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House moves ahead with some road money bills

JACKSON (AP) — Mississippi House members are pushing ahead parts of a package meant to raise money to maintain roads and bridges, even as they face questions about the plan’s effectiveness.

The House passed three bills Thursday — one to borrow $50 million for county and city bridge repairs, one to devote part of any future state revenue growth to transportation, and one to ban new state construction projects. The measures go to the Senate for more debate.

House Transportation Committee Chairman Charles Busby, a Pascagoula Republican, agrees with critics that more is needed, but says the bills are a good start.

The move came on the same day that the Mississippi Economic Council, the state’s chamber of commerce and a prime supporter of more transportation spending, lobbied at the capitol.