The Joint Legislative Budget Committee will begin our work on the FY 2021 Budget next month in Jackson. The committee, comprised of seven Representatives (including the Speaker) and six Senators (plus the Lt. Governor), is charged annually with establishing a legislative blueprint for next year’s state budget.
As always, the Legislative Budget Recommendation (LBR) is the starting point, but only that, for the respective Appropriations committees in House and Senate when they begin their work next January. Ultimately, the finalized budget must be passed by the full Legislature and approved by the governor at the end of the 2020 Regular Session. The FY ‘21 Budget will take effect July 1, 2020. bit.ly/2ZctaDy... See MoreSee Less
Beginning with the 2020-21 academic year, the State Department of Education will no longer mandate the end-of-course assessment exam for U.S. History in our state’s high schools. (Students will still be required to take the course). This decision was made, in large part, based upon the opinions of Mississippi’s high school teachers. As such, the decision to abort this particular test is deserving of respect, as it is driven by the experiences of the professionals to whom we must entrust our children’s educations.
It would be the worst of mistakes, however, to assume that the study of History itself is not valuable; indeed, essential. Although as a History major myself I am admittedly biased, I believe it self-evident that the age of globalization in which we live demands an understanding of History as a vital prerequisite to any individual’s success as a productive citizen.
Please read and contemplate the following short essay as to why the study of History is as important in our schools today, if not more so, than ever before. bit.ly/2NmDFNE
[CORRECTION: No final decision has yet been made. The State Board of Education will vote on this recommendation later this year after a period for public comment.] ... See MoreSee Less
Everyone knows that wages and salaries in Mississippi are generally lower than in other States. However, there is some solace in the fact that a buck truly does go further in the Magnolia State than anywhere else in the nation. bit.ly/2KLhgHK... See MoreSee Less
The fifth annual Mississippi Book Festival, our state’s literary lawn party, takes place Saturday at your State Capitol in Jackson. As per usual, CPAN will telecast the event. There will be wonderful speakers, notable guests, interesting exhibits, and a plethora of vendors. If you have any literary bone in your body, you cannot help but enjoy yourself. Here is a full event schedule and map: bit.ly/2N8u251
I was privileged last year to address attendees at the opening session when we honored authors Eudora Welty and Jesmyn Ward by unveiling their new markers on the Mississippi Writers Trail. This year, Speaker of the House Philip Gunn will welcome everyone at 9:00 a.m., and the latest Writers Trail monuments will be unveiled for Mississippi authors Richard Ford and Ida B. Wells.
As Speaker Pro Tempore, one of my duties is to Chair the House Management Committee. It is in that capacity that I have become intimately familiar with the organizers and promoters of the Festival ever since its inception five years ago. This annual event is a wonderful celebration of literature, and especially of the experience of “being Mississippi.” Please plan to come. You won’t regret it if you do. ... See MoreSee Less
Mickey Mantle, the immortal no. 7 in Yankee pinstripes, died of cancer in 1995 at age 63. It is impossible for younger people today to truly grasp how larger-than-life Mickey was (and still is) to an entire generation of Baby Boomers of the 1950’s and early ‘60’s. Here is the fabulous Graig Kreîndler’s painting of the Mick at bat in September, 1951 (his rookie year), facing Hall of Fame pitcher Bob “Rapid Robert” Feller of the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium. ... See MoreSee Less