Why is speaker breaking ranks?

Everyone around the Capitol is wondering why House Speaker Philip Gunn appears to have left the farm, pushing for a teacher pay raise.

No matter the reason, or the result, the move appears to be good politically for Gunn.

It’s the first mega-issue where Gunn has broken ranks with fellow Republicans Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves. Both of them question the spending for an across-the-board raise and say they favor a merit pay system being (slowly) developed for teachers. But they’re not openly chastising Gunn. Bryant and Reeves, often at odds with each other on policy and politics, both need Gunn. Hence this pay raise might just fly.

It puts Reeves — usually in command and out front on policy issues — and the governor into corners. Reeves cannot, politically, just outright kill a teacher pay raise when it gets to the Senate. And if it passes there, I cannot fathom that Bryant would veto it.

Clarion Ledger
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