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Relatively Few Proposals in State of State Address

By Paul Boger | Published 22 Jan 2014 10:47pm | comments
Governor Phil Bryant says he wants to focus on Mississippi's growing economy, while continuing to implement a number of  educational and public safety reforms. MPB's Paul Boger reports the Governor used his annual State of the State Address to bring forward a number of issues from his inauguration. 
Standing before a joint session of the Legislature last night, Gov. Phil Bryant delivered his third State of the State Address to a mostly supportive -- if sparse -- House Chamber. 
Throughout the 35 minute speech, Bryant choose to highlight Mississippi's progress on areas he believes should be the fundamental guide for the state's future.
"We believe every Mississippian should have the opportunity to be gainfully employed; to learn from the best educational system we can offer; to be born into a mature, two-parent family." said Bryant.
As a way to exemplify the state's progress on job creation, Bryant chose to point toward Mississippi's record high gross domestic product. 
"For the first time in Mississippi's history, our state reached $100 billion in GDP." said Bryant. "The American Legislative Exchange Council ranked Mississippi among the top ten most successful states for economic outlook, and Area Development Magazine says, 'Mississippi is on an economic roll."
Bryant also commented on the state's low rating in K through 12 educational achievement assessments. He says the rating is unacceptable, but offered little in new policies. He instead believes the state should continue to implement a number of reforms the legislature made last year.
"Our work in education is far from finished, and there are new efforts that I will call on the Legislature to adopt." said Bryant. "However, we must make our first priority implementing the reforms we have already passed."
Lastly, the Governor touched on the topic of public safety, while Bryant advocated the full funding of drug courts, he recommended the formation of a Violent Crime Strike Force.
"To combat pockets of serious crime in our state, I have asked you to fund a violent crime strike force composed of state, local and federal law enforcement officers." said Bryant. "These elite forces will respond to a specific high-crime area and hit gangs and drug dealers where they live."
While Bryant offered relatively few proposals in the address, he did introduce a plan that would make the ACT the new high school exit exam, and another that would add the slogan "In God We Trust" to the state seal.




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