Representative Dana Criswell - Week of February 8 at Your Capitol
Last week was another busy week in Jackson, MS. Monday marked the last day for general bills to be submitted by representatives, and 2016 is a record year for proposed legislation. There are over 1500 general bills on the House calendar, which means legislators are spending sleepless nights trying to read and decipher the legalese within these bills. It is quite honestly a ridiculous amount of legislation, and is part of the problem with our system. House members are bombarded with so many decisions to make, in an extremely short period of time, that many bad laws slip through the process.
Legislation affecting our constitutional right to keep and bear arms is an important issue that many of us pay particular attention to, and this year there is plenty to keep us busy. Thirty-five bills have been submitted between the House and the Senate that could affect our gun rights. Attorney Reed Martz of Oxford has listed all the bills in one place on his website, I appreciate Reed sharing this information. If you are interested in protecting your constitutional right to self-defense follow this link and keep up with this legislation.
The Senate passed SB2438 on Wednesday, this bill requires all local school superintendents be appointed after January 1, 2019. No recently elected superintendent would lose their position, each would serve their term as elected. There is some confusion about this bill, and some have voice opposition based on a belief that voters would lose their voice on how their school system is managed. I do not believe this is true, I think our voice becomes stronger. Today, in counties such as Desoto where we elect the school board members and the superintendent of education our voice becomes lost between the two groups. Since both are elected neither have any motivation to work with the other. We end up with a power struggle between the school board and superintendent and often the superintendent wins by unfairly using his position to bully. If we take the politics out of our school administration our students will be better served. We do not lose our voice, our voice becomes stronger and our schools become better.
Over 99% of the school districts in the nation have appointed school administrators and most of those districts out perform the schools in our state. It's time we make a change and take the politics out of our schools.
Visiting the Capitol
It was great to see Ms. Jennifer Davis from Desoto Central Middle School and the students of the SGA (student government association). I am glad I had the opportunity to reconnect with Ms. Davis and meet the great students of DCMS.
Also visiting this week was the Leadership Desoto group, it's the involvement of groups like this that make Desoto county a great place to live and work. It's not an accident that Desoto County is the envy of the state and groups like Leadership Desoto help move us forward and keep us in the lead.
I can't forget my family. My wife and kids visited this week also. We had a great time touring the capitol, having lunch at Brent's Drugs, admiring the art at the Mississippi Museum of Art, and watching cowboys ride bulls at the Dixie National Rodeo.