Earlier this month, folks all around the country went to vote in this year’s midterm election. Mississippi’s Fourth Congressional District – where the Pine Belt is located – now has a new Congressman-elect: Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell! Thank you to everyone who got out and exercised your right to vote in a free and fair election. We are truly fortunate to live in a democracy where leaders are chosen by the people.
Historic Economic Development Project
At the beginning of November, the state’s Legislature was called back to Jackson for a one-day Special Session around an economic development project in the eastern portion of the state. The project – an aluminum recycling plant – is the largest ever in Mississippi’s history, with a total investment of $2.5 billion and the creation of up to 1,000 jobs with an average salary of $93,000. As Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, I was heavily involved in the process of passing an incentive package that would secure the deal. I’m proud of the work we did, and I’m excited that Mississippi continues to bring in record corporate investment and create thousands of good-paying jobs for our state’s workers.
Speaking with UMMC Students
I recently joined Sen. Hob Bryan, chairman of the Senate Public Health & Welfare Committee, to speak to medical students at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. We discussed issues including legislation and health policy with these bright students.
Budget Process Begins
Each year, Mississippi’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee meets to determine the next fiscal year’s revenue estimate. As a testament to the continued economic growth of our state, this estimate was set at $7.5 billion, which is higher than the Fiscal Year 2023 sine die revenue estimate of some $6.9 billion. What does this mean for Mississippi? More opportunity for investment in education, infrastructure, public safety, and even passage of additional tax cuts to provide you – our taxpayers – with relief from rising inflationary costs. While our state’s economic position is stable, we must be mindful of future downturns in the economy and adopt a prudent budget that protects your hard-earned dollars.
We recently celebrated Veterans Day as a nation. I’d like to extend my deepest appreciate to all those who have served in our military. May we never forget that our way of life is ensured and protected by the men and women who fight to keep us safe and secure. Thank you to all our Veterans!
I was delighted to spend some of my holiday hiking in the Midwest with my family. The start of the holiday season always reminds me to be grateful for family and friends.
Inauguration of USM President
I attended the inauguration ceremony for USM’s newest president, Dr. Joseph S. Paul. His official term began Nov. 1, after having served in the interim role since July of this year. Dr. Paul is a well-known Southern Miss alumnus who previously served his alma mater as a student affairs administrator for 40 years. I wish him the best of luck in this role. To the top, Dr. Paul!