State

State Democrats talk bridge repairs

JACKSON, Miss (WJTV) - WJTV continues to follow developments on the heels of the Governor's emergency declaration closing more than a hundred bridge across the state.

Friday, state democrats condemned a House plan to fund repairs.

House and Senate dems met inside this room and hope to meet again with stakeholders in the bridge issue.  

Those stakeholders, according to house democrat David Baria, would include engineers, county supervisors, school leaders and members of the community. He wants to invite them to the Capitol

"And tell us what they think the needs are and how they think they ought to be funded," said Rep. David Baria (D) District 122.

On Thursday, Speaker Philip Gunn unveiled a house proposal to decrease the income tax and raise the fuel tax to pay for transportation needs. Representative Jarvis Dortch says the tax increase - up to 26.4 cents in four years - would only burden low-income residents.

"Their income has to go to pay for gas and groceries so they don't really have any more disposable income to give up," said Dortch.

Rep. Baria says this is an argument between a few in both chambers.

"these are not negotiations between the house and the senate. These are negotiations between a very few people in the speaker's office and a very few people in the lt. governor's office."

Senator David Blount, (D) District 29, calls it a 'shell game.'

"The only solution the republican legislative leadership can come up with is more tax cuts. It just doesn't make any sense."

Sen. Derrick Simmon, (D) District 12 says the legislature knew two to three years ago this would happen.

"What did the republican majority vote on? The largest tax cut in the history of the state of Mississippi."


"You can count on us to be ready whenever leadership reaches out and asks us for input and if they don't you can count on us to come forward with our own proposal with input from stakeholder," said Baria.

 


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