Senators, House Reps speak to community about 2024 session accomplishments

Published 1:32 pm Thursday, June 13, 2024

Senators and House representatives broke the fast with Oxford and Lafayette County residents Wednesday while sharing some of the Legislature’s accomplishments from the 2024 session during the annual Eggs and Issues event.

The Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce puts the event on each year to give the community a chance to hear from their representatives about what was done during the session and ask questions.

The breakfast was held at the Oxford Conference Center with Sen. Nicole Boyd, Sen. Ben Suber, Rep. Clay Deweese and Rep. Keith Horan.

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The 2024 session was 120 days since it was a first-term year, giving newly elected representatives extra time to learn the ropes for their first session. Generally, the sessions are 90 days long.

The Legislature adopted a $7,600,100 billion budget for the 2025 fiscal year budget. The House introduced 2130 bills; 445 were passed; the Senate passed 274; 40 died in conference, and the governor approved 209. The Senate introduced 1231 bills; the Senate passed 321; 212 were passed in the House; 25 died in conference and the Governor approved 176.

More than 54% of the state’s budget goes toward education.

The spoke about statewide achievements, including replacing MAEP with a new funding formula for schools, welcoming two major companies to the state – Amazon Web Services in Madison and a new battery cell plant in Marshall County, and local projects that received funding.

Those include $2.5 million for local bridges, $2 million for city streets, $500,000 for crisis beds, $750,00 for UM Writer’s Project, $16.5 million to the University of Mississippi for infrastructure projects, $4 million for the extension of Pegues Road, and the big one — $160 million for the widening of Highway 7 South.

“This has been the biggest team effort that I think we’ve had in recent years from Lafayette County,” said Boyd. “I think Clay and I cried when we heard the project was approved. We are super excited about it and it’s happened because of a lot of the people in this room.”

The four-laning of Highway 7 South will go from the Belk Boulevard intersection to the Highway 7/9 roundabout.

Last year, the Mississippi Legislators appropriated $15 million for the project that went toward relocating utilities, design work and other studies in preparation – and hopes – that the project would get fully funded this year.