Chamber hopes for strong business agenda in 2023 legislative session
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - On Friday, members of the Mississippi Coast Chamber of Commerce got a preview of the legislative session from three state senators.
This was not a time for speeches. Instead, it was time for questions.
Coast senators Jeremy England, Scott DeLano and Mike Thompson didn’t overcommit with their answers, but the chance to start an early discussion with a blank slate is invaluable, and it was an opportunity for members to get their voices heard before the laws are made.
Those on the business side of things welcome the chance to exercise a little influence.
“It’s really what are the hot issues, so we can figure out how we want to participate in this conversation and, of course, be knowledgeable about those topics,” said Mississippi Coast Chamber CEO Adele Lyons.
The lawmakers want that conversation as well.
“Look, I think it’s always a good idea for us to get out of their way,” England said. “There are some really good leaders that we have. We’re very fortunate on the Coast to have good business leaders.”
Business priorities are becoming their priorities.
“One of my priorities going into this session - as it has been the last couple of years - is workforce development,” England added. “I want to make sure that we’re talking to our community colleges doing what we can do to help them.”
Thompson pointed to one major issue.
“Infrastructure is the No. 1 thing,” he said. “When you talk to economic development leaders, business leaders, that’s the one thing. ... Roads, bridges ... just making room for business to grow.”
DeLano is excited about extra money that will be available in 2023.
“Additional ARPA money that’s going to be coming down. We’ve got a lot of infrastructure money that’s going to be coming,” he said. “So, it’s going to be a lot of clean up work, a lot of ways for us to give back the over $1 billion surplus to the communities.”
The 2023 Mississippi Legislative session is scheduled to begin Jan. 3 and end April 3.
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