The Senate Appropriations Committee advanced Senate Bill 3167 today, which would provide a boost of $300 million to the state’s Emergency Road and Bridge Repair (ERBR) Program.
“Right now, we have millions of dollars in federal relief funds flowing through our economy. There is no better way to spend one-time money than to put it in the ground,” Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann said. “Our cities, counties and constituents have asked us to dedicate our resources to better maintaining our infrastructure. We are listening and hope to send this legislation to the Governor posthaste.”
Enacted in 2018, the ERBR Program is administered by the Mississippi Department of Transportation upon the advice of an advisory board made up of industry and local government leaders. The program was initially funded with $250 million in bonds. The Legislature appropriated an additional $89 million during the 2021 Legislative Session.
The third round of funding in Senate Bill 3167, which is expected to be taken up on the Senate floor on Wednesday, would come from the Capital Expense Fund.
“Now is the time to invest in our state. Safe and reliable roads and bridges are a key economic driver. They help our children get to school and our goods get to market,” said Senate Appropriations Chairman Briggs Hopson, who authored the bill. “We can take a bold step this Session by dedicating significant resources to projects in our communities which will make a difference for our children and grandchildren.”
Senate Transportation Chairwoman Jenifer Branning agreed.
“The ERBR Program provides a way to address our infrastructure needs using neutral criteria, prioritizing the most critical projects in the state,” said Branning, who has advocated for additional funding to the program for the past year. “When infrastructure funding is well-planned out, it’s generational. This bill is instrumental in achieving the ERBR Program’s original goals.”
For more information about Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann, visit www.ltgovhosemann.ms.gov.