Education, spending top topics this session

Published 12:08 pm Thursday, January 5, 2017

Education (and how to fund it) and how to pay for infrastructure needs will likely get most of the attention this legislative session. Lawmakers started the 2017 session this week.

The state’s education funding formula, the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, is likely to be changed. The state hired a New Jersey company to to recommend changes to the formula.

EdBuild CEO Rebecca Sibilia said she doesn’t anticipate recommending a reduction in spending. But any changes would cause losses for some school districts and gains for others, unless lawmakers find money to increase total spending, The Associated Press reported.

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That’s not likely to sit well with districts that lose funding. And who can blame them?

Lawmakers will also consider how to pay for upgrades to highways and bridges across the state. Locally, Lincoln County supervisors are trying to do the same.

Short of a gas tax increase, it’s unclear where additional money for infrastructure needs will come from.

Like all legislative sessions, thousands of bills will get filed and a small percentage of them will become law.

Lincoln County’s Rep. Becky Currie, Rep. Vince Mangold and Sen. Sally Doty will no doubt author and support legislation that benefits their districts as well as the state. We hope legislation of theirs that didn’t make it to a vote in previous sessions will see the light of day this year.

Currie and Doty have both championed worthy issues and we look forward to seeing what they — and Mangold — get accomplished this year.