In less than a month Governor-Elect Phil Bryant will take office, but before he does he's developing a policy strategy before the upcoming legislative session.

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Bryant Developing Legislative Policy Agenda

By Daniel Cherry | Published 15 Dec 2011 06:30pm | comments

As Governor-Elect Phil Bryant prepares to take office January 10th, having a strategy in place is one of his most pressing concerns. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how Bryant is preparing his policy agenda before the legislature comes back to the capitol.

When Republican Phil Bryant takes office next month he says he wants to be known as the "big idea governor". Yesterday in Jackson, Bryant brought in nearly 300 business people, lawmakers, and state agency leaders to develop policy proposals for the upcoming legislative session. Bryant says when he develops his strategy as governor, he's not playing politics, he's trying to come up with solutions.

"I'd have people understand that I'm not trying to politicize one topic or another. We're not trying to say that we want to impose some kind of conservative agenda on you."

The policy summit is part of Bryant's transition into office. One of the key issues for the incoming governor is to improve Mississippi's health. Dr. Randy Easterling is the Chair of Bryant's health care committee. He says it's time to get serious about strategies like training and keeping more doctors in Mississippi.

"We want a healthier Mississippi. That's a cliche, but we are the worst in all the health care indices. We're the fattest in the country. We have more hypertension, more diabetes, more coronary artery disease. We've got to do something about that. We're killing our population and we're killing them early."

Bryant says fixing education is one of his top priorities. Charles McClelland is the Chairman of the state Board of Education and Bryant's education committee. He says all solutions are being considered, from charter schools to early childhood education, but it's up to the new governor to make it work.

"We're not the ones that are going to be the savior here saying, 'This is going to be it.' We're trying to come up with some ideas collectively to pass along to him to use as a guideline."

With Republican majorities in both the House and Senate it's likely Bryant will find plenty of support for his proposals.

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