Report Could Delay Action on Road Funding

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Jackson, Miss.

Proponents of increased Mississippi highway funding aren't just going to be waiting until 2015. They'll probably be waiting until 2016.

A recent legislative watchdog report agreed with Department of Transportation leaders that the state needs hundreds of millions of dollars more each year to maintain existing highways.

But with Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves explicitly ruling out an increase in fuel taxes, money-raising proposals have gotten nowhere in the 2014 Mississippi Legislature.

The Mississippi Economic Council plans a study looking for solutions to the state's funding shortfall, but won't make recommendations until after the 2015 state elections.

Top state leaders may put the issue on the shelf until then, although the chairmen of the House and Senate Transportation committees are kicking back against a multi-year delay.