The state House and Senate are scheduled to convene this morning for the 79th day of the 90-day legislative session.
With less than a dozen days to go, it seems unlikely anything startling will come out of this session.
Unless you are startled by a new law that will try to sniff out drug users applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, as the food stamp program is now called. We don’t believe taxes should subsidize drug use either, including alcohol and tobacco, for that matter. But of all the waste, fraud and abuse issues the Legislature could have tackled, this is the one they rallied behind?
Then again, these are the same legislators who managed to complicate adding “In God We Trust” to the state seal by inserting the idea into the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That maneuver even startled Gov. Phil Bryant, who wants Mississippi’s seal to emulate Florida’s.
Even the effort to give the state’s 82 sheriffs hefty raises was handcuffed to pleas for pay raises for other state employees. Maybe the Legislature should just give sheriffs the authority to use radar and let them have a share of the fines for speeding.
And so it goes into the final stretch, which is usually dominated by the passage of a balanced budget, as required by law.
Even though the suggestion was not championed in this legislative session, we will continue to call for mandatory annual audits of all the money appropriated in those state budgets.
Maybe our slogan next year will be: In God we trust … all others we audit.