Jackson, Miss– Governor Phil Bryant addressed Mississippians Tuesday night to show how far Mississippi has come in the last year.
Governor Bryant discussed challenges that lie ahead for the state, including putting more troopers on the road. The Governor addressed the legislators directly.
“I ask you,” he implored. “Back the badge by putting more troopers on the road.”
The Governor also praised “Blue Lives Matter” bills that have been filed, which would push for harsher penalties for those who commit crimes or attacks against police officers.
Governor Bryant also reminded the legislature that their job is to serve the public.
“Let us continue to do the work of the people,” said Governor Bryant. “So that voters don’t mistake the Capitol for a swamp that needs to be drained at the next election time.”
Governor Bryant praised the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services for their improvements for the state’s foster care children, but says more work to be done.
“We will not fail in this endeavor,” said Governor Bryant. “Not because of a court order, but because it is the right thing to do for Mississippi’s children.”
Governor Bryant also discussed the recent budget cuts, which equaled less than one percent of the current budget.
“The budget has grown at three times the rate of inflation,” said Gov. Bryant. “Any narrative implying draconian cuts in state service would simply be fake news.”
Governor Bryant elicited some cheers from lawmakers when he made clear where the bulk of the BP oil spill settlement dollars should be spent.
“(The funding) should go to the Coast for restoration efforts,” said Governor Bryant, with lawmakers whistling their approval.
Consolidation of state agencies for saving money was also discussed, as well as driving more money into the classroom by revamping the Mississippi Adequate Education Program formula via EdBuild’s recommendations.
The governor said this year should be one of celebration for the Magnolia state, despite a history that cannot be ignored or forgotten.
“Mississippi has had trials and tribulations that cannot be forgotten or excused,” said Governor Bryant. “The very soul of our state was tried as a tragic civil war and the bondage of our own into slavery brought destruction and hardship.”
Here is the full State of the State address from News Mississippi’s Facebook LIVE coverage: