On Tuesday Representatives and Senators filled the Capitol to announce they were ready for business. Day one included the swearing in of one Senator, a prayer, the Pledge and the introduction of guests, family members, and others present.
As lawmakers gaveled out, to reconvene on Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves spoke to the media about what might come up over the next 90 days.
He was asked several questions including whether or not a gas or tobacco tax could be brought up to potentially increase revenue for roads and bridges.
“Always a possibility of anything occurring when you’re on the first day of session. It think it’s unlikely. In both the House and Senate it requires a three fifths majority to pass revenue measures. So basically, it takes 32 votes in the Mississippi Senate and I don’t think there are 32 votes in the Mississippi Senate to do either one of those things,” said Lt. Gov. Reeves.
One big question on everyone’s mind is, will MAEP see a rewrite this year? So far there is no timeline on when and if that conversation will happen. But Lt. Gov. Reeves said being informed is critically important before any kind of vote on a rewrite could happen in the Senate.
Senator Hob Bryan said this attempt to change MAEP is being kept secret.
“Let’s remember how the original formula came about. Literally for years members of the legislature discussed the formula in open meetings. For some reason, there is a secret attempt to change the formula. This has been going on for more than a year,” said Sen. Bryan.
He said he hopes to see a call of committee meetings to further discuss public education in the state of Mississippi and to see a fully funded formula. As of 2017 MAEP was only about 40 percent funded.
The company from New Jersey contracted to provide a recommendation on rewrites is EdBuild. You can find the recommendation they made to lawmakers HERE.
The House and Senate both adjourned until 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning.