Sen. Sojourner details legislative absences

Sen. Melanie Sojourner has missed five of 46 legislative roll calls since the start of the session in Jackson Jan. 7.

That’s approximately 1-in-10 — or 10.8 percent — of the roll calls posted on the Mississippi State Legislature’s website.

The other members of Adams County’s delegation all have perfect attendance.

On all five days Sojourner missed roll call, Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisvlle, also missed roll call. Sojourner is managing McDaniel’s primary campaign challenge to incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, and she said the campaign “is one of (her) paid jobs.”

Sojourner said one of the Friday sessions she missed was working on McDaniel’s campaign.

“Until this session is over, we try to schedule events in the evenings and on the weekends,” she said. “Pretty much any activity going on campaign-related is occurring in the evenings or early in the morning.”

Sojourner said she reviewed the days she missed, and of the votes taken, the overwhelming majority were unanimous votes or passed with only two or three dissenting voices. Included in those votes is the Natchez Regional Medical Center bankruptcy bill, which passed without any opposition.

In the House, Mims said he feels it is important for legislators to be in session in order to cast votes for the people of Southwest Mississippi.

“I have asked for the taxpayers to hire me and to do a job, and they expect me to be in attendance,” he said.

“I think this is a very important job we have, and we work for the taxpayers. I believe the taxpayers expect us to be at the capitol when we are in session. I (think) it (is) very important, and that is why I attend the sessions, why I attend the meetings and why I attend my job.”

Natchez Democrat
3/8/14