Legislature is picking up steam on current event issues

By TOM MILES,

We opened last week with the Governor’s State of the State Address on Monday. I was pleased to hear Governor Reeves announce plans to close Parchman’s Unit 29 and that reopening the Walnut Grove facility is on the table. Not only will the reopening help our district economically, it will also offer a more up-to-date, clean and safe environment for both inmates and staff, in my opinion. The prison crisis is one that isn’t going away, and it is up to all of us in government to do what we can to solve it.

Committees began regular meetings, and I am pleased to be working with a bipartisan group of colleagues to cap the price of insulin. Too many people are suffering because big pharmaceutical companies have raised prices of this life-sustaining substance to the point that few can afford it. We are working to cap the monthly cost of insulin at $100 and ease this life-threatening situation.

We’ve also scheduled a hearing on Vaping for Thursday at 9:00 a.m. in the Judiciary B committee. There are still too many questions about the safety of vaping. Rankin County and other entities are controlling sales in an effort to keep our youth from harm.

On Wednesday, we passed House Resolution 9, which requests the Army Corps of Engineers, the EPA, the Mississippi Levee Board and the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee Board to take every necessary action to complete the Yazoo Backwater Pump Project as soon as possible. This project has been controversial in the past, but the recent heavy and lingering flooding in the Delta has underscored the need to act. Our fellow Mississippians have endured significant hardship brought by unprecedented flooding. We must do what we can to help and make sure these floods aren’t a part of their future.

The House also passed funding help for the 2020 Census to make sure that all Mississippians are counted. It is so important that every individual residing in Mississippi is counted. For every person we miss, the state loses $2,000 every year for ten years. Getting everyone counted is worth $6 billion to Mississippi. I was delighted to learn that Morgan Freeman will be the state’s spokesperson to encourage people to participate. If anybody can persuade someone to act, he can!

It was a pleasure to meet with the Baptist Association at their annual prayer gathering. It was good to see Dr. Jim Futral, former Executive Director, who retired in October after 21 years of service. I wished him well and thanked him for his service.

We also visited this week with local friends, with Farm Bureau, the fields of Optometry, Pharmacy, Occupational Therapy, the Mississippi Public Libraries, and  many organizations advocating at Disability Awareness Day at the Capitol. As always, I welcome you to visit your State Capitol. Please give me a heads-up so I can greet you and introduce you to my colleagues.

Feel free to contact me at (601) 469-7886, email me at tmiles@house.ms.gov or message me with any concerns or issues you may have.