Voters gave Republicans greater control over the Mississippi Legislature. What will they do with this increased power… play politics or push for progress?
The last four years, with slightly less control, the Republican majority made fiscal progress by eliminating reliance on one-time funding for ongoing expenditures and slowing the upward trend in bonded indebtedness. They passed improvements to education such as the third-grade reading gate and a limited pre-school program. They improved funding for workforce training. And they made important changes to reduce prison population.
But they also got distracted by political issues. The huge fight over Common Core was and remains primarily a political issue since alternative education standards line-up almost verbatim with Common Core. The pretend effort to slash taxes at the end of the last legislative session was election year politics at its finest. The temporary tax credit window for major retail developments was a political boondoggle.