The Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield does wonders with the resources available to it. Unfortunately, the Legislature has not heeded my multiple warnings and has continued to underfund the agency as a whole. The hospital is forced to turn one patient out to make a bed for another awaiting an evaluation of whether they are mentally competent to stand trial or are criminally insane.
Let me be clear: Just as bridges will begin to collapse in our state, mental health is a public safety crisis that is primed to explode.
Even a child understands that you can’t give away money that you don’t have. Rather than pass large, unneeded tax cuts designed only as means of pandering to those most able to make large campaign contributions, our state leadership needs to start acting like leaders. One reason Mississippi is in this current budget mess is because of the $350 million in tax breaks our lawmakers have handed out over the past few years. A mistake made more than once is a choice. In this case it’s a bad one.
Never in the twelve legislative sessions I have witnessed as attorney general has such little progress been made for our citizens. Of course, real progress demands real leadership. And real leadership is selfless, not self-serving. Real leadership places the interests of the state over those of a select few. Real leadership means serving the least among us without expecting anything in return.
Jim Hood LTE