MPB's Ashley Norwood was at the Capitol and has legislators' reactions to the State of the State Address.
Republican Senator Briggs Hopson of Warren County confirms a teacher pay raise is on the agenda, but the question is how much of a pay raise can Mississippi afford?
"Obviously we have to see where our revenue picture is first and right now it looks pretty good but you know you have to balance that with other needs in the state but it is certainly something I think we will be taking a look at," said Briggs Hopson.
Republican Senator Buck Clarke of Washington County chairs the appropriations committee. He says other big ticket items could take millions of dollars out of the general fund. So, he believes the formula to increasing salaries should favor employees most in need.
"Our people at the lower end of the pay scale a lot of times don't get the initial pay raises," said Clarke.
Democratic Representative Alyce Clarke of Hinds County says she sides with the governor and his charge to pass and fund the Mississippi Safe School Act. She says it should focus on beefing up security on campus.
"I think that we need to have safety and security provided for the teachers so they can teach and not provide the security," said Clarke.
Democratic Representative Bryant Clark of Holmes County says he appreciates the Governor's mention of criminal justice reform in the state. But, he says he is disappointed the governor did not address medicaid expansion.
"We have about 200,000 people in the state of Mississippi that are in need of healthcare. Other states are doing it. It's going to bring over a billion dollars here into the state economy," said Clark.
Lawmakers have until April to decide to take action on the governor's recommendations. Ashley Norwood, MPB News.