Busy First Day of the New LegislatureBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 04 Jan 2011 09:47am |
The 2011 legislature is underway and it started with a bang. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports the economic impact can already be felt in and out of the Capitol.
There was a noticeable buzz in downtown Jackson Tuesday. The owners of the bars and restaurants within sight of the capitol are hoping the new session leads to a boost in business.
Mark Scurlock recently moved his donut shop near the capitol to catch that excitement.
"I see a lot of potential here at the downtown store. So that was one of the key reasons why I decided I am going to go with this store. Because we don't have a donut shop in downtown Jackson. I am putting it on this one, and I think it was a great move," Scurlock said.
The Capitol building itself was alive with activity. Both sides of the legislature opened their three month session.
And they immediately got to work, approving a 75-million dollar loan for a solar company to set up in Hattiesburg. It took around 3 hours to pass the economic package, but Senate finance chair Dean Kirby defends the speedy process.
"It is just a great deal all the way around, but we have made every precaution to make sure that the state cannot lose money on this project. And I just don't see any way in the world that we could," Kirby said.
In the Rotund, Senate President Pro Tem Billy Hewes announced his campaign for Lt. Governor. And a long parade of initiative supporters and cameramen trailed the Secretary of State as he delivered the signatures for the three initiatives that will be on the ballot this fall.
Jacob Riley was there to support the so-called personhood amendment.
"Well first and foremost, it would be for the glory of God that we wouldn't go against his law in our land by killing innocent children. And secondly it would be for the children themselves and that we might have a more biblical law system in Mississippi," Riley said.
The initiatives are drawing considerable attention because only two other initiatives have made the ballot by signature, and both of those failed.
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