Reynolds Receives Numerous Appointments As Legislative Session Gets Underway
By Tommy Reynolds
Last week was a critical week in the 2008 Legislative Session, and indeed, in the 2008 through 2012 Legislative term. House committees were appointed last week. Permanent rules to govern the operation of the House for the next four years were also adopted.
I was very pleased with the committee appointments I received. I hope to be able to use these committee positions for the benefit of the people that I represent. I was reappointed Chairman of the House Apportionment and Elections Committee, and was elected as a member of the House Management Committee by the House members from our Congressional District.
In addition to these committees, I was appointed to the House Appropriations Committee, which makes appropriations of state funds for state colleges, universities, educational needs, and other state functions. I was also appointed to the House Judiciary A Committee, the Constitution Committee, and the Public Health and Human Services Committee, as well as being appointed Chairman of the House portion of the Legislative Reapportionment Committee.
I very much appreciate the committee assignments I received, and I believe that each of the committees on which I serve are important for all the people of our State, and they are al so of importance to my fellow legislators, with whom I must work in order to pass needed legislation.
I spoke for and supported an amendment to the permanent House Rules, which will allow the broadcast of House of Representatives live debate from the House Chamber. I think that it is very important that the people of the state have access to the actual debate that occurs in the legislative chamber. The rules change that allows the broadcast of live sessions of the Legislature should provide easy access to the actual proceedings of the House of Representatives.
The House of Representatives also supported a change in the joint House and Senate rules last week, which will reduce the length of the 2008 Session from 125 days to 103 days. The Senate had earlier passed a rule reducing the length of the Session to 104 days, but they agreed to a House proposal to reduce the Session to 103 days.
By reducing the length of the Session, there can be a savings in state funds. I strongly support reducing session length wherever possible. It is estimated that by cutting off 22 days from the Session‚s length, taxpayers will save $300,000.
Last Tuesday, I witnessed the inauguration of Governor Haley Barbour for his second term. This occurred on the south entrance of the State Capitol. I heard the Governor’s address concerning his first term and some of his plans for his second term in office. The House of Representatives, at the Governor’s request, voted on Friday to hear Governor Barbour’s State of the State Address on Monday, January 21, at 6 p.m.
The Economist for the State of Mississippi gave a report on the State’s economic condition last week. The State Economist said that sales tax collections are on the decline and that the subprime lending crisis is hurting Mississippi, as well. State revenue projections for fiscal year 2008 may not be met. The economic data on the condition of the State’s economy is conflicting, and the reduced collections in sales tax have been somewhat offset by greater revenue in certain areas of tax receipts.
If I can be of any assistance to you please call on me. My phone number in Jackson during the session is (601) 359-3365. The phone number in my Charleston office is (662) 647-3203, and my residence phone number is (662) 473-2571. I can also be contacted by writing me at my home address of 15 CR 429, Water Valley, MS 38965, or at my office address of P.O. Box 220, Charleston, MS 38921.