Bryant Takes Oath As 64th GovernorBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 10 Jan 2012 06:22pm |
Phil Bryant is now the 64th Governor of Mississippi. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that Bryant took the oath of office at an inauguration ceremony in Jackson yesterday.
The Mississippi Mass Choir sings at the Tuesday inauguration of Governor Phil Bryant.
Due to rain, Bryant's ceremony was moved from an outdoor platform on the south steps of the capitol to the House Chamber.
Bryant laid out his vision for the state in his inaugural address.
At the top of Bryant's list is improving the state's economy and lowering the 10-percent unemployment rate.
"Our most important work is to make sure that Mississippians have work. Providing job opportunity is critical for Mississippi's long term success. And there are two sectors that we can foster that have incredible promise to bring more jobs to Mississippi over the next decade. Energy and health care," Bryant said.
Bryant says expanding the state's energy production could help make the country less dependent on foreign energy. He also wants to bring one-thousand new doctors to the Mississippi by 2025.
Improving the state's education system is also one of Bryant's goals.
He says he would like to expand early childhood education, bring charter schools to the state, and allow students to get more vocational training.
"We must also attack the drop out rate by allowing our children to take standard high school exam and work force learn at community colleges at the same time. A drop out who would otherwise be pre-ordained as a societal failure could be valued with such programs," Bryant said.
Mississippi leads the nation in the rate of teen pregnancy, and Bryant says lowering that rate is a public health concern that should be addressed in the same way that lower high smoking rates.
How the state drafts its budget has long been a particular interest for Governor Bryant who wants to institute what he calls performance-based budgeting.
He again raised the issue in his address.
"Mississippi budget process is broken and it must be fixed. Budgets are often set by two deciding factors. What was last years budget numbers and who do you know at the capitol? This is no way to treat Mississippi's tax dollars," Bryant said.
After the nearly 20 minute speech, Bryant called on Mississippians to overcome past troubles and rise together.
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