Special sessions should be special

Published 10:02 am Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican, has finally revealed details of the state’s upcoming legislative special session. The session, he says, will focus on money — primarily writing budgets for the attorney general’s office and the Department of Transportation for the year that begins July 1.

We have known this June 5 special session was coming since the legislature went home a couple of months ago with this unfinished core business. But seeing it happen real time brings back old frustrations.

Our biggest is that a special session is costly, and should be reserved for special business.

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Considering we have a Republican governor, Republican leaders of both legislative chambers, and solid Republican control on both sides, it seems they could do more to work together.

Having control means that leadership should be proactive, not reactive at the last minute with a special session. Leaders knew last year that money was going to be tight, so much of this work could have been done ahead of time, so that when Mississippi’s legislature convened in January, budgets for the AG’s office and DOT were deep into a productive process.

We also have leaders who agree that we need a long-term funding plan for highways and bridges in Mississippi, but leaders who cannot get a consensus on how to do that. Thus, we may not even see that addressed this special session.

Simply, Mississippi must do better than this. Our state’s elected leadership has no good excuse.