FLOYD INGRAM: Lawmakers head to Jackson

MUG Floyd Ingram LITTLEThe Mississippi Legislature convened last week with 121 House members and 51 Senators raising their right hand and swearing to uphold the public trust and the laws of the State of Mississippi.

We’ll see how long that oath lasts because they’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of them.

Education is always a headliner in Jackson and we will once again watch to see if they cut spending for school kids.

Transportation is a high dollar item, but with tax revenue down, I wouldn’t count on lawmakers touting a new highway project anywhere in the state. But you can be sure the “well connected” will get their roads paved on the Coast, Jackson and around those Tunica casinos. Sadly, I wouldn’t count on them allocating dollars to four-lane Highway 15.

Immigration could become a hot-button issue this term. Watch for them to take this one up quickly and try to settle it as soon as possible.



Chickasaw County’s very own Preston Sullivan, D-Okolona, has already garnered ink in local newspapers for his views on charter schools.

Sullivan was quoted in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal as saying he was for charter schools with limits. Sullivan specifically said he would support them only in areas with under-performing school districts.

A quick look around Chickasaw County points to Okolona schools, although some in this neck of the woods feel Houlka and Houston school could easily get lumped into the rush to charter schools.

We are early in the session and, as with most in Jackson, Sullivan is holding his cards close to his chest. Watch for him to be a little more open and to the point as the session progresses.

Sullivan has earned a reputation as a conservative Democrat in Jackson and is cut from the same clothe as the original “blue dog” Democrat, U.S. Representative G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery.

These blue dog Democrats care more about sensible spending and prudent investment of tax dollars than they do party politics.

Those who know the soft-spoken Sullivan, point out he is not in Jackson to make waves but to represent the needs and views of voters in his district. Take a look around, most of us in this neck of the woods are pretty conservative and pretty frugal.



Russell Jolly, D-Houston, is in his second year as our Senator in Jackson.

Those who know Senator Jolly know he thinks twice and then speaks once, maybe.

Jolly’s wife is a school teacher and Jolly was one of those who openly opposed charter schools last year.

As is his nature, we hope Russell will listen closely to both sides and give the charter school issue a fair shake this term.

Districts and communities that are not moving forward or who are not responsive to a community’s demands for better public schools, probably need to consider charter schools.

Jolly serves on the, Agriculture, Transportation, Education, Corrections and County Affairs Committee. It looks like he will have a full slate this session


Contact them


For government to function properly, the public needs to tell their leaders what they want.

People who belly-ache about special interest groups have probably never picked up the phone, written a letter or emailed their state legislator about their concerns.

We know both Jolly and Sullivan and they will be glad to hear what you have to say.

Here is their contact information:

• Sen. Russell Jolly

– Mississippi State Senate, District 8 (Calhoun, Chickasaw, Grenada, Lee)

– Democrat 

– Capitol Contact Information:
P. O. Box 1018 
Jackson, MS 39215. (601) 359-2886.

– rjolly@senate.ms.gov

• Rep. Preston E. Sullivan

– Mississippi House of Representatives, District 22 (Calhoun, Chickasaw, Pontotoc)

– Democrat

– Capitol Contact Information:
Room: 202
 P.O Box 1018, Jackson, MS 39215. (601) 359-3332


– psullivan@house.ms.gov


“R” or “D”

In the above copy you notice an “R” or “D” immediately after each legislators’ name and before the community he represents.

I’ve always felt politics gets that backward. The people we send to Jackson, Washington or even the Chickasaw County Courthouse, should represent their community first and their party second.

The winds of change have blown through Jackson and the Republicans are in control. Early indications are that our lawmakers have not felt the wrath of party politics.

Party means so much more to those who live in the Capitol in Jackson. We hope both Rep. Sullivan and Sen. Jolly realize they live in Chickasaw County and we expect them to always vote for what is best for us.


Floyd Ingram is Managing Editor/News for the Chickasaw Journal. He can be reached at 456-3771 or via email at floyd.ingram@journalinc.com


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