Federal highway bill would aid state projects

By NEMS Daily Journal

Mississippi highway construction projects could gain financial benefit from a two-year, $109 billion federal highway bill that passed the U.S. Senate this week.
Mississippi Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, both Republicans, voted for the bill, which passed on a bipartisan 74-22 vote.
Cochran, in a statement released by his Washington office, said the bill was not perfect but should “benefit Mississippi as it moves forward with transportation infrastructure projects.”
The bill has no earmarks.
The nationwide Highway Users Alliance trade association, said in a release through CEO Greg Cohen that passage proves Congress retains the ability to pass “common sense bipartisan legislation” for highway/infrastructure work.
Cochran and Wicker successfully amended the bill to include the Restore the Gulf Coast ACT, which would direct fines paid by BP for the 2010 oil spill disaster into a fund for restoration in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Texas.
The House has not acted on its version of bill, but Cochran’s release said it is hoped that can happen soon so that the two bills can be reconciled and enacted.