Phil Bryant – We have work to do

PHILADELPHIA — When deciding the state’s business, a “gentlemen’s agreement” between officials is not what Mississippi needs. For decades, the House and Senate automatically approved the opposite chamber’s redistricting plan — without review and questioning.

That process is illogical and irresponsible and appears to be a violation of the member’s oath of office to not “trade your vote” on any issue.

Transparency and openness are both good principles for state government to follow because that brings more accountability to the actions of elected officials. That’s just one reason why I stated early on, before the redistricting process even started, that the Mississippi Senate would not blindly accept the House plan when it was sent to the Senate. Just as we review, debate and sometimes amend legislation sent from the House to the Senate, it seems preposterous that we should not do the same with the House-redistricting bill sent to the Senate.

Phil Bryant
Meridian Star
3/22/11