Meridian, Miss. Mississippi lawmakers are preparing for the 2014 legislative session to get underway at the state capitol in Jackson.
The 2014 legislative session will officially begin on Tuesday at noon. There are several hot topics facing lawmakers this year from public safety to education. Senator Videt Carmichael of District 33 and Senator Terry C. Burton of District 31both say they expect major discussions surrounding education. This includes the common core standard that has been hotly debated, as well as pay raises for teachers.
"There is no doubt that pay increases need to be looked at, they need it, it's been to long," Senator Carmichael feels. "If we can afford it, I think it will pass easily. So, a lot would depend on what our total budget looks like toward the end of the session. If it's there, I'm sure not only teachers, but all of our state employees."
"We have put more money into education from the legislative budget recommendation," Senator Burton believes. "The appropriations committees will of course look at that and realize how much money they might have available to put even more in. So yeah, I think you will see an increase education budgets, k-12, community colleges, and higher ed universities as the process moves forward. I think you will see increases in the education budgets."
The Healthcare Reform Act will also be a hot topic for lawmakers and how that will effect the state. Overall, lawmakers we spoke with say they expect to see positive things come out of this year's session.