Bill passed by senate "political hijacking of MDOT," says Commissioner

Bill passed by senate "political hijacking of MDOT," says Commissioner
MDOT could lose more money thanks to new bill. Photo credit WDAM.
More money could be leaving the Mississippi Department of Transportation thanks to Senate Bill 3046, which was introduced last week by Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves.
"To get where we are now, we need more money, not monies being taken away from our budget," said MDOT Southern District Transportation Commissioner Tom King. "This proposal takes $25 million a year for the next five years away from our budget, not adding to our budget."
According to King, that $25 million would be coming out of state funds.
"That's directly from the gasoline tax reimbursements and other fees that we receive from state funding methods," said King. "So, it will not come from federal money."
This bill could impact projects right here in the Pine Belt inncluding a project on the Evelyn Gandy Parkway.
"We got a job here at the Gandy Parkway and 59 for a new intersection that was going to be let this summer," said King. "That's right here at home. So, we don't need that job to go away for sure."

King added that this bill contributes to a political hijacking of MDOT by taking money out of the hands of the people responsible for the roadways."

"It gives the new Governor, or governor to be, the power and authority," said King. "He appoints a board and they will say where the money will go and what jobs it will go to. So, the 1987 bill took politics out of MDOT. To me, this is putting politics back into MDOT."