Miss. lawmakers return to home districts after 2023 legislative session

JACKSON, Miss. (WCBI) – The 2023 session of the Mississippi Legislature is in the books, and lawmakers have returned to their home districts.

For an election year, there was a fair amount of controversy, with some lawmakers proposing a near-state takeover of public safety in the city of Jackson, and more restrictions on gender reassignment procedures.

There were also run-of-the-mill issues, roads, taxes, and budget.

And then there was the annual budget debate over education spending.

With the combination of a budget surplus and an election year, many thought this might be a good time to get the Mississippi Adequate Education Program fully funded for the third time in its nearly 30-year history.

While more money was directed toward education this year, many feel that schools still aren’t getting their share, and again MAEP was neglected.

“We allocated $100 million toward education, and this money will go directly to the schools. The schools can determine their needs, whether it be textbooks, computers, devices, or whatever each individual school district’s needs are. But it cannot be used for administrative salaries or anything like that,” said Rep. Dana McLean, District 39.

“You see, we have a formula that’s been in place for a very long time – MAEP – and that formula is there to serve as a guide, with benchmarks and financial benchmarks that allow us to do the best we can for our children. But, we moved the goalpost. We changed the requirements. And, in fact, we underfunded MAEP, and in doing so, we created a new system of matrix and guidelines that, in my opinion, we actually failed the children of Mississippi,” said Rep. Cheikh Taylor, District 38.

A bill authored by District 39 Representative Dana McLean that redefined and strengthened the Rape Law passed both houses of the legislature this year.

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Categories: State News