Infrastructure Left Out of State of the State Address

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Infrastructure Left Out of State of the State Address
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Gov. Phil Bryant (R) speaks to reporters after State of the State
Mark Rigsby - MPB News

Governor Phil Bryant's State of the State address has some lawmakers scratching their heads over the big issue he left out. As MPB's Mark Rigsby reports, the speech did not include finding ways to funding repairs to state roads and bridges.

Reactions by lawmakers outside the House chamber after Governor Byrant's State of the State were predictably split down the aisle. Republican Representative Tracy Arnold, of Booneville.

"I enjoyed his comments that he made about reconciliation, and coming together, working together to move Mississippi forward. I believe my colleagues will take on that initiative agenda. We'll pull together to make Mississippi a better place to live."

Democratic Representative Stephen Holland, of Plantersville.

"Fed the red meat to the base. But, it's ok. I think he did a good job. He just left a lot of big things out of the speech that should've been in it."

The Governor did not talk about one of the state's biggest issues - funding road and bridge improvements. Democratic Senator Willie Simmons, of Cleveland, is Chairman of the Senate Highways and Transportation Committee.

"We're willing to work with him and his leadership, and trying to do what we can. But, transportation and infrastructure is so important that there's no way we can have a State of the State, and not address that issue, because our state depends so heavily on it."

We spoke to Governor Bryant about not mentioning infrastructure in his speech.

"It is always a struggle. We always try to keep it around 30 minutes. There's so many things we would've liked to add in that. Quite honestly, we all know that we need some help with infrastructure."

A few bills have already passed on the House side that are aimed at infrastructure funding.