Shortfalls in education, health care pose legislative challenge

Mississippi’s lawmaking body comes to town Tuesday, faced with the state’s two most grievous needs: public education and public health.

Among the 50 states, we rank at or near the bottom in each category. So, what are lawmakers going to do with available financial resources to raise the state’s effort of each?

If we are to believe pre-session signals from Gov. Phil Bryant and his Republican-controlled Legislature, the answer: not much. Somehow over the years, and more so since 2010 when Republicans brought strict partisanship to state government, our priorities to get Mississippi off the bottom have become more confused.

Whereas we are a state with more low-income and underemployed people than perhaps any other in the U.S., the recently empowered Republican regime seems to be allergic to any program which would help build a safety net for the least of our brethren.

Bill Minor
1/2/14