2018 session left lot on table

It wasn’t a do-nothing session for the Mississippi Legislature, but it was close. The two major items legislative leaders planned to address when they arrived in Jackson in January are, three months later, still unresolved.

Other than a $50 million bond issue to deal with bridges, the state’s deteriorating transportation infrastructure is still deteriorating. And the formula for funding public education is still needing an update and is still being shorted.

Perhaps the best thing to say about this legislative session is that it didn’t do much harm. Efforts to roll back recent reforms to the state’s bid laws didn’t get anywhere. And after jockeying for weeks over the routine reauthorization of the Medicaid program, a logjam that threatened to kick control of the health insurance program to the governor, lawmakers settled on a compromise that included a couple of tweaks but not any disruptive changes.

With Republicans ruling both chambers, the failure to successfully tackle the big issues has left Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn pointing fingers at each other. While the two legislative leaders faced Democratic opposition on most of what they wanted, the real reason little got done is they couldn’t agree among themselves, nor could they hold their troops together.