Lt. Governor Reeves Makes Committee AppointmentsBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 06 Jan 2012 04:55pm |
This is week two of the 2012 legislative session and work in the Senate can begin in earnest now that all 39 committees have been filled. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that two of the key committees will have new Republican chairmen.
Flanked by a group of democratic and republican Senators, Lt. Governor Tate Reeves explained that he was careful to choose committee chairmen that he believes have the background and experience to lead the committee.
"The chairmen that have been appointed and the vice chairmen that have been appointed to each of the committees, I did exactly what I said I would do during the campaign. And that is to appoint a leadership team that reflects the makeup of the Senate and a leadership team that reflects the makeup of Mississippi," Reeves said.
A committee chair has an important role in state politics; they decide the course of legislation.
Reeves, a republican, appointed 22 republican chairmen out of the 39 committees including the two money committees, finance and appropriations.
The appropriations committee writes the budget and its new chairman Buck Clarke of Hollandale says his main focus will be on the largest portion of the budget pie....education.
"Obviously, education is going to dominate everything. And we are going to do all we can to hold level funding. I think I read in the paper this morning that education is looking at now that 'gee, level funding would be a great accomplishment'. And we are going to push hard to do that," Clarke said.
The finance committee deals with the other side of the budget coin....taxes, fees and bond bills.
Chairman Joey Filligane of Sumrall says he wants to look for ways to simplify the state's tax code.
"Whatever we can do on a state level to affect some change to make it easier for small businesses to grow, I think that is the just of what the Lt. Governor and I have spoken about. The tax code is a big piece of that. Of course it is not the whole piece, there are other costs associated with overhead and insurance and those things. But taxation is a big issue," Fillingane said.
Oxford Senator Gray Tollison will be the chair of the education committee. He switched from Democrat to Republican after he was re-elected in November.
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