Republican Senator Terry Burton from Newton, expects Governor Phil Bryant to talk about some of the same issues he discussed during his inaugural address earlier this month. Burton, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, anticipates hearing more about economic development and growing Mississippi's economy using public health.
"The other part I think will be education. He'll talk about education and the actual opportunity for charter schools to increase and improve," said Burton.
Last week the governor ordered state agencies to cut their budgets by 1.5 percent. Burton says even though there is more revenue coming in than last year, it's less than they thought. He believes the governor will talk about keeping the state's finances in check. But Burton says roads and bridges are a critical issue.
"Roads and bridges that are in dire need of repair. That is a major issue that we are going to have to try to address in this legislative session," said Burton.
Newly elected Representative Jay Hughes, a Democrat from Oxford, agrees.
"There is a proposal to raise $375 million dollars, which will improve our much, much needed roads and bridges program," said Hughes.
Hughes says his constituents are concerned about fairness for all Mississippians. He wants the governor to rescind his plan to give businesses several million dollars in Franchise Tax cuts. He contends Republican tax cuts are behind declining state revenues.
"How can you be surprised that we don't have enough money in our checkbook, when we keep giving free rides to the depositors," said Hughes.
Hughes is concerned Mississippians will bare the burden of infrastructure improvements. He also wants Bryant to talk about access to quality public education, healthcare for all and encourage bipartisanship in the legislature.