Here are top 5 legislative issues to watch for in 2014

Lawmakers return to Jackson on Tuesday for the start of the 2014 state legislative session with their financial house in the best shape it’s been in years, but there remain many needs after years of recession.

Revenue collections since July have come in more than $75 million above estimates.

The 2013 sessions were dominated by the mostly partisan fight over charter schools and expanding Medicaid per the federal Affordable Care Act.

For the 2014 regular session both those issues appear nonstarters — legislation allowing expansion of charter schools passed and is not expected to be revisited; expansion of Medicaid failed. And while the minority Democratic leadership may push again for Medicaid expansion, it’s not expected to gain much momentum, in large part because of the dismal rollout of Obamacare on a national level.

See Page 7A for issues to watch in the 2014 session

Education funding/ teacher pay raise

The issue: The Mississippi Adequate Education Program formula — a law adopted by the Legislature in 1997 — is supposed to set K-12 public education spending in Mississippi.

Clarion Ledger
1/5/13