The 2015 Mississippi legislative session is underway and two large groups of people rallied to make it clear what some of the top topics will be. One group is making their priorities heard loud and clear....
Calling themselves the Moral Movement Mississippi, supporters cheered and sang outside the capitol shortly before the session began on Tuesday.
Organizer Tyson Jackson says they are trying to draw attention to a pay raise for state employees, expansion of Medicaid, and fully funding the state's education spending formula.
"I think they have been hearing but when they turn hearing into listening, it will be something different. They hear us but I don't know if they are actually listening. But as we continue to grow this coalition. As it begins to get bigger. And as they start to see that the people that look like them. The people that vote for them are actually part of this too. They will understand what they have to do," Jackson said.
Many of the items on their list would cost the state addition money.
Money that many lawmakers say is not available.
Senate appropriations chairman Buck Clarke of Hollandale says existing state agencies are already clamering for as much as 1-billion extra in spending.
"We are looking at after our budget hearings, the revenue estimating committee said we have 180-million extra. So you try to make 180 stretch to one-billion is kind of what you are dealing with," Clarke said.
The Moral Mississippi movement says they plan to rally every week during the three-month legislative session.