Governors promoting infrastructure plan

The American Press

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Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana and Republican Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi are joining forces to promote President Trump’s infrastructure plans that they believe are a step in the right direction for their rural states. Both are dealing, like other governors, with a declining infrastructure that needs a shot in the arm.

Edwards and Bryant make three points in a recent guest newspaper column in The Advocate. Investment in infrastructure is long overdue, investing in rural communities is good for the nation and a common sense approach to implementing corrective measures saves time and money.

The governors make it clear their states can’t handle any money match greater than the current 80-20 federal-state split, which could be a problem with Trump’s plan.

The governors said their states are connected at nearly 20 locations, five of them being major routes of commerce. Interstates 10 and 20 are essential in connecting with the rest of the country, which they said is vitally important for rural areas that are the farm-to-market economies of the Gulf South.

 “From timber to mining natural resources, including oil and natural gas production and recreational activities, the citizens of this nation depend on this region to maintain their lifestyle,” they said.

Connection is possible with roads, rails, runways and rivers, they said, and Trump’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan is welcome news to congested corridors in Louisiana and Mississippi. The president has started a conversation, they said, that is long overdue.

Both governors said since 2012 more than 25 states have addressed funding needs by modernizing their gas tax structure or rates. Louisiana and Mississippi haven’t, they said, so federal assistance if vitally important. They said they believe there is value in accelerating the environmental process so less is spent on process and more on actually building and repairing infrastructure.

“Mississippi and Louisiana take pride in our natural riches and will always protect our environment, but we agree a common sense approach to decision-making is better for the public and the bottom line,” they said.

The president has started the ball rolling, they said, and now it is Congress’ turn to take the necessary action to implement the plans.

This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the board, whose members are Crystal StevensonJohn GuidrozEmily Fontenot, retired editor Jim Beam and retired staff writer Mike Jones

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