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From Your Capitol -Big Government and Higher Taxes
This was the thirteenth and final week of the 2021 Legislative Session. We completed the last day on Thursday, April 1, after working through the weekend to finalize the state budget. While many significant pieces of legislation did not make it through the process this year, several did and will now be signed into law by the governor.
As always there were wins and loses in the political process. Some of the positive changes that survived included,
The Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act which will elevate the level of care for female inmates by limiting use of restraints on inmates giving birth, by providing feminine hygiene products for inmates who are in need and by placing incarcerated mothers within a certain distance to their minor children.
Mississippians will be able to purchase pseudoephedrine and ephedrine from pharmacies without a prescription.
Veterans are now authorized to establish proof of military service for a Veteran Driver’s License Designation in person at DPS driver’s license stations across the state.
Mississippi schools are now required to designate sports teams based on biological sex.
I am saddened to report that the failures seem larger than the wins this year. This is particularly disheartening when we consider the fact that we have a super-majority of Republicans in the legislature and throughout state government. It's disappointing when Republican leadership bow to liberal ideology instead of standing up for the principles of the people who elected them.
One huge failure was the gun bill that Rep. Shane Barnett worked on all session. This bill would have made positive changes and advanced the rights of Mississippi citizens. Unfortunately, leadership bowed to the will The Mississippi Institute of Higher Learning (IHL). IHL proved themselves to be the most liberal anti-freedom, anti-gun agency in our state. Legislative leadership was more concerned about their season tickets to football games than the freedom of our citizens.
IHL even opposed a simple resolution to affirm our commitment to the Bill of Rights. If the leadership of our universities and colleges refuse to affirm their commitment to our US Constitution and our Bill of Rights, we are in deep trouble. I am glad that none of my children are immersed in the liberal ideology of our state universities and colleges.
It was also disappointing to see Republicans who profess to believe in lower taxes and less government do everything in their power to increase government spending and take as much money as possible from the people of Mississippi.
In a year where the federal government sent the state of Mississippi almost $3.5 billion our government refused to even consider reducing the tax burden on the citizens. We saw the budget balloon with over 4% increases across the board, and an increase in our state debt of almost half a billion dollars.
The fact is, in 2021 the Mississippi legislature spent your money on pet project, increases in salaries, and general mis-spending like drunken sailors after six months at sea.
I regret that I don't have a more positive report to bring the people of Mississippi regarding your 2021 legislature. I find the Mississippi legislature to be largely unresponsive to the people who elected them, unwilling to adhere to the principles and values of the Republican party on which they campaigned, and generally concerned only about their personal gain and re-election.
If the people of Mississippi don't hold their elected officials responsible and require they adhere to the conservative principles of lower taxes, less government and more freedom, our freedom and liberties will soon be lost.