Mississippi leaders discuss highway funding during annual Hobnob event

Meanwhile, Senator Dean Kirby has said he’s drafting legislation that would create a statewide referendum. It would put the ball in the voters’ court when it comes to raising the gas tax and tax on new car tires.

“I like that idea,” said Governor Phil Bryant. “If people want to raise taxes, let’s give them the opportunity to have a voice in it. So, I think you’ll hear a lot of talk about putting that on the ballot.”

But most Democrats still seem to think that putting the issue to voters is passing the buck on their responsibilities.

“You can say workforce development all day long but if you don’t have roads and bridges, there’s no way to get that workforce development there,” explained Representative Jay Hughes.