On June 5, you, the Mississippi state legislators, will leave the comfort of your communities and enter into our state capital’s hall in order to reconvene for a special session to fund the Department of Transportation and the attorney general’s office.
The current political crisis isn’t just in our nation’s capital; it also lies here in our state’s capital. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, partisan choices made in the past cannot be undone. But they can lead to better choices for our future and for the greatest interest of Mississippi: the constituents of your home district.
It is no myth that the state of infrastructure in Mississippi is in dire condition, and this special session provides you all with the opportunity to work together and do what is right for the people of Mississippi.
This duty will greatly rely upon the leadership of the Mississippi State Legislature, which includes the governor, lieutenant governor, house and senate majority and minority leaders, as well as relevant committee chairmen.
Although The Clarion-Ledger reported that some legislators estimated it costs around $100,000 daily to host the session, these costs are minimal compared to long-term losses the state would face if our transportation and justice departments do not receive the funds necessary.
Speed does not equate to success. Do not resort to old methods of finding short-term solutions for long-term problems.
The nonpartisan American Society of Civil Engineers found that one out of every four roads in Mississippi are in poor condition and that the state of Mississippi must invest $400 million annually in order to have safe drinking water.
Do the fiscally responsible thing for Mississippi, support your neighbors, coworkers, and community. Don’t increase taxes, instead readjust available funds. Give Jim Hood the funds he needs in order to ensure the safety and security of citizens across Mississippi. Do not introduce new, unnecessary roads. Instead, improve and expand upon existing roads in our state that are in dire need of help. Invest in drinking water infrastructure so that all Mississippians have access to healthy, clean water.
Most importantly, do not rush this session at the expense of the departments. The working man and woman are counting on you.
From the catfish farm worker in the Mississippi Delta to the physician or lawyer in Madison, all Mississippians deserve a state where our citizens have an adequate infrastructure and are protected by the laws of our great state.
You were all voted into office because you possess great influence in your local community, an even greater responsibility to do what is right for the common good and the judgment to do what is beneficial for the future of Mississippi.
Your constituents, including myself, believe in you all and are praying for long-term solutions to bring this state a superior infrastructure system and a fully funded attorney general’s office that can efficiently enforce the laws of our great state.
Nestor Delgado is a junior public policy leadership major from Pascagoula.