JACKSON, Miss. – Governor Phil Bryant delivered his State of the State address to a joint meeting of the House and Senate Wednesday afternoon.
Bryant announced the Keep Mississippi Working fun. He wants to move $50 million into a workforce training fund from the state unemployment trust fund over the next two years. This money would be used by community colleges. He says those dollars would be committed to workforce training programs at community colleges across the state.
He is also requesting a $6 million dollars in his budget recommendation for scholarship program for high school students enrolled in tech and career training programs that maintain a C average. Those students will get a free ride to community colleges to continue training.
Bryant is calling on the Republican controlled Congress to restore dish payments for Medicare and Medicaid. They were designed to defray the cost of uncomplicated care. The payments were suspended with the affordable care act. He says this would return revenues to hospitals that continue to provide uncompensated care in states like Mississippi where Medicaid has had has not expanded and in state were Medicaid has expanded.
Bryant says he fully supports doubling the fund for the pre-K collaborative program which translates into an appropriation of $6 million dollars.
Bryant called for the Mississippi State legislature to send a special needs voucher bill to his desk for him to sign. The bill allows for children with special needs to receive a voucher from the state to pay for private educational programs that can better fulfill their educational needs if the resources are not available at a public schools in their district.
He asked state lawmakers to approve his plans for Working Families Tax cuts that provides an income tax cut for Mississippians making up to $54,000 annually. Bryant added that he would be open to any number of tax cuts. “Put a tax cut on my desk and I will sign it,” said Bryant.