JACKSON, Miss (WJTV) – As Governor Phil Bryant begins his final four years in office, he used Tuesday to speak on some of the most important issues to him. Topics like gun rights and education were mentioned in his inaugural address; those are two topics supported on both sides of the aisle.
“We have protected all of our law abiding citizens with their constitutional right to keep and bear arms,” says the newly sworn-in Republican governor. “In today’s threatening world this right has become more important than ever. As governor I defend it with unyielding dedication,” says Bryant, his comments welcomed by a round of applause from Republicans and Democrats.
“I’ve been a staunch supporter of his gun legislation. I’ll continue to do so,” says Alcorn County Democrat, Representative Nick Bain.
“I agree with the governor on gun rights to be honest with you. I’m a democrat but I agree on gun rights. I don’t think that the guns are the problem. It’s the individual,” agrees, Democrat, Representative Cedric Burnett of Tunica.
Without referencing any specific initiatives, the governor did mention his support for “school choice”. It’s a move that would give parents a right to choose a child’s school district rather than be restricted by district lines.
“It should be the parents right not just a privilege by income or social status to take his or her hard earned tax dollars and send their child to a school they choose,” says Bryant.
Public education and its funding will definitely be up for discussion after this session especially following last years “Initiative 42” debate.
“I want to make sure that our children get the education they need and that our public education is provided for,” says Bain.
While Democrats and Republicans were getting along Tuesday, one big topic not mentioned, the Mississippi state flag. It’s a controversial subject sure to be brought up in this year’s session. Bryant’s go-to statement in the past is that ‘Mississippians have already decided,’ referencing the 2001 ballot measure that kept the flag as is. February 18th is the deadline for any new proposed bills. A bill proposing that the flag be changed or replaced is expected.