Lt. Governor Candidates Lay Out Their PlansBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 20 Jul 2011 05:34pm |
The two leading candidates to be the next Lt. Governor of Mississippi are explaining what their top priorities would be if elected to the seat. M-P-B's Jeffrey Hess reportsthat their plans could affect the direction of the state for the next four years.
With less than two weeks until the Republican Party primary, the two leading candidates for Lt. Governor....State Senator Billy Hewes of Gulfport and state treasurer Tate Reeves.....are putting forth their plans for what they would do while in the influential Lt. Governor's chair.
At a Wednesday press conference in the Capitol building, Hewes said one of his top goals would be implementing a program to drug test Mississippians who receive public assistance such as welfare and unemployment.
"Tax money provided for public assistance comes from working people, many of whom are drug tested at their place of employment. This standard should apply anyone receiving public assistance as well. If people are to apply for benefits paid for by tax payer dollars, than they should be subject to drug testing as a condition of receiving those funds," Hewes said.
Hewes also says he would eliminate the state's inventory tax, order audits of state consulting contracts and push for a law to punish adults who don't report the disappearance or death of a child.
State Treasure Reeves says his biggest priority is job creation and improving the level of education attainment of Mississippi workers by increasing the state's investment in the Community College system.
"When you look at the kind of jobs that have come into Mississippi in the last 7 and a half year; whether it be the steel mill in Columbus or the Toyota facility in Blue Springs and other places, there are a lot of opportunities to provide workforce training and we need to do that," Reeves said.
Reeves says expanding access to early childhood education would be another key goal, but he does not think that Mississippi could afford a state funded pre-K system.
Both Reeves and Hewes are promising to control the state's debt by making sure Mississippi only issues debt for projects that will lead to more jobs or economic activity in the state.
Since there is no democrat or high profile third party candidate in the race, the August second Republican primary effectively decides who the next Lt. Governor will be.
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