Mississippi budget stalemate threatens road projects

Mississippi’s transportation commissioners say they will terminate all highway construction projects unless a state budget is adopted before midnight June 30.

State Atty. Gen. Jim Hood will seek a federal court order to continue essential state services until a new budget is adopted, said Rep. Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, one of the House negotiators trying to reach agreement with the Senate on a proposed budget for the 2010 fiscal year that begins July 1.

“You’re talking about a lot of jobs. You’d have to rebid all road contracts, and that would take six to 12 months. Then the projects that are under way would deteriorate and have to be fixed,” Brown said late Wednesday during a break in budget negotiations.

Transportation commissioners approved the order Tuesday, and it was entered Wednesday.

Commercial Appeal