Former Governor Speaks In South Mississippi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/18/05

Former Governor Speaks In South Mississippi

"I don't have to tell you I'm glad to be here," said Winter.

And this crowd gathered at the Gautier Convention Center was glad to welcome former Governor William Winter.

Even though he hasn't served as governor for more than twenty years, he says his concerns are just as deep regarding issues he believes will advance the state - like adequate education funding.

"Mississippi spends right now less than all but two other states per pupil on education and yet we're having to compete with other states for good teachers and for good jobs. And so unless we're willing to make the commitments to invest in education to a greater extent than we are right now, we're still going to be back there bringing up the rear of the crowd," said Winter.

Winter says there also needs to be an investment in the spirit of compromise when it comes to the legislature, particularly regarding Medicaid.

"It's such a complicated issue, and there are really no simple answers to that problem. I am concerned that there is not more agreement in terms of how we do meet those responsibilities.It has gotten too partisan in my opinion. And I think that is detrimental to good government. I think there has to be a spirit of compromise, and when you draw a line in the sand and say this is the only way we're gonna do it, then you don't leave much room to work out problems," said Winter.

The former governor also expressed concerns about other issues, but when asked whether he misses holding the position...

"I miss some of it, but I don't miss all of it. And I don't miss any of it enough to run again," said Winter.

Winter served as governor from 1980 through 1984.

By Karla Redditte

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