Gunn has settled on the idea of another study aimed at persuading at least some anti-tax Republicans that Mississippi needs to spend more on roads, the same message that’s been delivered by all the studies done so far.
House Transportation Committee Chairman Charles Busby, R-Pascagoula, said he’s crafting a plan to seek a consultant, and mentioned Texas A&M University’s Transportation Institute as one group he’d like to consider hiring. He said the House Management Committee was likely to make the decision, based on responses to a request for proposals. But Busby acknowledges that the House is split into “factions” over road spending, saying that prior studies have been dismissed as biased in favor of more spending by anti-tax Republicans. He said that maybe the most important thing is to get findings that won’t be again discarded.
“Before we do a study, I’d like to make sure we select somebody the body agrees is unbiased,” Busby said.
He also expressed interest in building a case that Mississippians are already paying for bad roads through vehicle damage, detours, and higher auto insurance rates.
“There’s nothing conservative about letting our roads go to pot,” he said.