Rep. Corley and Sen. Polk discuss 2017 legislative goals
Published 7:00 am Thursday, January 12, 2017
Rep. John Glen Corley, of Lumberton, began his first term as the District 106 state representative last week after winning a special election in November.
“The legislature really has their working groups that go on during the summer months, so here I am in January trying to get up to speed,” Corley said.
After running on a platform focused on education, agriculture and the local economy, Corley said he still plans to push those issues.
“Our economy is certainly still a number one priority,” he said. Though, “there are no real easy answers to a lot of things that are up out here.”
One piece of legislation Corley supports concerns volunteer firefighters, he said. The bill aims to increase incentives for volunteer firefighters, who already receive a reduction on ad valorem taxes and car tags, Corley said.
Other local legislators have been “invaluable” to his transition, Corley said. “They’re really great individuals, and really concerned about helping people.”
Since this is Corley’s first term, he said he is using this year as a learning process.
“It’s certainly coming at me fast,” he said.
On the senatorial side, Sen. John Polk, of Hattiesburg, is beginning his fifth year in office.
Polk chairs the Senate Accountability, Efficiency and Transparency Committee and said part of the Committee’s agenda will be to revise proposal procedures for departments within the state to bid for contracts.
He also plans to introduce a bill that will reduce the amount of state funding universities receive for out-of-state students, Polk said.
Doing so will allow the state to fund more scholarship programs for Mississippi students, an account expected to fall short by $11 million this year, Polk said.
The bill will stipulate a maximum number of out-of-state students who will receive state funding, Polk said.
As a member of the Senate Elections Committee, Polk said campaign finance transparency is also going to be a key issue this year.
“We need to know for a fact where the money goes,” he said.
Rep. Timmy Ladner, of Poplarville, is also beginning his fifth year in the state legislature.
Ladner is vice chair of the House Gaming Committee, which is currently debating bills relating to the creation of a state lottery to fund higher education. The committee is also working on a second bill to create a state lottery to fund the Mississippi Hope Scholarship Program.
Ladner did not return requests for further comment about his 2017 legislative goals.