the programs of Federal Highway and will have to meet the criteria for which they allow for those expenditures to be made.”
The Infrastructure Act was authorized through the Federal-Aid Highway Program. That program is funded from federal taxes on fuel, tire sales and other items which are deposited into the Federal Highway Trust Fund, as well as General Fund transfers. Distribution from the HTF is subject to periodic authorization and annual appropriation by Congress. This assistance was created by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, and since its establishment the Federal-Aid Highway Program has been authorized 15 times in various forms at generally increasing funding levels.
Most recently, the program was reauthorized by the FAST Act in 2015 for FFY 2016-2020 and by the Infrastructure Act in 2021 for FFY 2022-2026. Through the FAST Act MDOT received around $2.6 billion; the Infrastructure Act reapproved those funds with the addition of nearly $1 billion more spread over five years.
In his interview with Y’all Politics, White also discussed MDOT’s legislative agenda ahead of the 2022 session and provided insight into the state agency’s operations at the outset of his tenure.
Watch the full interview with MDOT Executive Director White below.