House Appropriations Committee Chairman John O. Read, R-Gautier, left, confers with House Local and Private Legislation Committee Chairman Manly Barton, R-Moss Point, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, at the Mississippi Capitol in Jackson. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis - Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
The legislation will provide millions for cities and counties across the state to address infrastructure needs.
On Thursday, Governor Tate Reeves (R) announced that House Bill 1716 has become law with his signature. The bill directs an additional $41 million to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). The funding is intended for water infrastructure needs in cities and counties across Mississippi.
“We’re making historic investments into Mississippi’s infrastructure,” said Governor Reeves. “These dollars will go a long way toward bolstering critical water infrastructure needs in every corner of Mississippi. My administration will continue prioritizing infrastructure investment across our state because it will lead to more jobs, stronger supply chains, and a better quality of life for all Mississippians.”
House Appropriations Chiarman John Read (R) authored the legislation. It initially passed the House 114-4. When the bill was sent to the Senate, that chamber amended the legislation slightly and passed it unanimously, 52-0. The House then concurred with the Senate changes by a vote of 111-2.
The funding will be directed into the Mississippi Municipality and County Water Infrastructure Grant Program.
The $41 million is on top of an already appropriated $450 million invested into the grant program last year. Applications concerning water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure issues are already being submitted to MDEQ.
The first round of funding has already been approved and sent to nearly 100 communities across the state with several like Jackson, Greenwood, Hattiesburg and Pascagoula receiving multiple appropriations for a number of projects.
You can find the application for grant funding here.