Legislators should hear local concerns
Published 10:31 am Wednesday, January 13, 2016
It will be interesting to watch our local legislators as the new legislative session progresses. All have said the right things when it comes to their priorities in Jackson, but only when votes are cast do we really see how we are represented.
Newly elected Rep. Vince Mangold will have much to learn, but he appears to understand why he was elected. When asked about education funding and Initiative 42, the Republican had this to say: “Initiative 42, it didn’t pass. But a bunch of people voted for it. Was that the right thing for Mississippi, that initiative? I don’t know if it was the right thing, but I think it’s going to have — I mean I’ve been in some meetings already, and education is definitely going to be a topic. My comment was that, ‘Hey the people spoke.’ They want to see some changes and some things done different. So I think we’re going to have to listen to what the people say and see if we can’t make a concerted effort to try and better the education in Mississippi. Who wouldn’t want better education?”
Mangold is right. A lot of folks voted in favor of Initiative 42, meaning education funding matters to Mississippians. And all the rhetoric about how the state spends more than it ever has on education rings hollow when people realize that MAEP still isn’t fully funded.
Will it be this year? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean education can’t get a larger share of the state budget.
There will be other issues that will provide our legislators an opportunity to vote for what’s best for our district and Mississippi. Sometimes doing what’s best will require casting a vote that’s unpopular among their Republican colleagues in Jackson. We hope they have the courage to do so, even if it means making a few enemies in their own party.
We elect legislators to represent our district, not vote along party lines. We also elect them to listen to their constituents, but that requires that those constituents talk to them. So don’t hesitate to contact your senator or representative. Their contact information is below.
HOUSE DISTRICT 92
Capitol: Room 119-NC
Home: 407 Oliver Drive, Brookhaven, MS
HOUSE DISTRICT 53
Capitol: P.O. Box 1018
Home: 1276 Wellman Drive
Brookhaven, MS 39629
SENATE DISTRICT 39
Capitol: P.O. Box 1018
Home: P.O. Box 4662
Brookhaven MS 39603