Mississippi governor outlines priorities in State of State

Published 4:52 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2022

(AP) — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves says cutting taxes, supporting education and improving infrastructure are among his priorities this year.
“We tell every young parent: We will be your partner in educating your child. Together, we will make sure that if they work hard, they will learn what they need to know,” Reeves said in the prepared text of the speech.
The Republican — now in his third year in the state’s highest office — mentioned those issues, and others, during his State of the State speech Tuesday.
Reeves called on the Republican-controlled Legislature to eliminate the state income tax, saying that would help Mississippi attract more jobs.
“By eliminating the income tax, we can put ourselves in a position to stand out,” Reeves said.
The House has already passed a bill that would phase out the income tax, reduce the tax on groceries and reduce the property taxes that people pay for car tags. That bill goes to the Senate, where leaders have not revealed their own plans for tax changes.
Reeves said he is supporting a pay raise for teachers. The House and Senate are working on plans.
“Teachers in Mississippi did not, and will not, back down amid this unprecedented educational battle between a virus and a child’s right to learn,” Reeves said, according to the text. “That is why we must give our teachers the pay raise they deserve.”
Mississippi is receiving $1.8 billion in pandemic relief money from the federal government. Reeves said he agrees with Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann about spending the money on “transformative” projects.
“We must stay focused on those investments that will have an impact not for one or two years, but for one or two generations,” Reeves said in the prepared text. “I wholeheartedly support his plan to put the bulk of that money into local infrastructure projects that can put those concerns behind us for years.”
Mississippi governors usually give their State of the State speeches in the state House chamber, with legislators and other officials sitting shoulder-to-shoulder. Reeves has given each of his outside the Capitol.
In 2020, Reeves gave his State of the State on a platform that had been built on the Capitol’s south steps for his inauguration. Reeves was inaugurated inside the Capitol because of bad weather. Days later, the speech provided an occasion for the platform to be used.
In 2021, the speech was outdoors because of the coronavirus pandemic. The governor’s office did not immediately announce a reason for the open-air setting this year.

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