As January comes to a close the Mississippi legislature completes the fourth week of its 2016 session.
The first year after an election always begins at a slower pace because newly elected officials are finding their way around. Most years the Mississippi legislature convenes for a 90 day session but every fourth year, the year after an election, they convene for 125 days. The extra times is needed for the governor and the legislature to get organized, assign committees and find their way around the capitol.
Things are finally moving forward in the House, on Friday the Speaker announce committee assignments which means next week we begin the real work. I was appointed to serve as vice-chairman of the Constitution Committee, this committee will handle any legislation that might affect, change, or revise our state constitution. I will also serve as a member of the Education, Transportation, Universities & Colleges, Drug Policy, Judiciary A, Technology, and Tourism committees.
This week was school choice week at the capitol. There are those who are very skeptical of school choice and I appreciate their caution. But, I believe we must allow parents the option to seek the best education for their child. If a school is not providing the best education for a child then parents, no matter their income, must be free to seek a better school, one that fits their child. The fear many conservatives have is that if we allow parents to take money from the state educational system the government will attach strings to those funds. They are afraid that private schools will then be open to big-government intrusion like many of our public schools. I share that concern, and will not support any bill that attaches governmental strings to school choice. I believe we can free our student to learn without the interference of government.
This week I had the pleasure of meeting Ms Andi Stark of Olive Branch. Andi is a student at The University of Mississippi and was at the capitol representing students from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
Also visiting this week were, Tom Minyard, Donnie Abernathy, Rob Goudy and Pat Nozinich, of the Desoto County Conservative Coalition, they came to attend the American’s for Prosperity luncheon. It was great to see them in the gallery while we were in session. It’s always nice to know that we have folks from home keeping an eye on us as we represent Desoto County.