Barbour, Bryant announce legislative agendas

January 8th, 2009 by Perry

This week in Reasonably Right I write about Governor Barbour and Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant’s legislative agendas.¬† Barbour discussed his priorities at the Stennis-Capitol Press Corps luncheon where he also announced some good news from Toyota.¬† Bryant released his in a press release. Both have been hitting talk radio and conservative groups to get their folks engaged. Here are some excerpts from the column:

[Barbour's]¬†priorities for 2009 are protecting and adding jobs, completing Katrina rebuilding, a “fair, permanent, sustainable funding solution” for Medicaid, Voter ID, workforce development and job training, and a health insurance exchange.

Barbour spent the bulk of his time addressing the budget.

Barbour is in his final term as governor; he seeks conservative executive governance. Bryant doesn’t hide his future political ambitions; he promotes conservative legislative priorities.

Bryant released his priorities list last week calling it his “2009 Common Sense Legislative Agenda.”

Bryant’s education proposals seek the full funding of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) and innovative policies: enhanced charter school legislation, health care savings funds for teachers, allowing retired teachers to return to the classroom in critical areas with pay in addition to retirement, and removing underperforming school board members (elected or appointed).

He seeks passage of The Child Protection Act of 2009 that stiffens penalties for statutory rape laws. It regulates abortion practices when terminating pregnancies resulting from the violation of those laws. It would also hold any person who assists a minor in obtaining an abortion without parental consent civilly liable. Last year this measure threatened the leadership of the House of Representatives when despite being held in committee it was nearly forced to a floor vote. A deal allowed the committee process to save face and the bill to be reconsidered this year.

Bryant seeks to spur the economy through tax cuts: income tax reductions, phase out of inventory tax, increase homestead exemptions, and reduce by half the sales tax purchases of forestry equipment.

His ethics reform package seeks to remove the legislature’s exemption from the Open Records Act, restrict state agencies from hiring contract lobbyists in order to obtain state funds and prohibit the acceptance of campaign contributions by legislators during the regular or any special session.

Bryant also seeks to implement Voter ID, create a Senate Drug Policy Committee, and enact stricter penalties against illegal immigrants.

You can read the full column at the Madison County Journal: Perry / Barbour, Bryant announce agendas.

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