Melinda McGrath, executive director, Mississippi Department of Transportation Credit: MDOT

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The Department of Transportation budget request for fiscal year 2019 may be $100 million less than the amount the department was appropriated for the current fiscal year.

For fiscal year 2018, the department was appropriated $1.2 billion by the Legislature. In a draft presented this week to the commissioners of transportation by department staff, the budget request forecast is $1.1 billion.

The commissioners could vote to approve the draft of the budget proposal at their next meeting later this month.

Federal funds to Mississippi Department of Transportation are expected to remain steady in the coming fiscal year, but income from project specific projects will be reduced and a number of budget line items will be lower.

Bond revenues are estimated to drop from $90 million in the current fiscal year to $20 million in fiscal year 2019 as the I-269 project in North Mississippi comes to a close.

Revenue bridge bonds also will decline from $105 million for fiscal year 2018 to $70 million in fiscal year 2019.

“We anticipate that there will not be any additional bonds issued next year,” said MDOT executive director Melinda McGrath. “The current bonds which were for bridge replacements that were issued a few years back and then the help bond program will be over, and we will be back to our base budget.”

Expenditures in the draft request that are estimated to be lower than the current fiscal year’s appropriation:

  • Travel: $2.3 million for fiscal year 2019, down from $2.6 appropriated for fiscal year 2018.
  • Capital outlay: $29 million for fiscal year 2019, down from $49 million appropriated for fiscal year 2018.
  • Payment of state aid, public transit and debt services: $146 million for fiscal year 2019, down from $150 million appropriated for fiscal year 2018.

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