Democratic lawmakers have laid down a full agenda for the 2014 legislative session that includes providing across the board pay raises for teachers. MPB's Paul Boger reports democrats are calling their agenda the Mississippi Achievement Plan.
Standing together in the Capitol Rotunda yesterday, House and Senate Democrats outlined their top priorities for this legislative session which include increased appropriations for infrastructure repair, healthcare reform, and fully funding the Mississippi Adequate Education Program.
Yet, one issue stood out among the rest, across the board pay raises for teachers.
Senator Kenny Wayne Jones of Canton says it time for teachers to get what they deserve.
"We're going to be talking and we're going to be meeting, but all I'm going to say is that if you are a teacher, no matter if you a Democrat or a Republican, you deserve a raise." said Jones. "For the legislators down here who don't thing you need a raise you let them know that you are handling the business when it's time to do it."
However, Republican Senator Terry Brown of Columbus says it will all come down to whether the state can afford it.
"We're going to do what we always do, we take every proposal, we look at it, we have hearings on it, we talk about it." said Brown. "Then the big thing is, close to the end of the session we have to match the dollars to see if we can do any of those things. That's going to be the key to the whole wall."
House Minority Leader Bobby Moak of Bogue Chitto says his party will fight for what it believes in.
"We're ready to work, we're ready to lead, we're ready to get in the trenches and make these things happen." said Moak. "All of these Democrats in both chambers are united together to push forward."
Democrats are currently the minority in both chambers of the legislature.