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A Very Special Session

By Derrick Surrette, Executive Director

Hard work, persistence and a united voice wins the day! I am writing this article on August 29, 2018, the day Governor Phil Bryant signed the Mississippi Infrastructure Modernization Act (MIMA) into law at the state Capitol, as the special session came to a close. This day will go down as a special day for the future of county government in our state.  

Over three years ago MAS began working closely with our county members to help inform citizens, community leaders, legislators and statewide leaders about the serious funding challenges counties are facing in order to maintain roads and bridges. MAS held regional meetings with our county members and legislators. MAS county members also passed multiple resolutions requesting additional funding assistance for roads and bridges.

Today, those efforts and years of work came to fruition. MIMA – passed by the state legislators yesterday and signed into law by Governor Bryant this afternoon, will provide significant funding for county roads and bridges now and for many years to come.

MIMA will provide an estimated increase of $69 Million once fully phased in 2022. Currently, Mississippi’s 82 counties together receive roughly $94 Million in fuel tax revenue. This additional $69 Million represents over 71% increase in direct funding to counties. MIMA also allows the funding to flow to the counties directly through a diversion and allows counties to use road and bridge funds with greater efficiency.  

This important piece of legislation could not have happened without the communication and coordination of local and state leaders. It was a pleasure to be part of local and state leaders working together, along with other associations and organizations throughout the State in an effort to provide a win for the taxpayers of our State. This special session and MIMA will provide a shining example for years to come of what can be accomplished when everyone works together for the greater good.  

Steve Gray, MAS’ Director of Governmental Affairs, provides a much more detailed breakdown of MIMA in his article (Special Legislative Session Update: State Legislature Passes Historic Innovative Infrastructure Package for Local Government)

Join us in Tupelo for the Fall Educational Workshop on October 9-11, 2018 to hear a more detailed explanation of MIMA from MAS’ Governmental Affairs team. 

Lastly, and most importantly, a big thank you goes out to Governor Bryant for calling the Special Session to address road and bridge funding. MAS appreciates the leadership of Speaker Philip Gunn, Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves and all the members of the House and Senate that voted to support additional funding for county roads and bridges.

Congratulations to MAS members and staff for never giving up and continuing to work until the end.

Hard work, persistence and a united voice wins the day.  82 Counties, One Voice.