Swearing in for new session
At the beginning of each new term, Senators and Representatives take the oath of office and are sworn in at the beginning of Session. This year, I was joined by my two kids, Brennan and Emma Kathryn. I am so grateful for the trust the people of District 45 have placed in me. I am committed to increasing economic opportunity, protecting citizens’ rights, growing the state economy, and creating a more prosperous Mississippi.
Senator Chris Johnson and his son, Brennan
Senator Chris Johnson and his daughter, Emma Kathryn
With the new session also came new legislative committee assignments. Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann at the beginning of January assigned Senators to various committees to work on bills whose subject matter correspond with the committees to which they are referred.
I’m excited to let you know that I have been named the Chairman of a brand-new committee, Government Structure. This committee was created to take a closer look at various aspects of our state government for the purpose of making our government work better for the people we are elected to represent. I look forward to working with legislative leadership to craft and shape legislation that streamline aspects of our state government, making it more efficient and cost-effective.
I’ve created a specific email account, email@example.com, to get your thoughts on issues we should take up in this committee and how we should handle the legislation we are referred. Feel free to shoot me your ideas or thoughts, as it will help me as I lead this new committee.
Along with Government Structure, I will retain my position as Vice Chair of the Senate Finance committee, through which all legislation involving taxes, bonds, and other financial issues flow. I’m excited to continue the work of reducing the tax burdens of Mississippians while ensuring our state maintains a healthy financial outlook.
I will also serve as a member on the following committees: Investigative State Offices, Constitution, Economic and Workforce Development, Insurance, Public Health and Welfare, Public Property, and Medicaid.
Legislative Doctor of the Day
The Legislature was joined earlier this week by Dr. Melissa Stephens of Hattiesburg! Dr. Stephens, a family medicine practitioner, serves as Program Director of EC Healthnet Family Medicine Residency Program in Meridian and Associate Dean of Population Health at William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
The Legislative Doctor of the Day provides medical services to Legislators and staff in need of medical attention. I was proud to have the opportunity to introduce her and her staff.
Senator Chris Johnson pictured with Dr. Melissa Stephens and her residents, Dr. Andy Rinek, MD, Dr. Brandon Coats, MD, and Dr. Kelvin Wang, DO.
Special sessions for economic development projects
In the past two weeks, Governor Tate Reeves has convened two special legislative sessions to pass legislation needed for two large economic development projects in Mississippi. Special sessions can only be called by the Governor and typically involve big issues that require more intense focus by state leaders.
The two special sessions we’ve had so far dealt with a new electric battery manufacturing facility in north Mississippi and Amazon’s construction of two hyperscale data centers located just outside of Jackson. The projects will bring a combined $12 billion in capital investment and will create several thousand jobs.
As Vice Chair of the Senate Finance committee, I work closely with Chairman Josh Harkins on all legislation regarding taxes and economic incentives, both of which were issues taken up in the special sessions. I look forward to working on future projects that will bring economic opportunity to the residents of District 45, and I’m committed to working with state and local officials to ensure that happens.
Visit from Forrest County Supervisors
I had the wonderful opportunity to visit with a few members of the Forrest County Board of Supervisors this week. These folks are hard at work to make Forrest County better, from working to attract new, high-paying jobs, increase educational attainment, improve public safety, and effectively manage tax dollars. I’m thankful for the work they do and look forward to seeing more great things for Forrest County.
Senator Chris Johnson pictured with Forrest County Supervisors, Terri Bell, Steve Stringer, and Gentry Mordica
Hattiesburg students visit the Capitol
My colleague Senator Polk and I were excited to meet with gifted students from Oak Grove this week as they visited the Capitol! State government isn’t always the most exciting topic, but decisions made in this building affect all Mississippians – even students. I’m proud of these young men and women for their interest in the legislative process and the role of government in their lives. I hope to see more students from District 45 visit us soon!
Senator Chris Johnson pictured with Senator John Polk and students from Oak Grove
Update from the Senate
Outside the two special sessions, very little legislation has moved in the first month of the session. Right now, Lt. Governor Hosemann and his staff are reviewing legislation and assigning them to various committees, where they will be considered for passage.
The Senate did, however, take up and pass a resolution commending Colonel Randy Ginn of the Mississippi Highway Patrol for his service to our state. Col. Ginn recently retired after 36 years of service to our state law enforcement division. I am grateful for his service and the service of all the men and women in our state who put their lives on the line to ensure our safety.
The Senate was also joined by Senator Mark Daly, who is the Senate Chair in Ireland. Senator Daly was in town to discuss potential trade agreements between Mississippi and Ireland, and I had the good fortune of meeting him.
As the session progresses, I will keep you updated on the work we are doing to make Mississippi the greatest state in the nation, as well as what I’m working on for the great people of District 45.
I want to hear from you!
As the legislative session continues, I’d love to hear from you. I am honored to have the opportunity to represent you in our state Senate, and it is my goal to always represent the will of the men and women of District 45. As I mentioned earlier in this update, I have created a new account dedicated to the new Government Structure committee: firstname.lastname@example.org. I can also be reached through my senate email: email@example.com. I would love to know your thoughts on legislation, important issues facing the state, and ways I can work to make your lives and our state better.