Several big topics ahead for state legislature

State Sen. Joey Fillingane said he expects marijuana to be one of the issues brought up in the...
State Sen. Joey Fillingane said he expects marijuana to be one of the issues brought up in the early days of the session.
Published: Dec. 26, 2021 at 8:54 PM CST
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - The Mississippi State Legislature is set to go back into session next week with several key topics up for discussion.

While several big topics are on the horizon in Jackson ahead of the session there’s one that really stands out.

“We have the medical marijuana issue that hasn’t been addressed yet,” said Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-District 41.

Although there was a lot of speculation regarding a special session for medical marijuana, the legislature was not called in during the fall season.

But, Fillingane said he thinks it’ll be one of the first issues addressed.

“Obviously, some disagreements arose between the different negotiators on the important points of the bill,” Fillingane said. “So, we’ll have that to deal with, which I feel like will be one of those things we also try to take up early in the session and get it off the plate.”

Another prominent subject: the state has to decide how to spend $4-billion from the federal government.

“There’s been some talk, obviously, of how to spend the $4 billion that we have that is sort of extra that we don’t normally have due to the COVID Infrastructure and all those different packages that the federal government (passed) this past year,” Fillingane said.

Those extra funds do not have to be spent during this next year, and Fillingane says the legislature should be careful on how it decides to spend the money.

“Most of those (federal packages) have a three- or five-year window,” Fillingane said. “So, you’ll certainly start discussion of how to spend those dollars wisely knowing that you’re not going to have that infusion of cash every year.

“I mean this is probably a once in a generation-type opportunity to really do some meaningful things with infrastructure, rural broadband, you know, education spending, things of that sort that you know it’s not going to be every year that you get to do that. So, we have to put a lot of thought into how to spend these one-time dollars.”

The state legislature reconvenes Jan. 4.

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