OPINION: Recap of the 2024 Mississippi Legislative Session

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Sen. Simmons

By Senator Derrick T. Simmons

Senate Minority Leader

The 2024 Regular Legislative Session was not short to say the least. The session started off with two major economic development projects in Marshall and Madison counties. It is quite dismal and discouraging that the Mississippi Delta has not had a major economic development project in more than 30 years. I remain steadfast in my efforts to improve the quantity and quality of life of Mississippi Deltans. I recognize, like many who live in the Mississippi Delta, that we are a part of the state of Mississippi too. 

As the Senate Minority Leader, Senate Democrats will continue our efforts to expand the existing Medicaid program pursuant to the Congressional intent of the Affordable Care Act i.e., full Medicaid Expansion. We will not compromise on our efforts in achieving this decade long goal to afford working Mississippians the access to care that they desperately need. We supported the legislative compromise and increased funding to our districts in the amount of $230 million dollars. What we do now depends on us! 

We must remain keenly focused on protecting our traditional public schools and oppose any effort to divert public school resources for private use. For the third year, legislative leaders and the Republican majority have failed to restore the ballot initiative. Senate Democrats will continue to fight to give Mississippians a voice at the ballot box. 

Our retirees deserve and have earned all the benefits and/or promises made to them. Since the legislature has stripped significant power from the PERS board, it is imperative for us to stay on the battlefield year after year for our retirees and the sustainability of the system. 

Lastly, Senate Democrats will fight for fair judicial districts that will ensure open, efficient, and fair access to the courts in every part of the state.

As far as local projects funding, I proudly represent Washington, Bolivar, and Coahoma counties in Senate District 12. I advocated along with other Delta legislators for projects throughout the Mississippi Delta and am glad to announce funding for the following this year: $600,000 as a reauthorization for infrastructure improvements for other streets in Washington County, $500,000 to Bolivar County for improvements and expansion of the Terrene Landing River Boat Dock, $500,000 to Bolivar County for expanding the Terrene Landing River Park to include a second docking ramp, $600,000 to Cleveland in paying costs associated with the North Industrial Site Flood Mitigation Project at the Cleveland Municipal Airport, $500,000 to Greenville for infrastructure improvements, $250,000 to Hollandale for infrastructure improvements, $300,000 to the Port of Greenville for erosion control and levee improvements, and $1,500,000 to Washington County for improvements to the Greenville Mid-Delta Airport. 

Last year, Bolivar County received $400,000 for Terrene Landing Boat Dock, Cleveland received $500,000 to assist paying costs associated with infrastructure and drainage, Leland received $75,000 for renovations and repairs to Town Hall, Benoit received $100,000 for renovations and repairs to Town Hall, Metcalfe received $100,000 for renovations and repairs to Town Hall, and Washington County received $500,000 for renovations, improvements, repairs, and upgrades to the Greenville Mid-Delta Airport. 

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OPINION: Recap of the 2024 Mississippi Legislative Session

By Jackson Advocate News Service
June 10, 2024