Gov. Phil Bryant was lavishing praise on just about everyone in the room as he prepared to sign bills expanding the authority for charter schools and making other changes to K-12 education in Mississippi.
Among the many people the Republican governor praised during Wednesday’s bill signing ceremony at Northwest Rankin High School was Rep. Charles Busby, R-Pascagoula.
Bryant acknowledged what’s become clear — Busby may be the first-term legislator who’s made the biggest mark so far.
There were 47 new senators and representatives when the Legislature started this four-year term in 2012. Six more new lawmakers have joined them since, as incumbents have died or resigned. A seventh new lawmaker, Lataisha Jackson, will take the place of the late Rep. Joe Gardner, D-Batesville, when lawmakers return for at least one special session in coming months, and an eighth new member will take the place of the late Rep. Jessica Upshaw, R-Diamondhead. When that seat is filled, more than 30 percent of Mississippi’s 174 lawmakers will have fewer than two years of experience.