From Your Capitol - January 12, 2020
On Tuesday, January 7 the 2020 legislative session began. I was honored to be re-elected by the people of Olive Branch to represent them for another four years in the Mississippi Legislature. I hope to spend the next four years fighting for the conservative principles that I campaigned on and that the people asked me to uphold.
The first week of a new legislative term is usually slow but the tasks we are accomplishing are very important.
Unlike the Senate where the people select the Lt. Governor to be the leader, in the House the members of the body select who will lead them. The House members selected Philip Gunn a Republican from Clinton, to a third term as Speaker. The Speaker serves a very important role and is one of the most powerful positions in Mississippi government.
The Speaker makes all selections for Committee Chairmen and decides on which committees a member may serve. The Speaker assigns all proposed bills to committees and controls which bills are brought before the House for a vote. It is vitally important that the members choose a fair, honest, and conservative member to serve in this powerful position.
It is unusual for the legislature to debate and vote on a bill in the first week of the session, but because of a mistake in 2019 the Appropriations Committee met and voted on a deficit appropriation for the Department of Education.
A deficit appropriation means the Department spent more money in 2019 than the money that was allocated by the legislature. The reason that happened is because when the legislature voted in 2019 for a teacher pay raise there were about 9,000 teachers left out. This mistake by the Department of Education cost the tax payers of Mississippi more than $18 million.
The incompetence of the State and its agencies was highlighted by this mistake. I can't imagine any Fortune 500 company allowing such a mistake to go unanswered. I voted to write this $18 million check because I felt is was an obligation we made, but the fact that we had to do this should infuriate every citizen of Mississippi. We must demand our state and our state agencies are managed better.
I was also happy to discuss the new legislative session and some of my priorities on the JT Show on SuperTalk radio. The primary topic of our discussion was the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement that is sweeping our nation and our state. Click here to listen.
It is an honor to serve the people of Olive Branch and District 6 in the Mississippi House of Representatives. Please contact me with your questions or concerns. Listening to your opinions helps me make better decisions about your government.
My Legislative Priorities for 2020
Remove prohibition of growing agricultural hemp
Repeal Certificate of Need laws, which will allow better rural health care
Repeal Civil Asset Forfeiture laws, government should not be allowed to confiscate property unless there is a criminal conviction