Local representative previews upcoming legislative session

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Mississippi's 2018 legislative session starts Tuesday morning, and lawmakers are gearing up for another busy year. Lauderdale County Representative and Speaker Pro Tempore Greg Snowden says there are three major things the House of Representatives has said it wants to address.

White Snowden can't predict everything that will come out of this year's session, he says there are some things he believes will take priority. Rewriting the formula known as MAEP (Mississippi Adequate Education Program) was talked about during last year's session, but no formula was ever rewritten.

"We have developed with the aid of consultant EdBuild a plan that we have taken parts of and other parts we will not use, but we'll come forward with a mechanism that will give us a student-based, student-weighted way of funding education," says Representative Snowden.

The House and Senate were at odds at the end of last session over roads and bridges. Those discussions are expected to continue.

"Some people want a higher gasoline tax, other people say that's not really going to be able to be done practically and we need to find another way. I do know that the House and Senate have had very productive discussions over the last few months in preparation for the session," says Snowden.

Also on Snowden’s list is Medicaid. The program comes up for a thorough review every few years. 2018 is one of them.

"There's always a discussion about how many programs we should cover and what aspects we should cover, how many people are going to be included in the program and how the program is to be managed. This year there is a particular issue about who is going to verify the enrollees," explains Snowden.

Representative Snowden says in addition to those three major topics, a state lottery and economic development could also come up. The state’s budget will also be on the agenda.