Legislators meet for special session today

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Governor Phil Bryant has issued the official document to call lawmakers to Jackson to discuss more money for roads and bridges.

Legislators are meeting today at the state capitol. Their plan includes diverting some taxes on internet sales to cities and counties, creating a state lottery with proceeds earmarked for state roads and bridges, using proceeds from a tax on sports betting and borrowing up to $300 million.

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The governor’s call envisions lawmakers only taking up two bills. It doesn’t currently include provisions for lawmakers to divide $700 million in oil spill damages being paid by BP. Senator Brice Wiggins said, “I’m glad to see that we’ll be taking up the lottery in particular and addressing the needs for roads and bridges which has been an issue statewide. I don’t think there’s been a question about the need. It’s always been to what degree and how we’re going to pay for it.”

News 25 also spoke with Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood on today’s special session. “We’re about 1.7 percent growth since the great recession and the southeast is growing at 16 percent. Tennessee is growing at 19 percent. That growth is done when people are working and building highways that’s 7,000 or 8,000 jobs and that would generate some help for the economy. Even on the Coast, things are clean and it looks great, but if the economy, if you talk to builders and bankers and people like that, it’s not moving as fast as a lot of other states.”