Fairgoers gather under the pavilion in Founders Square to hear from Mississippi’s political leaders. The annual event was cancelled last year due to COVID-19 but resumed this year with just as much energy and excitement. During yesterday’s lineup of political speeches, Republican Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann discussed major legislation passed during the last year.
“Broadband is now accessible to more than 50,000 homes. We got with our co-ops. In addition to that we’re using fiber from the utility companies and it is the future for Mississippi.”
Legislators invested millions to increase ICU bed capacity at hospitals. Hosemann says the investment is making a difference during this 4th wave in COVID-19 cases and its impact on the state’s healthcare system.
Looking ahead, Hosemann invites Mississippians to participate in eight public hearings on redistricting to be held across the state beginning next month. And later in August he says the legislature will begin hearings on reforming the state’s tax system.
“It is important you pay attention to that and it’s important how we rearrange taxes in Mississippi,” says Hosemann.
“It is your money. Pay attention and join us as we go through tax reform.”
After the state supreme court in May struck down initiative 65 that legalized medical marijuana, the legislature began working on an alternative measure.
Hosemann says the senate will have a bill drafted by the end of next week.
“We intend to pass a medical marijuana bill and we intend to return the initiative process to the people.”
Hosemann says it’s not clear whether Governor Tate Reeves will call a special session for lawmakers to deal with both issues. Reeves is scheduled to speak at the fair later today.