Local discussions focus on new policies, reforms under trump administration

Published 7:00 am Thursday, December 22, 2016

Before new lawmakers and the new President are sworn in, I am visiting around our state to hear directly from you.

One of my jobs as U.S. Senator is to ensure that your voice is heard in Washington. As the Trump transition continues, I want your concerns to be at the forefront. The work for the next Congress has already begun.

At community meetings and small businesses in recent days, I’ve learned a lot about issues that need attention. I appreciate the time that many Mississippians – from educators and job creators to community leaders and civic groups – have recently shared with me.

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Hearing from our educators

One of my meetings over the past week was with faculty and staff at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Not only has MGCCC President Mary Graham been selected to chair the Board of Directors for the American Association of Community Colleges, but she and her team at MGCCC have developed important partnerships with universities, government agencies, and private sector organizations.

One such affiliation is with the National Diabetes & Obesity Research Institute, which is working to reverse some of the most significant health problems in our state.

Conversations with MGCCC and our state’s other colleges and universities are important as the next Congress prepares to reauthorize the “Higher Education Act.”

This major piece of legislation is expected to address a number of issues regarding the evolving college classroom, such as the burdensome regulations faced by universities and the rising tuition faced by students.

Job creators need regulatory relief

Excessive regulations are a concern for many Mississippians, particularly our job creators. On December 13, I learned how these regulations have affected the concrete industry during a tour of the MMC Materials plant in Columbia.

MMC Materials, a Jackson company in operation for nearly 90 years, is not alone in these experiences. My visits with other Mississippi businesses have revealed the impact of undue bureaucratic demands placed on our job creators.

Regulatory reform is a priority for the next Administration, and I am hopeful we can build on achievements in this Congress, such as the Petitions for Regulatory Relief provision included in the highway law. Getting rid of unnecessary regulation frees up time and capital that can be used to create new jobs, raise wages, and expand investment.

The season of giving

Not all of my time in the state over the past week has been focused on policy. With Christmas around the corner, I also served alongside some generous Mississippians. The kindness of Mississippians is easy to find, especially at events like the annual community Christmas meal in New Albany or when ringing the Salvation Army bell with my daughter and granddaughter in Jackson. Such acts of kindness have helped build our state’s reputation for generosity. Mississippi typically leads the country when it comes to charitable donations, even though we are not considered the wealthiest state.

I always appreciate hearing from Mississippians, and I encourage you to contact my office with your questions, concerns, and comments.

The work I am able to do in Congress needs to reflect your views and values. For more information, please visit wicker.senate.gov or my official Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter pages. I look forward to hearing from you.

By U.S. Senator Roger Wicker