After convening January 3, the 2017 Session is now in full swing. Committees have until January 31 to act on the bills moving through the process. Most
bills will not survive the first deadline, but the Mississippi House has already acted on significant legislation. As always, you can follow the legislation
I have introduced through www.corywilson.ms or the Legislature’s website.
I was very happy to be appointed by Speaker Gunn to fill a vacancy on the Education Committee. As with the other committees on which
I serve, I will work hard to strengthen Madison County schools and education across our state. My first Education Committee meeting
was eventful, as EdBuild made recommendations for modernizing the way we fund education. Many of the recommended changes merit
serious consideration. Right now, the recommendations are just that: Legislators will consider EdBuild’s suggestions as we look to revamp the school
funding formula. Here’s a link to the full EdBuild report and the presentation slides.
Other priorities include the Mississippi ABLE Act, campaign finance and election law reforms, and bills to increase
government transparency and efficiency, and improve the legislative and budgeting process. The Mississippi ABLE Act, HB162,
would provide a savings tool for Mississippians with disabilities and their families. The legislation helps individuals with disabilities establish
tax-free savings accounts, which could be used for qualified expenses such as education, housing and transportation. MS ABLE has cleared an initial
committee, and has a bipartisan group of cosponsors.
ICYMI, I discussed Session priorities with the Northside Sun. You can read the full article here.
I also joined JT on SuperTalk the first day of the Session (starting at 6:30 in this audio),
and was interviewed on WYAB’s The Full Story. We covered MS ABLE,
campaign finance reform,
and two bills to reduce the size of the Legislature and meet only every other year.
SPOTLIGHT ON EDUCATION EXCELLENCE: Newly minted Milken Educator Allison Ruhl was recognized at Madison Station earlier this month as one of the country’s top educators. Ms. Ruhl was honored during a celebration of Station’s 25th anniversary and Madison County Schools’ A-rating. She is one of only 35 teachers nationwide recognized by the Milken Family Foundation.
HOUSE PASSES CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORMS. On Jan. 11, the House passedHB479 by a vote of 102-13. I am proud to be a co-sponsor. Enactment of this legislation would prohibit personal use of campaign funds. And, once an official leaves office, any unused campaign contributions cannot go with him or her. HB479 outlines several ways to close out the campaign account. The vote to strengthen our campaign finance laws is the right thing to do, and is a great step to changing politics as usual. HB479 improves upon the bill we almost passed last year, and I am hopeful that we will finish the job and have real campaign finance reforms by the end of the Session.
As always, I welcome your input, and hope you have a chance to come to your State Capitol while the Legislature is in Session. I am working
hard to serve you as your voice at the Capitol. Thank you for your interest, and it is an honor to represent you.
Hope your New Year is off to a great start, and will keep you posted as the Session continues.