Speaker Phillip Gunn Predicts Smoother SailingBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 19 Mar 2012 05:34pm |
Mississippi House Speaker Phillip Gunn is predicting smoother sailing in the house as the first set of deadlines for budget bills approaches. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that despite a series of late nights, Gunn is pleased with the legislation that made it out of the house.
Out of the 15-hundred bills filed in the house, more than 200 survived the committee process and were approved by a majority of the 122 representatives.
Speaker Phillip Gunn of Clinton says he is pleased with the legislation they produced, especially on issues that Republicans have been pushing for years but always found blocked by the democratically controlled house.
"I think that is one of the things that contributed to the intense debate is that we are seeing things come to the house floor that have never been there before and people are trying to adjust, they are trying to get used to these types of things," Gunn said.
The speed of legislation slowed to a crawl last week, leading to a series of late nights.
Speaker Gunn says he met with Democratic members of the House and believes they have ironed out the tension that caused the gridlock.
"We have got to be able to overcome disagreements and get past them and move on and reconcile. That is what happened last week and I was very pleased with that. I think it set a precedent for the future. We are going to continue to have disagreements and spats. But as long as we can have adult conversations and work through it, I am very pleased with what the future holds there," Gunn said.
Democratic minority leader Bobby Moak of Bouge Chitto says his biggest concern is making sure that there is a full debate on the issues, even if that means things move a little slowly.
"And what we want to do, and the point that we have gotten across, is that we want to debate the issues. It is unfair to bring forward pieces of legislation and people don't get the opportunity to hear the debate," Moak said.
However, Moak does not believe that debating and voting on bills after midnight, as happened last week, is the best way to craft a bill.
Lawmakers will have to find a way to work together...The first set of deadlines bills setting for state spending and taxes is next week.
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