Madison County Executive Leadership Application

2017 Legislative Priorities

The purpose
of the Madison County Business League & Foundation (MCBL&F) is to act in partnership with the Madison County Economic Development Authority
(MCEDA) to provide the County a unique opportunity to unite the public and private sectors; thereby, encouraging proper planning for future growth
and development.

To advance our mission, Government Relations Committee Chair, Trey Dellinger invited Madison County elected officials to provide us with their legislative
priorities in advance of the 2017 legislative session.Trey, Executive Director Jan Collins, Education Committee Chairman Dr. Nancy New, and Transportation
Committee Chairman Ray Balentine, met with numerous elected officials to discuss their priorities.The local elected officials’ wishes were present
to the MCBL&F Board, which also considered the needs of the Madison County business community.This 2017 legislative agenda is the fruit of that
process.

Following is a brief summary of the MCBL&F’s legislative priorities.

Transportation

  1. MCBL&F supports state funding for the Bozeman Road, Reunion Interchange, Colony Park Boulevard Extension and Lake Harbor Extension infrastructure
    projects.
  2. MCBL&F supports opening of a Mississippi Department of Public Safety Driver’s License Satellite Office in Canton, Mississippi to service Madison
    County residents.

Local Government

  1. MCBL&F supports increasing the percentage of sales tax diverted to local governments from the current 18.5% figure to 20%.
  2. MCBL&F supports legislation to allow each Mississippi municipality the option to hold a referendum for its citizens to approve a local option sales
    tax of 1%.
  3. MCBL&F supports legislation to increase the dollar amount of misdemeanor assessments allocated to localities versus the portion allocated to the
    state. Under current law, local governments bear the expenses of municipal court judges, prosecutors, public defenders, etc., yet the state gets
    most of the monies from these fines.
  4. MCBL&F supports legislation to alter the state community code enforcement procedure to allow cities to treat community improvement violations under
    city ordinances like parking violations, which would simplify the process for cities and eliminate the stigma of a criminal conviction if citizens
    cooperate and pay an administrative fine. Under current state law, community improvement violations must be treated as criminal violations.
  5. MCBL&F supports repeal of the statutory requirement that municipalities conduct an engineering study before establishing or changing speed limits
    on city streets.
  6. MCBL&F supports repeal of the statute that provides that a city may only regulate or restrict parking if there is a posted sign describing the
    restriction within 250 feet of the location.
  7. MCBL&F supports historic tax credits for the City of Canton to provide incentives to rehabilitate historic buildings that are currently being under-utilized
    and to provide related jobs and economic growth, and to contribute to the historic, aesthetic beauty of the city.
  8. MCBL&F supports motion picture tax incentives for the City of Canton, the “Movie Capital of Mississippi.”
  9. MCBL&F supports opening of a driver’s license office by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety in Canton to provide convenience to Madison
    County residents.

Economic Development

  1. MCBL&F supports legislation to fully fund the Mississippi Development Authority in whatever form may be recommended by MCEDA in its final agenda.
  2. MCBL&F supports continued legislative efforts to promote workforce development and training
  3. MCBL&F supports legislation to include the City of Ridgeland (COR) in legislation similar to 2016 HB 1223, which would allow COR to establish a
    Leisure and Recreation District extending from the municipality into the unincorporated area of the county where the municipality is located if
    the county consents to the extension and has voted in favor of exiting the dry law; and to allow holders of certain permits to see alcoholic beverages
    or wine from their premises and to allow persons to consume and possess said beverages within the boundaries of the Leisure and Recreation District.
  4. MCBL&F supports legislative funding for a Mississippi Aquatic Center to be located in the COR.

Education

  1. MCBL&F supports legislation to allow school districts to expend district funds to pay tuition for students to take dual enrollment classes for
    college credit.
  2. MCBL&F supports continued efforts to promote a quality education for all Madison County residents.
  3. MCBL&F supports legislation to expand options for teacher certification, especially with regard to expanding options for “expert citizen” teacher
    certifications, which allow persons with experience in the business community to teach despite lacking a traditional teaching certificate. This
    would help to address a teacher shortage while ensuring a high-quality teacher in every classroom.
  4. MCBL&F supports legislation that would encourage parental involvement with the school system by tying receipt of parents’ public benefits to reasonable
    parental participation in their child’s school experience.
  5. MCBL&F supports legislation that would extend the length of time students are accorded to complete requirements for their GED.
  6. MCBL&F supports state funding for pre-K education, with parents having the choice whether or not to enroll their children in the pre-K programs.
  7. MCBL&F supports implementing a differential K-12 accountability model that allows different accountability principles to apply to different districts.
    Such an accountability model should take into consideration not just increases in testing performance, but should include a broader range of criteria,
    with an emphasis on targeting those graduate skills needed by the local economy and desired by the local business community.
  8. MCBL&F supports changing the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) funding formula to use Average Daily Membership (Enrollment) rather
    than the current Average Daily Attendance. This would give a more accurate assessment of the actual number of students.
  9. MCBL&F supports thorough study of school choice proposals.

Judiciary

  1. MCBL&F supports legislation to remove the requirement that a guardian ad litem be appointed to render an opinion on adoption of a child in situations
    where a parent has terminated parental rights and a step-parent seeks to adopt the child.
  2. MCBL&F supports amending the statutes related to conservatorships such that banks would be insulated from liability so long as the bank obtains
    verbal authorization from the Clerk of the Chancery Court to distribute said funds. This would help alleviate a current shortage of banks that
    are willing to hold conservatorship funds because of risk of liability for wrongful distribution. 
  3. MCBL&F supports the adoption of state-wide filing fees for court filings to provide uniformity from county to county.

Legislative Breakfast Photos

The Madison County Business League & Foundation Government Relations Committee held the annual Legislative breakfast on Wednesday, December 14,
2016, at Butler Snow, honoring the Madison County Delegation. Committee Chairman, Trey Dellinger, presented the 2017 legislative priorities approved
by the MCBL&F Board of Directors. Sixty five committee members, elected officials and legislators were in attendance.

View all photos from the event