Thursday, September 25, 2014

Speaker Gunn Gets an Earful in Louisville

Speaker of the House Philip Gunn was in Louisville along with a
number of area legislators to host a non-partisan town hall meeting as part of his MS Solutions—an Ideas Tour. Speaker Gunn completed a similar meeting in Tupelo prior to arriving in Louisville.

Gunn noted that meetings such as this were a way to bring the legislature to the people and to allow the public to express their concerns. He included Louisville in his schedule to see how recovery efforts were progressing.

A crowd of roughly 40 citizens took the opportunity to express concerns and thank you's to the assembled legislators:

Alderwoman Judy McLeod asked Gunn to thank the Ms. Legislature as a whole for their efforts during the special session on disaster cleanup and costs. " That's the quickest ya'll have ever done anything." said McLeod.

Gunn added that the public tends to only hear about the 5% of the time that legislators don't get along and that 95% of the time they can get together on issues such as disaster cleanup. Gunn also noted that area legislators such as Michael Ted Evans and Joey Hood spearheaded the special session effort.

Gunn heard a long list of issues during the meeting that included:
  • creating a sales tax exempt status for outside groups doing disaster relief and construction.
  • Parents for Vaccine Rights and a Food Freedom Act
  • Concern about the effects that Federal bonds and grants have on moral values.
  • Need for more vocational school training.
  • More spending on education
  • More assistance for dyslexic students in public schools
  • Establishing a procedure for physicians to re-attain licensing
  • Concern over the loss or requirements of DUI grants to local law enforcement.
  • State encouragement of holistic medicine
  • Improving broadband access for area libraries
  • Concerns about the open carry law 
  • Concerns about Common Core
  • The need for a new computer system for the Ms Department of Revenue
Speaker Gunn thanked the group for their input and noted that meetings such as these had produced legislation such as an extension of the historical building tax credit and a car tag tax break for disabled police and firemen who were injured on the job.