Governor lists top issues for '09 session - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Governor lists top issues for '09 session

By Jon Kalahar - email

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi's legislative session opens Tuesday, and it's only the beginning of what could be a fiercely debated 90 days.   

Facing a poor economy and lower than expected tax revenue, Governor Haley Barbour laid out his priorities Monday for the legislative regular session. Job growth and protecting current positions statewide is number one. But with nearly 20,000 jobs lost since last spring, the trickle down effect will hurt in other areas as well.

"We should anticipate there's going to be more beneficiaries between now and the end of the fiscal year, and it's going to be very hard for Medicaid to stay within the amount appropriated," said Barbour.

The Governor is once again pushing a hospital assessment tax to fill the $90 million the state needs to draw down federal funds. It's a tax state hospitals paid from 1992 to 2004.

"Because of the way the Medicaid system works, for every dollar they pay in, they get back six. I'll do that with the IRS till the cows come home," said Barbour.

That draws a clear line in the sand between the Governor and many democrats in the legislature. They'd like to see Medicaid funded with a $1 cigarette tax. Barbour favors that revenue going to the general fund to be used as lawmakers see fit.

"That's why we got a legislature. Look, put it in the general fund and let's spend it according to the process based on priorities as we see them, and do it on an annual basis," said Barbour.

Voter identification, workforce development, and job training are on Governor Barbour's list of priorities. So is a health insurance exchange program he's developed to give small businesses a chance to provide employees with health benefits.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Biloxi man arrested for Robbery, police searching for second suspect

    Biloxi man arrested for Robbery, police searching for second suspect

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 10:51 PM EDT2018-05-24 02:51:42 GMT
    Warrants were obtained for both Richburg and Robertson for Robbery. (Photo source: Biloxi PD)Warrants were obtained for both Richburg and Robertson for Robbery. (Photo source: Biloxi PD)
    Warrants were obtained for both Richburg and Robertson for Robbery. (Photo source: Biloxi PD)Warrants were obtained for both Richburg and Robertson for Robbery. (Photo source: Biloxi PD)

    Biloxi police arrested Brandon Lee Robertson, 27, for Robbery Wednesday. 

    More >>

    Biloxi police arrested Brandon Lee Robertson, 27, for Robbery Wednesday. 

    More >>
  • 93-year-old veteran to say pledge at Sounds by the Sea

    93-year-old veteran to say pledge at Sounds by the Sea

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 10:38 PM EDT2018-05-24 02:38:11 GMT
    David Potts is one of the last remaining members from a special unit called the Montford Point Marines, an all-black Marine Corps unit that served in World War II. (Photo Source: WLOX)David Potts is one of the last remaining members from a special unit called the Montford Point Marines, an all-black Marine Corps unit that served in World War II. (Photo Source: WLOX)
    David Potts is one of the last remaining members from a special unit called the Montford Point Marines, an all-black Marine Corps unit that served in World War II.  He will say the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of the Sounds by the Sea concert.David Potts is one of the last remaining members from a special unit called the Montford Point Marines, an all-black Marine Corps unit that served in World War II. He will say the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of the Sounds by the Sea concert.

    On Saturday, 93-year-old veteran David Potts will say the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening ceremony for the Sounds by the Sea Concert Saturday in Gulfport. 

    More >>

    On Saturday, 93-year-old veteran David Potts will say the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening ceremony for the Sounds by the Sea Concert Saturday in Gulfport. 

    More >>
  • Pedestrian struck by truck on Highway 90

    Pedestrian struck by truck on Highway 90

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 10:29 PM EDT2018-05-24 02:29:23 GMT
    A pedestrian was hit by a truck while attempting to cross the road near Highway 90, police say. (Photo source: File)A pedestrian was hit by a truck while attempting to cross the road near Highway 90, police say. (Photo source: File)

    A person was hospitalized after being struck by a car near Highway 90. 

    More >>

    A person was hospitalized after being struck by a car near Highway 90. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly