The 2018 legislative session kicked off today at noon and many are curious to see what will get done in the next three months time.
Governor Phil Bryant said that he believes there will be a focus on the budget, talks of another trooper school, a re-write to the MAEP education formula, Medicaid, and the possibility of a lottery, as well as, the opioid crisis and having a better workforce in Mississippi.
“Workforce training is critical if we are going to continue growth in our Economy,…” Governor Bryant said. “We have got over 48,000 job openings in the state of Mississippi, that’s jobs that are looking for people to fill them, and what we’ve had a great opportunity of doing, is building an economy where businesses are expanding. International businesses are coming here to the state of Mississippi and our workforce has not kept pace with the demand. It’s a mixed blessing, but we have to now double down and make sure that we have an educated workforce.”
Bryant added that some of the things that he is most proud of from 2017 range from the opening of a medical school, to historic achievements in education, and seeing the opening of two Mississippi museums.
“Opening the medical school, that was something that I have had on my agenda for many years,” Governor Bryant said. We have to have more doctors. I have said for years that we need a thousand new doctors by 2025, that has been my goal, so opening that, expanding new traditions, building medical city, seeing graduation rates in high school being larger than ever before. 80% of our kids are graduating, that’s important. Seeing over 90% of our third graders read on a third-grade level. Being #4 in the nation for nationally board certified teachers. The economy and education and now building an infrastructure for health care and also healthcare as an economic driver have been things that I am very proud of.”
However, Bryant said that one thing took the cake for 2017.
“Opening the History and Civil Rights Museum was probably the most moving event I have had as Governor,” Bryant said.