Neshoba County Fair Politics

Politics was a bit on tame side this year at the Neshoba County Fair, with no real competitive statewide elections in November.

The economy was the main topic at the Founders Square pavilion Wednesday.

One of the issues addressed was whether or not residents can expect an increase in the price of electricity any time soon.

Central District Public Service Commissioner Lynn Posey says that's possible due to the rise in the cost of living. As for when this could he happens, he says that's unknown.

Then there was Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall, who talked about the final phase of a project to four-lane Highway 19 from Meridian to Philadelphia.

"We've built two out of the three phases," said Hall. "The bad news is I'm really not sure where we're going to get the money to do it. There was some $11 million in congressional earmarks that went into those first two phases. And Congress now says it's not going to earmark any more money. It's not going to allow for any more earmarks. We were kind of counting on our congressional delegation to be able to bring us some of that money."

Hall says his office will continue to seek federal and state funding to complete the project.

When it comes to financial matters, State Auditor Stacy Pickering says Mississippi's economy is stable.

"It's slow growth," Pickering said. "We're looking like the rest of the nation. We're looking at somewhere between one to two percent growth this year. That's a good trend. It's moving in the right direction, but it's not enough to create the kind of jobs and the kind of economy that we need. So, there's still a lot of work to be done."

According to Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, the overall lagging economy has made it easier for companies and individuals to take advantage of unsuspecting residents.

"Just in the past fiscal year we recovered $70 million in overcharges by companies; some of them were drug companies," said Hood.

Political speeches will continue Thursday.
Here's a look at the political lineup. Six major political names in the state will speak.

10:00 a.m. State Treasurer Lynn Fitch
10:10 a.m. Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney 10:20 a.m. Agriculture Commissioner Cindy
10:30 a.m. Speaker of the House Philip Gunn 10:40 a.m. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann . 10:50 a.m. Gov. Phil Bryant

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