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Hosemann on agenda, transition

(WTOK)
Published: Dec. 17, 2019 at 6:33 PM CST
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The leaders elected to serve Mississippi in 2020 are preparing for the start of their terms, including Lt. Gov.-elect Delbert Hosemann.

Hosemann is putting in the work even before he takes the oath of office, meeting with all 52 senators and prepping for committee assignments.

"I've got an agenda for transportation. I've got an agenda for healthcare. I've got an agenda for education, public health, Medicaid," Hosemann said.

The current secretary of state has been meeting with various groups and state agencies related to those to form his agenda.

Among the issues he's ready to tackle is healthcare. Here's what Hosemann said regarding the controversial question of what will happen, if anything, with Medicaid expansion.

"The appetite is for healthcare. We've been in consultation even as recently as the last week with Arkansas about how they expanded, Indiana, Louisiana and others on how they increased their availability of healthcare," said Hosemann. "Some of which they stepped in ditches and wished they hadn't."

Hosemann says he won't rush the decision and would first look at other options to improve affordability and accessibility of healthcare.

"It's too big a decision to be made on the fly and this won't be solely made by me," he said.

On the topic of teacher pay, the southeastern average was a big buzz word by several candidates. Hosemann says he doesn't have a number he's targeting.

"Why do we have to be average? Why can't we be above?" asked Hosemann. "When we get to a point that our teachers are not making an economic decision whether to teach or not, then I'll have gotten there."

On the issue of a gas tax, Hosemann says he's not in favor of a statewide gas tax but would consider a local option tax that allows counties to vote whether they want to increase the tax that's earmarked for specific infrastructure projects.

Hosemann will be sworn in as the next lieutenant governor Jan. 9.