It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m finally getting a chance to sit down and reflect on this past week’s events in the Mississippi House of Representatives. Friday February 23, marked the deadline for House appropriations and revenue bills to be introduced and passed. The House Appropriations Committee finished considering bills regarding budgets for state entities last week, but the Ways and Means Committee still needed to approve a few bills to meet the deadline.
There continues to be those in politics who misrepresent (a politically correct way to say lie) events that have taken place during this past week. Some of you from Desoto County are aware of the political misdirection of facts that has taken place when it comes to local taxes. This week those who want to pretend to be conservative and claim to be for lower taxes revealed themselves to be just the opposite. Initially I looked at their attack as a negative but after some reflection I’ve come to realize their attacks have exposed them as tax and spend politicians who do not believe in the conservative principles on which they run. When the majority of the Desoto county representatives took a hard stand against government’s desire to increase the tax burden on its citizens and fought publicly against those local and state politicians, we forced them into the light. It is now easy to tell who truly believes in conservative principles and who does not.
I encourage you to watch the floor debate that took place this past Tuesday and you will see that the majority of the Desoto County delegation fought for the right of citizens to have a direct say on how they are taxed. But, many in the House, who claim to be the most conservative, fought hard and dirty to keep their system of hidden taxation.
We are more than half way through the 2018 legislative session, here are some good bills and some bad bills that are still alive and moving through the process;
Student-Centered Funding Formula – HB 957 – reforms education funding formula to make our current complicated “hybrid” model into a true student-centered model that treats students who are similarly situated the same in terms of funding no matter where they live.
Free Market Alcohol Policy – Every year, the Legislature takes up a number of “alcohol freedom” bills that expand consumer, production, and retail options. This year is no different with bills to allow direct shipment of wine to retailers and restaurants (SB 2278, HB 1344).
HB 1198 – creates a mandate for health insurance contracts to provide for infertility coverage. While the desire to have this coverage is certainly understandable, a government mandate requiring it further interferes with the private right to contract and will increase the cost of insurance for all consumers.
SB 2194 – allows community and junior colleges to collect debts by setoff against a debtor’s income tax refund. There is a process spelled out in existing law for the collection of debt through judiciary. The concern in this instance is whether it creates an avenue for some creditors to gain an unfair advantage in the collection of debts over others.
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.