Roads, bridges require a gas tax

When the state legislature voted 30 years ago to vastly improve Mississippi’s highways, they passed an 18 cent gas tax. It was the most logical way to fund the program.
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Locking up the mentally ill and throwing away the key is wrong

Two hundred and twenty-six years ago, the Federalists were having trouble getting the states to ratify the new Constitution of the United States. The anti-Federalists, led by Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Patrick Henry, feared the proposed constitution did not adequately protect the individual rights of the common man. 
As a result, James Madison drafted the Bill of Rights. The rest is history.

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Regulated monopolies are not the best model

Competition is the lifeblood of success, so it’s good news to finally see some competition in the bidding for statewide landline telecommunication services to state agencies, schools, libraries, universities and other governmental entities. After decades of a virtual AT&T monopoly, Mississippi-based C-Spire has won the bid and will save the state $32 million.
“For decades, AT&T was the only real statewide landline provider,” Hu Meena, C-Spire CEO, told me in a telephone interview. “Over the last 15 years, we’ve being putting in thousands of miles of fiber network in the state of Mississippi, so we were able to compete and put in a very attractive bid that allowed us to win most of the services over the next eight years.”

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Nobody cares about crazy people, especially the criminal ones

At one end of Jackson’s Congress Street sits the modern Federal Courthouse. At the other end sits our traditional State Capitol. They face each other at opposite ends of the street.
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We should care for mentally ill like we do those suffering from heart disease, cancer

At the federal courthouse in Jackson, East Mississippi Correctional Facility is defending itself against a lawsuit claiming atrocious conditions for its inmates.
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We must do more with early childhood intervention

Who wouldn’t be happy with a 13.8 percent return on investment? A stockbroker who could do that would have investors beating down his door.
Nobel prize winner economist James Heckman was in Jackson, Mississippi, last month presenting evidence that early childhood intervention can yield a 13.8 percent monetary return for the state of Mississippi.

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Two state leaders – two very different views

At the start of every year, the Stennis Capitol Press Forum has Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and David Baria, leader of the House Democrats, talk in back-to-back sessions. It’s an interesting contrast in views on the state.
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PSC must continue to say “no” to Kemper

The final hearings for the failed Kemper power plant are under way at the Mississippi Public Service Commission (PSC). The billion dollar question is: Does this failed project deserve a billion dollars from the ratepayers of Mississippi? The answer from the PSC should be a resounding “NO!” but don’t expect this. When you are caretaking “Other People’s Money” vigilance becomes lax.
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Dependence on lotteries to fund schools an example of decline in morality

As King Solomon proclaimed in Ecclesiastes, there is nothing new under the sun. Mississippi is thinking about a state lottery. This debate goes way back.
 Lotteries helped fund the American colonies, going all the way back to Jamestown. In early American history, legislators commonly authorized lotteries to fund schools, roads, bridges, and other public works.
Then around 1830, evangelical reformers began denouncing lotteries on moral grounds. Scandals and corruption among lottery companies strengthened the reformers. By 1860, 47 American states and most European countries had banned lotteries.

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Mississippi needs to be a progressive state

A lot of Mississippians are happy with our existing state of affairs. Indeed, we are the most religious and generous state in the nation. We have great hunting and fishing, little pollution, great weather and plenty of room.
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