Representative Patterson Addresses Residents' Concerns

Insurance, taxes and homeowner grants dominated the conversation Monday night.

At the beginning of the meeting, one resident asked Representative Patterson why the proposed increase in cigarette tax was not passed during the state's last legislative session.

Patterson replied, "I was told at the session last year, with the uncertainty of our economy after the storm, they didn't want to mess with our tax revenue."

While Representative Patterson fielded this and other inquiries, many of Monday night's questions and comments were directed to a representative on hand from the State Insurance Commissioner's office. One resident voiced his concern about windpool coverage.

"One of the comments you made was that we suffered the hurricane down here. It's a very small population that was impacted by that. Well, that's not the case. That storm, particularly, went up to Jackson, and did a lot of damage all the way up the state of Mississippi. And yet we are the ones who are impacted by all that increase in the wind pool coverage," he said.

A representative from Governor Haley Barbour's office also fielded questions and provided an update on the homeowner's grant program.

"Currently, we've paid 7,321 grants totaling $471 million plus, and that was of December 14."

Patterson says he'll take these comments under consideration when the legislative session convenes in January.