Lawmakers are back at the capitol for the start of Mississippi's 2020 legislative session--with formalities taking center stage. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.
"Welcome to the 2020 Legislative Session,"
Fourteen newly elected Mississippi senators joined their colleagues in taking the oath of office at the capitol.
"I state your name, do solemnly swear,"
Senators unanimously elected Republican Dean Kirby of Pearl to serve as President Pro Tem making him the second in command. Kirby has served in the Senate since 1992.
"I'm excited about the incoming freshman. I'm real impressed with everyone of them and of course the people we've got coming back all have the institutional knowledge. We've got a great lieutenant governor I feel good about everything. I think you're going to see a lot of smiles and a lot of work," said Kirby.
In-coming lieutenant governor Republican Delbert Hosemann will be sworn in tomorrow. Until then, the current office holder, Republican Tate Reeves, presides over the Senate. In the House Republican Philip Gunn of Clinton was re-elected by his peers for a third term as speaker. His first order of business--appoint a committee to hear an election challenge brought by Republican Ashley Hensley of Southaven. Hensley claims voting irregularities led to her 14 point loss to Democrat Hester Jackson McCray in November.
"They will meet today under the law. They have to meet today. They will basically just take that contest and consider it and read it and decide how to proceed," said Gunn.
House Republican Jason White of West, was elected Speaker Pro Tem of the House. There are 52 Senators and 122 House Members.