Bryant discusses jobs, education and safety in State of State - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Bryant discusses jobs, education and safety in State of State

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Governor Phil Bryant started his State of the State address bragging on the state and the work done to boost the economy.

"You and I have helped create an economy where the unemployment rate has dropped from 9.4% when we took office to 8.3% today and is going down," he said.

Bryant used the platform to announce the launch of the Mississippi Works web site. It's interactive set up will match job seekers with employers.

"We must prepare our workforce for the advanced skills needed in today's economy," Bryant explained. "Nothing is more critical to our success. Let us set about to sharpen our ax together."

Also on the announcement board, a telehealth pilot program that pairs University Medical Center's resources with healthcare providers and diabetes patients in the Mississippi Delta.

"This coordinated care approach will improve disease management and health outcomes for generations to come," he said.

Citing that he believes it's time to stand for our beliefs, Bryant said he's asked Senator Michael Watson to introduce legislation that would give the state seal a makeover.

"With your help, the seal of the State of Mississippi will, from this session forward, reflect the simple yet profound words "In God We Trust"," he said.

Bryant's trusting the legislature to make public safety a priority this session. He requested the legislature consider funding for drug and veteran treatment courts, as well as a new trooper school.

Bryant said, "We must build a future where every Mississippian will be safe in his or her person and property."

Money matters for the Governor all boil down to his desire to see smarter spending. He, once again, called for the budgeting process to move towards a performance-based system.

He gave an overview of the education reforms from 2013 including: the third grade reading gate, pre-K learning program, teacher merit pay and charter schools. Now, there's another change he'd like their help with.

 

"I ask the Legislature to grant the request in my Executive Budget Recommendation to provide $1.5 million to conduct a pilot program to examine the use of the ACT as the high school exit exam in lieu of other assessments," Bryant told the lawmakers.

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