Yesterday, the Mississippi Legislature convened for its First Extraordinary Session of 2017. This special session was called by the Governor to address several financial issues.
The legislature considered three budget appropriations that were not completed during the regular session, as well as two additional appropriation measures for the Secretary of State, and two bills dealing with the way the state’s financial accounts are structured.
The scope of the session was limited to protect taxpayers. The House convened at 10am and adjourned sine die just over 12 hours later, completing its work and ending the session. Legislative leadership trimmed several days from the regular session earlier this year, which helped ensure that this one day special session incurred no additional costs to taxpayers.
Here’s a short summary of each of the bills we considered, along with my vote and the vote totals.
SB 2001: This measure restructures the way that several state accounts are held, changing some “special funds” to general fund accounts. This will allow the state to more accurately gauge the tax dollars on hand. I voted Yes, the measure passed 73-43.
SB 2002: This bill, called the “FORTIFY Act,” makes structural changes to state accounts in an attempt to improve Mississippi’s credit rating. This could potentially reduce the cost of borrowing. The state should seek to reduce its indebtedness whenever possible, and reducing the cost of borrowing can help save taxpayer dollars. I voted Yes, the measure passed 73-41.
The House voted on a motion to suspend the rules and consider a resolution to expel a Representative from the House based on his social media comments. Regardless of how reprehensible some words may be, expelling a duly elected member of a representative body based solely on their speech outside the body sets a dangerous precedent. I voted No, the measure failed 32-66.
This year, the state still took over $6 billion from the taxpayers and spent it on hundreds of different government programs, including entitlements and regulatory agencies that are outside the proper role of government and have a negative impact on our state’s economy. For these reasons, I voted against all appropriations except for those that fund the three basic branches of government – Executive, Judicial, and Legislative, and payments on our current debt. Our state should get back to the basics and return more money back to the taxpayers, who rightfully earned it. Here’s a listing of each of the appropriation bills, along with the vote totals:
HB 2 Department of Transportation. I voted No, the measure passed 114-1.
HB 1 Attorney General. I voted No, the measure passed 103-4.
HB 5 Secretary of State – Settlements. I voted No, the measure passed 113-1.
HB 6 Secretary of State – Land Maintenance and Back Taxes. I voted No, the measure passed 112-2.
SB 2003 Office of State Aid Road Construction. I voted No, the measure passed 118-1.
While our official work is now done until January, I will be working diligently with fellow committee members during the coming months to help craft legislation that reduces the size, scope, and intrusiveness of government while protecting taxpayers and our liberties.
If you have any questions, requests, or if I can do anything for you, please let me know! You can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my cell phone at (601) 207-0813.
It’s a privilege to represent you!