Seven of Mississippi's eight statewide office holders have been officially sworn-in. Among them, the first woman to serve as attorney general. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.
Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson and Attorney General Lynn Fitch, the first woman to hold the position were among seven Republicans sworn into statewide office. Yesterday lawmakers and state officials filled the House chamber for the ceremony. After Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann took the oath of office he talked about what he'll focus on.
"We have many challenges and those include how do we ensure a child has access to quality education? How do we make healthcare more affordable and accessible for our citizens? How do we help small businesses thrive and grow in Mississippi, help our economy grow and shore-up roads and bridges," said Hosemann.
Later Hosemann discussed tackling Mississippi's prison system crisis after a recent riot at Parchman Penitentiary and the death of five inmates.
"Particular importance to me is that we make sure that these inmates are being educated and skilled while they're in prison. I don't want them back. I don't want them back. And when they come out of there, they need to be able to get a job," said Hosemann.
Hosemann says his corrections committee chair will begin working on the issue today. Senate Minority Leader, Democrat Derrick Simmons of Greenville says he looks forward to working with Hosemann and supports what he wants to accomplish.
"Making sure we have safe roads and bridges also we want to do everything we can to give those teachers the pay raise that they didn't fully receive last session. Also we want to do everything we can to save rural hospitals in this state, said Simmons.
Republican Tate Reeves will be inaugurated as governor next week.