Governor Phil Bryant spoke with Y’all Politics on Friday about how he felt the 2019 Legislative session went and in his words, “it was a tremendous success.”

The Governor listed a few things he considered to be accomplishments of Legislators this year. They include: 

  1. The passage of the Heartbeat bill 
  2. Building of the new Fragile Children’s Center
  3. The teacher pay raise
  4. Educational Savings Account for children with special needs
  5. Mississippi School Safety Act 
  6. Passage of the Human Trafficking Bill
  7. CPS budget increase
  8. K-12 received over $2.24 billion
  9. Israeli Support Act 

“Overall an amazing session, add on top of that a remarkable Criminal Justice Reform act that is now the model for the rest of the nation, the Fresh Start Act, The Mississippi Terrorist Threat Law, the Landowners Protection act. It was an exceptional Session that had something for everyone,” said Governor Bryant.

Governor Bryant also commented on the tact in which lawmakers are managing the state’s budget. He said this year 2% of the budget was allowed to be put into a rainy day fund due to high revenues across the state.

“I was really satisfied with what we saw in that legislative session. They went about their work in a diligent manner, particularly when it came to the budget,” said Bryant. “I don’t have a lot of regrets. I am very happy particularly when you look at a Governor that is in his last year of his last term.”

With this being the Governor’s last Legislative Session, he said as he moves out of his position he hopes state officials will continue to focus on the health and education of Mississippi’s children.

“I think what we’ve got to continue to focus on is the children of this state. Perhaps being a grandfather has brought it to my attention more than ever,” said Bryant. “The health and safety of the children is just critical.”

Bryant believes putting more resources into early childhood education is essential. He also hopes to see CPS continue to be funded in order to facilitate more and more adoptions and help those in foster care.

He believes working with the Department of Mental Health critical, and might have been something the state has not excelled at in the past. He urges future lawmakers to focus on the psychological needs of children and teenagers in order to fight the issues caused by mental illness such as suicide and addiction.

“Finally, economic development. Mississippi is an economic powerhouse now. We are an international entity. We are doing business all over the world. We helped create 80,000 jobs and unemployment is the lowest it’s ever been,” said Bryant. “Continue to build a strong dynamic economy so that you can have the funding sources they bring in the revenue that we need to take care of the real needs, not just the desires, but the real needs of Mississippi.”